Puberty is that time of life when your child goes through a lot of physical and emotional changes. The brain sends signals to start producing sex hormones. Children shed their childhood and enter teenage, wherein they strive to become independent and seek their own identity.
There is a growth spurt. The body shows changes, such as beard and change of voice in boys and development of breast and commencement of periods in girls. Amidst the raging changes inside the body, girls and boys go through a lot of emotional upheaval. As a parent, you need to be patient with your child at this stage.
Here come the mood swings!
Irritable behavior, tantrums, temper, and a burst of energy are a few of the things that happen in a girl or boy. Boys may display aggressive behavior or may want to take risks and challenges due to their adrenaline rush. Girls, too, want to explore – the world and their bodies. Sexual feelings develop. Attraction towards the opposite sex comes to play.
As a parent, you need to be careful about your teenager’s peer groups. With whom do they hang around? This is a vulnerable age and boys and girls tend to be more risk-taking.
Talking about the birds and the bees
It is good to talk about sex with your teenager before they learn or get misinformed through other means. Sex education should start at home, which, unfortunately, is not the norm in many societies. However, modern parents try to be friendly with their teenagers so that they are open to them and not hide things from them.
You may also want to schedule a consultation with a lady gynecologist when your teenager attains puberty.
Give your teenager space
When your child was, well, a child, she loved those tight hugs and kisses. Now that she is a teenager, she may not take them so well. As your children mature, parents should also behave in a maturely manner with them. Of course, they will always remain a child for you, but you need to respect their individuality now. Give them space.
Please do not dominate them or try to control them. This usually doesn’t work. And your teenager becomes a rebel. Trust them. Only then will they trust you into confiding things.
Little things that you may need to help them with
- Educate your girl child about periods so that she is not shocked to see the blood
- Help her with choosing and wearing brassieres and the girly stuff
- Do not embarrass your boy child when he gets wet dreams. This is a normal phenomenon. His testes are producing 1000 sperms per second at this time. When they are produced for the first time, the body releases it through seminal fluid via the penis. This is involuntary.
- Do not shame your girl child about her developing body, especially her breasts and hips. Make her feel beautiful and confident.
Generation gap usually comes in the way when parents deal with their teenagers. A lot has changed since you were teenagers. Gen X is more open-minded. As a parent, you must accept the changing norms and support your child without thrusting the do’s and don’ts.