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Help with puberty

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What can I do to prepare my child for puberty and help them get through this difficult period?

Puberty refers to the period of sexual maturation where a child experiences physical, hormonal, and sexual changes and ultimately becomes capable of reproduction. For girls this typically happens between the ages of 10 and 16. Boys develop a little later with puberty generally occurring between the ages of 12 and 18.

Some children will stroll through puberty without any help from their parents. But for most kids, a little advice and support from their parents can make a real difference...

Prepare your child
If you allow your child stumble through puberty herself you are failing her as a parent. Don't use the excuse of 'my parents didn't address the subject with me so I don't need to with my kids.' Body changes can cause tremendous concern to a child. There have been cases where children have attempted suicide because they were frightened and confused by what they were experiencing. You must prepare you child for puberty but of course that involves the problem of actually talking to your child about the subject...

Talking about puberty
Discussing puberty issues can be extremely uncomfortable for both the parent and the child. Different approaches work best with different children. Sometimes a light hearted approach is the most effective but in other instances getting straight to the point works better. Ultimately, the delivery doesn't really matter. The important thing is to get the information across.

School education
Schools are now required by law to provide sexual education. However, it's worthwhile finding out what this entails so you're aware of what your child is going to be told and when she's going to be told it.

Finding the balance
Although it's important to educate your child on the changes that puberty will bring, it's not necessary to go into tremendous much detail. Remember she is still a child and too much information can sometimes have a detrimental effect.

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