The trials that accompany puberty are quite normal; knowledgeable
parents can help children navigate this milestone. As the pituitary
gland is activated, it starts releasing hormones that stimulates the
other organs of the body. Puberty marks the commencement of an
individual's sexual maturity. Girls usually hit puberty between the
ages of 9 to 11 and boys between the ages of 9 to 12.
Teach Your Child the Basic Concepts and FAQs
As a parent, it is important that you educate your child on the basics. Puberty not only brings about physical change; it is accompanied by emotional change as well. Parental guidance will help children work thorough the changes they are experiencing; even though the experience feels unique to your child, the awareness that puberty can have an awkward side will provide reassurance. Puberty can be an exciting time for you and your child; it is a major developmental turning point that begins the transition to adulthood. It can be frightening because children may prematurely explore sexual behavior that is beyond their years. Keeping an open line of communication with your child is the first line of defense.
Know the Signs and Symptoms of the Onset
Puberty is highly individualistic. The cycle and the changes vary from one adolescent to another. It is pertinent that you teach your child the universal signs of puberty such as a sudden growth spurt and an increase in weight. They will also begin to sweat and have oilier skin. The development of acne is normal since the body starts to manufacture sebum. Explain the importance of good nutrition for a healthy body and appearance. Whether your child is a boy or a girl, you will need to have a candid discussion about menstruation, regular & irregular periods, the use of sanitary pads, tampons, erections, shaving, the use of deodorants and so forth. It is just not acceptable for one sex to be ignorant of the other. Ignorance is a contributing factor to unwanted pregnancies. Besides this, a candid conversation will tell your children that the changes they are going through are not shameful and that they may talk to you about anything. This prevents your children from getting misinformation from peers and from seeing their peers as a source of information rather than you.
Make Yourself Available to Answer Questions
This is a major phase in your child's life. Make sure to be always
frank and open to your children. Share your own personal experience and
insights about puberty. Allow your children to ask you questions and
ensure that they understand the whole concept without confusion. Be
patient-that's a universal rule and make sure to always be there to
listen. Clarify confusions and give simple answers. Puberty can also be
a very emotional time in their lives. Raging hormones can sometimes
bring about behavioral changes.Keep Track of Your Child's
Ask your child to keep a record of her menstrual periods in order to
note any abnormalities. Ask your child to be open to any changes that
he or she might be experiencing. If by the age of 16 or 17, your child
has not yet menstruated, you may need to consult a specialist.Provide
You may want to give your kids reading materials, magazines and leaflets about puberty (but provide this in advance of puberty so they know what to expect). Keep some references in their rooms; in case there are questions which are too embarrassing for your child to ask.