Ahh, the teenage years! Everyone worries about them but what people don’t warn you about is how hard it is to prepare your kid for all those changes. There comes a time in every parent’s life when they realise their little ones aren’t little any more. Gone are the days of childhood, primary school, themed birthdays. Now it’s teenage angst and puberty. But when should you have “that talk” with your kids?
Let’s face it, no-one really wants to have that chat with their kids. Every parent would probably prefer to keep their kids young. They should smell like baby powder and giggle when you pull a funny face. Not communicate in grunts and wear enough body spray to choke a donkey, because who has time to shower? One of the big questions every parent faces is “when should I have a chat about puberty?” And that answer is not a simple one. Every child will develop at their own rate, and it’s up to you to decide when is a good time. Most parents bring the subject up when their kids go into P6. Some schools will have a chat with the girls in P6 just in case puberty sneaks up early on them. In P7, most schools will provide separate workshops for boys and girls to give the children all the information they need. But these school workshops will never replace the guidance of a parent.
But what if your child doesn’t want to talk to you about the birds and the bees? It shouldn’t be surprising that most kids have a basic grasp on the subject of puberty, kids do talk to each other and the internet is filled with information. The thought of talking to mum or dad about all those changes can be a bit gross to them. If this is the case, don’t worry! All you need to do is make it known that you are available for any information on the subject. The key is not to push and force the subject, but initiate a conversation. If you push too hard it can lead to everyone getting upset, which is the last thing you need when trying to talk about an “embarrassing” subject.
Resources are helpful
But when you and your child do still down to have the talk, don’t be afraid to bring resources with you. Explaining what puberty can be a complicated subject, you might think you are an expert on it, but this might be the first time your child has heard any of this. There is plenty of information online that you can use to help with the mechanics of everything. And be prepared to talk about what boys and girls go through. It is really important that your kids know what happens to ALL of their friends.
The birds and the bees is a tough subject to crack and can be awkward for everyone. But just by initiating the conversation with your kids, you have paved the way for them to have open and honest discussions with them about what their bodies will be going through. This will be one of the hardest and most important lessons that you will ever teach your kids as they head into adulthood. Don’t worry, it’s called the birds and the bees for a reason, and that’s because it’s natural. When it comes to talking to your kids about it, the words will come naturally, just like nature intended.