Guiding Your Teen Through Puberty
Sun, April 11, 2021

Guiding Your Teen Through Puberty

Puberty is something everybody has to go through, and as a parent, it is now your chance to pass down some wisdom to your child as they grow into young adults / Photo by: ShotPrime Studio via Shutterstock

 

Each one of us has had the realization that change is inevitable. Change is bound to happen, which is why adults, especially parents, should guide teenagers through the most frustrating, change-filled phase of their lives. Puberty is something everybody has to go through, and as a parent, it is now your chance to pass down some wisdom to your child as they grow into young adults.

In an article from Verywell Family, a modern resource that offers a realistic and friendly approach to pregnancy and parenting, they mentioned that adults have a lot of perspectives to share with children once puberty hits them. Puberty can begin unexpectedly, but with enough preparation and knowledge, your teen could overcome even the most confusing aspects of the transition.

When does puberty happen?

Puberty happens when a child's body starts transitioning to the body of an adult. It can usually wreak havoc on their emotions as well as their physical characteristics. It supposedly takes around 2 to 4 years before the child’s body fully develops through puberty. There are also differences between how girls and boys experience puberty, and this is why it is more difficult to generalize their experiences. 

Girls

Young women begin to experience puberty earlier than their male counterparts. For girls, menstruation usually begins around the ages of 11 or 12, but some children experience changes at the age of 9. According to Verywell Family, girls show physical signs as they enter puberty aside from menstruation, including growth spurts, breast development, and facial acne.

Boys 

The first signs of puberty in boys occur around the ages of 11 or 12. Changes in their bodies start when their voice begins to deepen, muscles start growing, pubic and underarm hair start growing, adult body odor arrives, and the testicles and penis grow as well. They can also become more sexual as they start to have wet dreams and learn how to ejaculate. 

The first signs of puberty in boys occur around the ages of 11 or 12 / Photo by: Primorac91 via Shutterstock

 

Prepare together

One of the first things parents and children should do together to prepare for puberty is to discuss it. Parents should let their children know that they will experience inevitable changes that might be difficult to manage, but these can still be overcome through the right information. Prepare answers for their questions and be transparent with them regarding the truth of their bodies. 

Norton Children’s Hospital, an expert institution for pediatric care, suggested on their website that caregivers shouldn’t be afraid to discuss the changes that occur during puberty. The transition can be scary because it is foreign territory for them. It can be hard to understand the changes, especially if one doesn’t understand whether if its normal or not. Adults should also remember that children can start developing sexually as early as age 6 or 7.

Choose your audience

First, base your conversation on the gender of your child. If your child is a girl, focus on the changes that they're expected to experience as a female. Life Hack, an online portal that provides useful life hacks, said that some young girls may also not be comfortable talking about their periods with their dads, but some are more at ease with them. On the other hand, boys might feel uneasy when they talk about their pubic hair or masturbation with their moms. 

These kinds of conversations might be scary, but these shouldn’t be left entirely to the school or their peers to handle. Talking about these topics can definitely feel strange, but the information you’ll pass down to them will help them in the long run.

Provide instructions

Even though the Internet exists to answer all the questions that your child has in mind, there is nothing more useful than having an actual person who can answer all their questions regarding personal hygiene and body changes. For example, your daughter will need to know how to use feminine products once their menstruation comes. Your son will also want to know how to shave safely and properly. Parents must be ready to instruct their child on all the things that they need to do. 

There might be a time you might feel uncomfortable teaching your child certain skills, but remember that you can always seek professional and reliable instructions about personal hygiene and sexual developments elsewhere.

Be open

You might notice your children becoming interested in the opposite gender, and as much as parents want to deny it, the truth is that it's a part of life. They might one day become sexually active, or even more sexually active than they already are. This is precisely the time when parents should be more open and honest with their child about what they know about growing up. Sit down with your teenager, even just for a quick chat, and always make sure that you make time to answer all their questions about the changes that they are experiencing.

Parents should let their children know that they will experience inevitable changes that might be difficult to manage, but these can still be overcome through the right information / Photo by: Olimpik via Shutterstock