Puberty is a scary time for kids. There are serious changes with their bodies and their emotions. Their lives change dramatically over the course of very short time. Perhaps you remember when you were young and faced the challenges of puberty. You were probably scared and did not know what was happening. If you were like most people, you were probably embarrassed about what was happening and did not want to talk to anyone about it. You probably stayed quiet about it and suffered until someone actually explained what was happening. This was probably the case for you regardless of whether or not you are male or female. Even for adults, talking about issues related to puberty can be embarrassing, and for those actually experiencing it it can be much more difficult. So, as a concerned parent, gaurdian or teacher, how will you know when to talk to a child about puberty? Many people are concerned that if they speak to a child about puberty too early they may confuse the child or disturb them. It is adult stuff and little kids will probably not be able to handle it, right?
Timing is crucial when discussing puberty.
It is absolutely true that there might be a wrong time to speak with children about puberty. A very young child will not be able to understand what you are saying and might even become disturbed by it. So what would be the best time to speak with children about puberty? This will vary some according to the child. In order to prevent the child from being surprised by the changes occurring during puberty, it will probably be a good idea to inform them of what puberty means prior to it actually happening. For most children puberty hits at around the age of eleven or twelve, although this varies a great deal depending on the individual. You should probably plan on teaching them about puberty right around this time of life or a little bit before. If, however, you notice that your child is already starting to go through puberty, you should take action and speak to them about it immediately. When you do speak with them make sure to ask them if they have already experienced puberty in some form. If they have, help them to know that you understand what they have experienced. Showing them some sympathy will make a big difference.
Whatever you do, do not wait to speak to your children about puberty. If you wait several years they will probably be confused during those years. These could be critical times for a child when they are determining their identity. A little bit of information and encouragement could go a long way during that time. A child who does not understand what puberty is could easily misunderstand what is occuring to their bodies and how to protect their bodies. They might suffer through extreme embarrassement or emotional turmoil. A child who does not understand what puberty is might also not understand the dangers associated with sex. In essence a child going through puberty has an adult body but does not have an adult mind. They are still a child and so need to be protected in the way that children are protected.
When you decide to speak to a child about puberty is clearly up to you. However, you should know that the timing can make a difference. Pay close attention to your child and the changes going on with them. Try to tell them about puberty before it occurs or right when it begins.