Inside: Here are 10 puberty facts that will help your son or daughter to thrive (and not just survive) puberty.
Here are 10 puberty facts that all kids need to know about.
Puberty can be a scary time for kids, especially when they don’t know what to expect. So it helps kids when parents can talk about puberty in a natural, everyday way. This helps to normalise puberty for them and prepares them for the changes that will be coming their way!
There are a lot of puberty facts for your child to learn, but here you will find 10 that are more about the principles than about facts.
Read on, and you’ll see what I mean!
1. You will experience both physical and emotional changes
Our first puberty facts reminds us to NOT just focus on the physical changes.
It isn’t just your body that changes as you go through puberty. Your brain and your feelings change as well. So your child needs to know that they will start to think and feel differently as well. This article from Hey Sigmund explains what teens need to know about the adolescent brain.
2. Puberty is normal and happens to all kids
Our second of the puberty facts is all about making puberty a normal stage of life.
When going through puberty, your child may feel as if they are the only one going through it. So it helps if you can remind them that they aren’t alone. Remind them that their friends will be going through puberty as well. And that you too, went through puberty and survived.
3. Puberty means your body can make a baby
Our third puberty facts is about the true purpose of puberty.
Puberty is all about making us capable of reproducing and starting the next generation. Which means that your child’s body will eventually be capable of creating a new life ie they are fertile. So they need to know this, that if they had sexual intercourse with someone of the opposite sex, that they could make a baby. Reassure them though, that even though their body may be ready that they still need to do a lot more ‘growing up’ before this will happen.
4. The changes won’t happen overnight
Our fourth of the puberty facts is about reassuring kids that the changes are very gradual!
Reassure your child that the changes that will be happening to them, don’t happen overnight. They happen over months. Which means that they will have plenty of time to get used to them! So start talking to them about how to care for their body as it changes. When you start to notice an underarm smell, buy them deodorant and start chatting about why they sweat and how they should manage it.
5. Puberty happens to both boys and girls (males and females)
Our fifth puberty facts is about making sure they know that puberty is a ‘similar yet different’ experience for both boys and girls.
Remind your child that puberty happens to all children (regardless of their gender and biological sex). Some of the changes will be similar (pubic hair, body odour, pimples) but some won’t be (ejaculation, periods). So make sure your child knows that all of their friends will be going through changes, but that some of the changes will be different for them.
6. Puberty starts at a different time for everyone
Our sixth puberty facts is about reminding kids that we all start puberty at a different time.
Let your child know that we don’t all start puberty at the same time. Some kids start much earlier or later than others. Which means that some kids will be much taller than others, and some kids will be flat-chested whilst others are needing a bra. Everyone is different so their body will start changing when it is ready to. You can’t make puberty start any earlier or stop it from happening. Your body knows what to do and will start when it is ready for it.
7. Changes can happen quickly or slowly
Our seventh of the puberty facts are that their body may change more quickly or slowly than their friends does.
Some people’s bodies can change more quickly or slowly than others. So their friend may have lots of pubic hair within a few months whilst it may take months for them to just grow a few! Everyone is different but by the time puberty is over, everyone has had the same changes, and end up with similar adult bodies.
8. Everyone is different
Our eighth puberty facts is that everyone is different and that’s okay.
Your child needs to know that although the changes we go through are all the same, that they can still be different. So that may mean they have no pimples or lots of pimples. And there is nothing that they can do to change that. It is a bit like a lucky dip – you get what you get!
9. You can’t stop or alter the changes that will be happening to you
Our ninth of the puberty facts is that you can’t stop or change anything.
Some kids worry about the changes that will happen to them and want to know if they can stop them, or even change them. They can’t. Their body is already pre-programmed to change in a certain way. Which means that they will end up with the body they are meant to have.
10. You will start to think about sex differently
Our tenth puberty facts is that they will start to experience sexual feelings and to possibly even see their friends in a different light.
As well as making your child’s body fertile, puberty will slowly start to change the way they think and feel about sex. This happens for a very good reason. For a baby to be made, you usually need to have sexual intercourse. So puberty will rewire your child’s brain so that they will want to have sex, which means that they might fall pregnant and make a baby. Even though we live in the 21st century, our caveman instincts are still there.
Resources to help with talking about puberty
My mission is to create resources that will help you to naturally talk to your kids about sex, all while respecting your personal values.
Which means that inside this website, you’ll find lots of resources to help you with talking to your child about puberty.
My Puberty 101 page includes all of the information on puberty. You’ll find lots of different blog posts to help with talking to your child about growing up.
You’ll find videos about puberty in my Sex Education Videos resource page that you can watch with your child or to learn more about puberty yourself.
You’ll also find an extensive range of children’s books on puberty, for kids of all ages.
If you get stuck and feel that you need some extra support with talking to your child about puberty, then my book, The Parents’ Guide to Puberty, may be helpful. It’s a straightforward common sense guide that will help you to start having honest conversations that will guide your child through puberty, and strengthen your relationship without feeling embarrassed, awkward or nervous.
Or maybe you’re looking for a video course to sit down and watch together with your child. My friend Rowena from Amazing Me has created a fantastic 2 part interactive course for parents/carers to attend together with their 9 to 12 year old. It’s fun, educational and age-appropriate! You can learn more about her puberty course here.
If you have a child who is expecting their first period, then you may want to consider period pants. Period pants are fantastic for kids who are worried that they won’t know that their period has started until it stains through their clothing for the world to see. My favourite brand for tweens and teens is ModiBodi, as they are good quality and quite absorbent.
If you need some help with explaining sexual intercourse to your child, then How to Talk to Kids About Sex will help you explain sex to your child in a way they will understand. It breaks sex down into simple steps that take the stress out of explaining!
If you’re unsure about how to answer your child’s questions about sex, then I have the perfect book for you! The Sex Education Answer Book will give you age-specific answers to the most common questions kid’s ask parents about sex. Which means you don’t need to worry about finding a child-friendly explanation that your child understands.
And if you get stuck, feel free to get in touch! You can contact me here.