Upbringing Your Child
Pimples, acne, sweat, mood swings and to top it all, the embarrassing conversations. We know how bad a reputation ‘Puberty’ has, but with all the awkwardness it is important that by the time your child’s body approaches hormonal changes, s/he is familiar with the basic concept of puberty.
Today, girls generally hit puberty between the ages 10 and 16 and boys between ages 12 to 18. The bodily changes take place at different lengths of time in each child and it is best to educate and prepare your children earlier so they make a smooth transition from adolescence to adulthood.
It is important you openly share with your daughter the basic changes a girl’s body goes through as well as the feelings associated with puberty; this may begin with mood swings also known as premenstrual tension followed by an increase in height and weight, growth of breasts, hips and body hair. Children also sweat and start having body odor and skin troubles when they reach puberty.
Girls, at this point in time need constant reassurance and guidance. They also need to know about the variations in the timings everyone goes through so they feel less insecure and uncomfortable about their changing appearance. You can take your daughter to shop for training bras and educate them about sanitary napkins at the age of 8 or 9 years. Also, the body odor needs to be taken care of with deodorants and proper bathing supplies.
Remember, a Mother and Daughter conversation is very important as your child hits puberty. Discuss your experience while growing up as a conversation starter and gradually explain the details. If you still feel unsure or uncomfortable while speaking to your daughter then it is best you ask your doctor or physician for advice. Children, during puberty also tend to question and demand space, it is better to prepare yourself for their emotional turmoil while keeping the boundaries intact.
Boys grow taller and muscular which is followed with a change in voice. Growth of facial and body hair, odor and skin problems, physical and mental developments and emotional changes are the few similar affects of puberty in boys.
You can start educating them on using the right equipment to deal with body odor and ways to shave away unwanted facial hair. Some boys have sensitive skin for which it is best to consult a chemist or physician. Boys during puberty experience night releases and have confusing or strange thoughts which gradually calm down with time.
A Dad and Son conversation before hand is very important to make it easier for the child to understand and accept the sudden transformation impacted by puberty. You can also share the required information through books with facts suiting your child’s age or the internet (under supervision).
It is better to talk to your children about growing up before they pick up the wrong information from other sources. With the advancement in Media, children already know a lot more then we expect, hence make sure you share the ‘true’ basics and be the first to answer your not-so-little-one’s questions before they are answered elsewhere.