One of the most confusing times in a young teen’s life is probably going through puberty. As their bodies begin to change, most are not prepared for the way that puberty can affect them. Many parents wonder how to explain the changes of puberty to their teen without scaring them off or making them feel worse about it. The best approach is likely to talk with them about these changes and help them to feel more comfortable about what is going to come. The sooner you have this conversation, the better prepared they are. Below are some steps on how to get started on your conversation with your teens:
- There are lots of books out there that talk about puberty. If you’re not really that comfortable with talking about the basic facts, pick up a book or video and give it to your teen. This will provide them with the basic knowledge they need to understand the changes in their body. After they’ve read the book or watched the video, you can talk about it.
- Next, you should make your teen feel more comfortable about the changes by providing them with some of your first experiences with puberty. These can be funny stories or simply past stories about when you first got your period or noticed a change in your emotions. This lets your teen feel like they can relate and that puberty is not the end of the world.
- By this point, your teen should have a lot of questions they want to ask you about puberty. Answer the questions in a straightforward manner so that they have the right information. The more uncomfortable or embarrassed you act about the questions they have, the more uncomfortable and embarrassed they will feel about bringing such questions to your attention.
- Take your teen shopping to get essentials that they might need as puberty approaches. For guys, this might be taking them to pick out deodorants, whereas for girls, it would mean bra shopping, sanitary napkin shopping, and more. By allowing them to pick out their own supplies, they will feel more comfortable and confident when puberty finally hits.
As always, remember to be there for your teen when they need you most. Educating them about puberty as soon as you notice small signs are important. These few steps will go a long way in helping your teen to be confident, aware, and ready for whatever challenges puberty might bring their way.