Published On: Sun, Mar 9th, 2014

What Does Puberty Mean: Teaching Kids About Puberty


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Today we would like to discuss a rather sensitive topic that is “how to talk to your child about puberty”. Before learning about teaching kids about puberty, do you know what does puberty mean. Basically it is a stage in life when the child starts to become an adult. There are a lot of mental, physical and emotional changes that a child goes through in this stage of life.

As a parent you must talk to the child and make him or her understand the essence of understanding the changes that their body and mind is going through. Let us tell you that puberty can be the most difficult phase in parenting. It is a challenge that you must be prepared for. There are some simple tips that we will be sharing about how you can discuss this sensitive topic with your child.

Be Friendly With Your Child

The first thing is that you have to be friendly to the child so that the child feels free to share their feelings and thoughts with you. If you are a little strict as a parent then the child may never open up. The topic is sensitive and you have to understand the point your child is trying to make.

Teaching Kids About Puberty

Teaching Kids About Puberty

One common mistake the parents do is when the child asks a question about the changes happening in puberty the parents ignore the questions or they scold the child. This is very wrong you must answer the questions honestly and clearly. If you do not answer the child will try to find out the answers from some other sources like the internet and the television that may often misguide him or her and take them on a different path all together. So be compassionate and clarify all the doubts that the child has.

Teaching Kids About Puberty: Why Should You Talk?

Some parents do not understand when exactly they should talk about the puberty to the child. Well the answer is as early as you can. It is better if you start the topic when the child is just entering his or her teens. If you keep them aware in advance it will only make your life easier and also help the child have a smooth move to the years of puberty. For example if you do not tell your daughter about menstruation and if she gets it in school she will not know what to do and how to handle the situation. You must talk to them in advance and keep a sanitary pad in the school bag so that if the need arises she can use the same and manage the situation. We hope that we have made the point clear. We would say that for a girl the age of 9 to 10 will be a good time to tell her about puberty. A boy can be told the same when he is around 12.

Info About Other Gender

One more aspect that we have to tell here is that the boys and girls must be given the information about the other sex too. What we mean to say is that the girls should know that it is natural for the boys to undergo some changes and the boys should be aware of the changes that the girls undergo at this stage of life. This will make them more sensitive to the needs of each other and also make them understand that they should not make fun of the opposite sex during puberty. So if you have a boy you must tell him about the changes that a girl goes through in this stage and the same holds true if you have a girl. Else your discussion on the puberty and changes in the body will remain incomplete.

Some facts that you should share are:

  1. Make it clear that this is normal and it happens to all. Tell them that it happened to you too and so you can relate to the problems that your child is facing.
  2. No one should feel ashamed or insecure because of these changes as these are normal and acceptable. It should be taken as part of growing up.
  3. Girls must be told that they will become more rounded in the hips and the legs.
  4. Tell them about the changes in the breasts and also introduce them to wearing a bra.
  5. Girls and boys must be told that they will start growing hair in the pubic area, arms, legs and also in the underarms.
  6. The boys should be told that their voice will change and become harsh.
  7. The boys should be told that the testicles and the penis will grow larger.
  8. The boys should be told that they will start growing facial hair and they will also start growing muscles.
  9. The whole cycle of periods and how it happens must be explained to the girls. In the initial months the periods may not be regular and can also be a little painful. The same can be explained to the girls so that they can be better prepared. If they feel too much pain they must be taken to the doctor for check-up and should not hide the pain or discomfort from the parents.
  10. The girls must be taught how to use the sanitary napkins. They must be told how frequently they should change the pads and also how they must deal with the used pads. All these can be very new to the child and also scary so the parents must talk it out in details.

We will now discuss some concerns that the child may have and you have to answer these questions too even if you are not comfortable.

  1. The girls may have a concern that their breasts are not as big or in shape as the other girls. You have to explain to them that this is normal and they are beautiful. As the child grows up the breasts will also grow and take the shape it needs to.
  2. The boys on the other hand may feel that their penis and testicles are too big or too small. You have to explain to them that the size will change as he grows and it should not be given so much of importance at this stage. You may also have to explain that when the penis is erect the difference in size do not matter anymore.
  3. The child may want to remove the hair that they are developing on the body specially the girls. You must tell them to learn how to remove hair and look neat. The boys on the other hand may feel that they are not as hairy as others. All these questions and doubts are common to all kids. You have to be patient and sensitive and not scold or shun the child.

We have tried to cover almost all the questions that your child may ask and how you can answer them. The trick is simple listen carefully and with patience gives the honest answer. Do not embarrass the child and also keep in mind that a small mistake by you can drift your child far away from you. You are the parent and so you must be more mature and sensitive to as you talk to your child about puberty.

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