Few things characterize the tween/teen years like puberty; or more specifically, who has hit it, and who hasn’t. And if you were in the same boat as me and my peers back in the day, your parents didn't prep you for what to expect and when. Today, PPLM Parent Education Program Manager Amy Cody offers tips to help you talk to your kids about puberty:
From Amy Cody:
Sometime between the ages of about 9 and 16, girls and boys do more than just grow taller and bigger as they have done since birth. Girls start to grow into young women and boys start to grow into young men. Puberty or adolescence refers to the span of time between childhood and adulthood. During this time, hormones cause boys and girls to grow and change in many ways - socially, emotionally, mentally, physically, and sexually. All these changes do not take place at once. Most of them happen slowly over the span of a few years and a few happen quickly. They often take place in a somewhat specific order. As a parent helping your child negotiate this often challenging time, it is important to normalize the changes your child is experiencing. It can be reassuring to remind them that:
At the same time, we can help our kids to notice the many similarities, as well as differences that exist between boys and girls. By doing this, we help our kids build empathy, respect, and understanding in their peer group between boys and girls.
Some changes that happen to both boys and girls include:
Changes that happen to boys:
Changes that happen to girls:
Image credit: teenwire.com (the Planned Parenthood Federation of America Web site for teens)