Most of us remember how terrible puberty was. We know that it was a very hard time of life that we would not like to revisit. For many people puberty meant that their bodies suddenly changed, leaving them in a very scary situation. Their emotions and social lives suddenly changed for the better or for the worse. Because puberty is such a crazy time for most kids, parents owe it to their children to speak with them about the issues. However, this can be fairly difficult. There are certain conversations that most parents do not want to have with their children. The puberty talk is probably pretty high up on that list.
Why is it so difficult to speak about these issues? What is it that makes us so nervous about doing it? There are many reasons why you might be nervous about these kinds of talks. The reasons are valid but they should not keep you from talking with your child about puberty. The child is much more nervous about puberty than you are. Think about how scared or confused your child might be. This should help you to start thinking about the importance of talking to your child about puberty.
Find out what is taught in health class.
But don’t the health classes cover this stuff? Do you really need to speak to your child about puberty if they learn about it at school? The answer to this question is yes, you do need to speak with them about it. However, there are a couple of reasons why this is true. Health classes cover some basic information about puberty. They talk about physical, emotional, and hormonal changes. They will speak about sex and reproduction. All of this is great, except that you do not know what exactly has and has not been learned by your child. You do not know if they were taught the whole story or if they have a good teacher. Do you know if your child trusts their teacher? Because you do not know exactly what your child has learned in health class it is always a good idea to talk with them about it. Find out what they have learned in health and supplement it. Have they learned all they need to know? If not then quickly find out what they need to know and teach it to them.
Another good reason for speaking with your child about puberty is that it shows them that you care. You might not be able to give your child any sort of different information about puberty than what they have learned in school, but you can show them that you care and that they can come to you when they need information about puberty. This will be very important because puberty is something that occurs over many years and that has many changes. A single health class cannot possibly answer the questions that children will have as they mature over several years. You will be a standing resource of information for your children over this time. A good talk with them about puberty will show them that you are the source they should be coming to for information. This will also help them to trust you more and to respect you. An open line of communication between you and your adolescent about important personal issues will be a very important part of their development. Respect what your child has learned in health class but then make sure thay you are the primary source of information.