5 Tips For Coping With Puberty”
1. Teach your child to accept and love the changes that are happening to his/her body.
These changes are a normal and healthy part of growing up and should be viewed positively, as kind of a “rite of passage”.
Respect their privacy during this time, and make sure they know they are loved for who they are, not what they look like. Don’t set a bad example with obsessive dieting or exercise.
2. Talk to your child about the sexual feelings they may begin to experience.
Athough these feelings are also normal and healthy, it is important that your child has firm boundaries and has the self-confidence to resist any pressure to engage in behaviour that he or she may not feel ready for.
3. Educate your child about sexual health.
Most importantly, let your child know that you are available to talk– keep the lines of communication open.
Also, discuss topics including sexual decision-making, contraception, STDs and resources available in order to keep your child safe and protected.
4. Teach your child self-respect and assertiveness skills.
Unfortunately, you can’t be with your child 24 hrs. a day, so he needs to have the self-respect to take care of himself when you’re not around.
Teach your child to trust his instinct and be assertive to get out of an uncomfortable situation immediately– and that he can call you and you would never get mad..
5. Set firm ground rules and guidelines for behaviour.
Although they would never admit to it, teens secretly appreciate having limits placed upon them because it gives them an excuse to not participate in behaviours or situations that they are uncomfortable with. They can say, for example, “I can’t go to that party– my parents won’t let me” or “I can’t get that mini-skirt–my mom said she wouldn’t buy it for me”.