For the mum of a pre-pubescent nine-year-old, the onset of puberty can be stressful and scary. Will it be the “terrible two’s” all over again? Will my child struggle? How can I be supportive and firm in my parenting?
In this article, we look at questions you may think about as your child moves into puberty. A healthcare professional for both parent and children can help answer these, so reach out if the need is there.
Each child’s journey through puberty is different, but there are some commonalities that parents can prepare for. The goal is to provide support, structure, and a safe place for your child to grow and learn.
Acknowledge the Changes
Take time to talk to your child about the physical and emotional changes they can expect in their growing bodies. Knowing that the changes are coming can make the onset less scary or confusing for a child.
Provide an Outlet
As your child grows into puberty, their habits and moods will shift. Be prepared to set new ground rules that work for both of you. For example, if they start to seek privacy, you can choose to not provide a lock on their bedroom door but promise to always knock before entering their room to show that you respect their privacy.
Share the Struggle
Kids can often feel lonely in puberty, and as mums or dads, we can help them feel less alone. Sharing your own struggles or funny stories from your adolescence can break the ice and improve your child’s confidence.
Share your Wisdom
Be an open-source of information for your growing child. Give them a few books that they might find helpful, and let them choose if and when they may want to read them. Most likely, they’ll be curious and flip through them when the time is right. Offer gentle suggestions and tips for managing body odours, changes in body shape, skincare, and emotions.
Puberty is an infamously challenging time for everyone in a family, but there’s no reason it can’t be a wonderful learning opportunity and transition. Being prepared and accessing the right professional resources can minimise the stresses and maximise the enjoyment for all involved in growing through this life stage.
Written by Kaitlan D.
As well as a writer with a passion for education, Kaitlan works in a wellness practice, working with mothers, mothers-to-be and hopeful mothers.
 Better Health. Parenting children through puberty. 2019-11
All articles are provided as general information and are not intended, nor may it be construed, as medical advice or instruction. Information and opinions expressed are believed to be correct and accurate to the best knowledge and judgement of the authors. Readers should consult their appropriately qualified health care professional prior to taking any action or inaction.