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Helping Your Pre-Teens Cope With Puberty

Posted on 16 February 2022

Helping Your Pre-Teens Cope With Puberty

When your child comes of age, they will begin going through puberty. During puberty, a series of changes take place in your child's body; such changes would be physical, emotional, social and sexual. As a parent or guardian parent, you may feel uncertain of how you can best support this transition your child is facing. In today’s society and environment, children are exposed to relationships and sex on social media and on TV which allow them to be more familiarised with the ideas of adulthood. However, providing your child with the correct information about the reality of adulthood would help your child understand their bodies and the concept of adulthood more accurately as not everything they have been exposed to would be reliable. Not to fear, the useful information provided below will help you provide the best support you can to help your pre-teens cope with puberty!



One of the best ways to do so is to approach your child and have open and honest talks about this “sensitive topic”. Be prepared to have multiple talks about the different aspects of puberty with your child as they grow and enter new stages of the transition. Every child’s body is different, some girls begin to experience puberty as early as 8 years old, whilst some boys begin to experience puberty as early as 9 years old. Meaning that you may need to start having talks with your child earlier than you think to explain the changes they will experience before they begin.

Helping Your Pre-Teens Cope With Puberty



The ages during which puberty occurs in girls and boys vary, girls usually experience puberty from 8 to 14 years old whereas boys usually experience puberty from 9 to 15 years old. Knowing the appropriate timings for your children are important to properly support and reassure them during puberty.

For girls, helping your daughter with her “firsts”, such as her first period is so important. Girls typically get their first period between the ages of 12 to 13 years old. Hence, preparing her about menstruation and introducing Period Underwear or pads to her will be beneficial when she gets her first period. Doing so will also prevent an embarrassing and terrifying experience for your daughter.

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For boys, puberty usually begins a little later than it does in girls. The changes boys experience are more towards the physical side of the spectrum such as the development of testes, penis growth, a deeper voice, and experience erections. Since these changes happen at a different pace for every boy, it is important to reassure your son that he is not alone and there is nothing to be insecure about.  

Helping Your Pre-Teens Cope With Puberty



With the hormone changes and physical changes in their body, your child may feel very emotional, insecure and alone while experiencing puberty. Talking to your child and being reassuring is the best way to support them when they feel this way.

When you think they may be feeling insecure because of how they look, you can remind them that everyone goes through these awkward changes; such as acne, mood swings, growth spurts, and sudden developments of breasts or testes. These changes happen to everyone, however some may experience it earlier, and some may experience it later.

You should inform your child about the changes that both boys and girls go through, this would help normalize the changes that they will experience and observe, and familiarize them with the concept of puberty.

Such changes they should expect to notice during puberty are:

  • Girls become slightly curvy as they develop wider hips and larger legs
  • Girls begin to develop breasts, which can be seen as their breasts swelling and getting larger. The growth of both breasts may be out of sync with one another.
  • Girls will start having their period once a month, which lasts 3 days to a week
  • When a girl is having her period, she is menstruating; which is the shedding of her uterine walls.
  • Both boys and girls will start to have pubic hair and underarm hair. Their leg hair will also become thicker and darker.
  • Both boys and girls may experience acne and sweat more
  • Both boys and girls will experience a growth spurt
  • Boys will experience penis and testes growth
  • Boys will develop a deeper voice
  • Boys will begin to grow facial hair and develop more muscles

Boys will experience sexual changes, causing them to have “wet dreams”, meaning they ejaculate in their sleep.

Helping Your Pre-Teens Cope With Puberty



Although teaching your daughter about her "firsts" and reassuring your son are important, the best support you can provide is by making yourself available to your child. This means letting them know that you are always open to talk if they ever want to. However, don’t expect your child to always tell you everything they feel all the time, which is why starting conversations with them is important as well. You may feel awkward discussing sensitive topics with your child, but children often find those conversations assuring.

Having these conversations will allow your child to easily bring up any questions they may have along the way. If there are any questions you may not know how to answer, you should go to your child’s doctor for advice.

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