Upbringing Your Child
Adolescence is an important stage of life for all kids as they begin their journey towards adulthood after having completed their formative childhood years. A child naturally embraces several kinds of emotional, psychological, physical and cognitive changes while going through the stage of puberty. Although brought upon by nature, these transformations can leave adolescents confused. With proper guidance and education, however, these changes can be utilized to turn your child into a poignant and pragmatic individual.
How parents can help their children deal with puberty
A healthy communication between the kids and parents can do wonders as it helps the child develop self-confidence. The onset of puberty as well as the subsequent hormonal and physical changes can be an extremely challenging time for youngsters. In fact, most adolescents become conscious about their appearances and even feel embarrassed about discussing both internal and external changes they notice in themselves.
By helping them learn more about this sensitive stage of their lives, parents can help their children in countering different issues related to adolescence. Here are some helpful tips for parents to discuss this topic with their adolescent children:
1. Determine how much information your child is ready for
You need to have a clear idea as to how much knowledge your child can absorb and handle about puberty as he/she enters this phase. For instance, some girls may start showing signs of puberty at the tender age of 8, while others may not experience the same till they turn 12. When you sit down to have a talk with your kid about the onset of puberty, it is very imperative for you to filter out the details, which you think he/she will find hard to understand at this stage. When they reach the right age, a detailed conversation about the topic will prove to be more helpful and effective.
Before you start the discussion, you need to determine how you are going to deliver this important information to your kids. Most parents fail to address the issue properly, leaving their children more confused and unconvinced than before. For this reason, parents should first gain knowledge about adolescence and puberty from reliable sources and then relay it to their kids.
Teach your children different ways to read, learn and understand the changes their body and minds are or will be going through as part of adolescence. You can do that by compiling interesting facts and reading material for them with the help of which they can comprehend the concept of physical and cognitive maturity in a better way.
4. Develop a comfort level
Your child is likely to feel uncomfortable and embarrassed if he/she is the first or the last one among his/her peers to reach adolescence. As a parent, your job is to make your kid understand how the age of puberty can vary from one individual to another, with factors like genetics, diet and daily routine playing a major role in it. Give him/her the assurance that this is nothing to feel ashamed about.
Taking the lead from here, guide your kid about the importance of maintaining proper nutrition in his/her diet and the need to have a healthy routine.
5. Be open to discussion
Allow your child to express his/her feelings and be attentive to what he/she says. Do not get annoyed if he/she asks questions and answer them with logic in order to quell his/her fears and doubts about puberty. Always try to be a good listener as it helps children to gain trust in you.
Patience is the key to good communication with growing kids. You have to control your temper even if you feel annoyed at their immaturity. What needs to be understood here is that your kid is experiencing these changes for the first time and needs your attention and support more than anything else.
6. Show some flexibility
Lastly, do not act like a typical disciplinarian parent especially when it comes to sensitive issues like adolescence. Maintain your composure as drawing iron curtains on communication will only create distance between you and your child.
To begin with, parents need to understand that there is nothing bad or embarrassing in telling their children about their body. Taking a cue from here, you can develop their understanding about sexual abuse, drugs and teenage sex as well. That way you will be preparing them about the need to protect themselves from perpetrators of sexual crimes as well as imparting values to help them differentiate between right and wrong.
Living in the digital age, distancing your child at a sensitive stage like adolescence can be the worst decision you can make as a parent. Capitalize on every opportunity to gain insights about your child’s feelings and emotions and be the support they need every step of the way.