Parenting through Puberty

Therapy Tips on supporting your child through this new stage of life

 

Puberty is a significant and transformative period in a child’s life, marked by physical, emotional, and social changes. There are aspects they’re excited about while others are unknown and scary. As parents, it’s crucial to provide understanding, guidance, and support to help your child navigate this complex journey, no matter the emotions and questions that arise. And as therapists, we see parents constantly seeking new tools to best support their children.

Below are practical strategies and insights to empower parents in supporting their children through the challenges and opportunities that arise during puberty:

Start the

Conversation Early

Initiate open and honest conversations about puberty before it begins. Create a safe and comfortable environment where your child feels free to ask questions and express concerns. Provide age-appropriate information about the physical changes they will experience, including growth spurts, body hair, and hormonal changes. Offering accurate and accessible knowledge lays the foundation for open communication throughout their puberty journey.

 

Encourage Self Care

As their bodies undergo changes, encourage your child to prioritize self-care and hygiene practices. Teach them about the importance of regular showering, personal grooming, and maintaining cleanliness. Introduce them to proper skincare routines and the use of hygiene products like deodorants and menstrual hygiene products for girls. By instilling healthy habits early on, you help your child develop confidence and good self-care practices.

 

Foster Body Positivity

Puberty can sometimes lead to self-consciousness and body image concerns. Promote body positivity and self-acceptance by focusing on your child’s strengths, talents, and character. Encourage discussions about body diversity and emphasize that everyone develops at their own pace. Teach them to appreciate their bodies for what they can do, rather than solely focusing on appearance. By cultivating a positive body image, you empower your child to navigate these changes with confidence.

 

Address Emotional

Well Being

Puberty often brings a rollercoaster of emotions for children. Help your child understand and manage their feelings by creating an open space for discussion. Encourage them to express their emotions without judgment or criticism. Teach them healthy coping mechanisms like deep breathing, journaling, or engaging in physical activities. Foster a supportive environment where they feel comfortable seeking your guidance and sharing their experiences.

 

Support Peer Interactions

Puberty often coincides with changes in social dynamics and peer interactions. Encourage your child to foster healthy friendships and maintain open lines of communication. Guide them in navigating social challenges, such as peer pressure or conflicts, and help them build effective communication skills. Foster an inclusive and accepting attitude towards diversity, promoting kindness and empathy in their interactions with others.

Supporting your child through puberty requires patience, understanding, and open communication. As you navigate through new, sometimes uncomfortable conversations, remember that you don’t always need the right answer: it’s your support that matters most. 

Your guidance during this transformative stage will play a crucial role in shaping their self-esteem, confidence, and overall well-being as they navigate the waters of puberty. If you or your child need additional mental health support, please connect with a member of the Decade2Connect team today.

Our Intensive Outpatient Program is in-network with United!