Make Puberty Easier for Your Tween

Puberty can be difficult, but you can help your tween through it

Don't let puberty get your tween down, help her through the transition.
Be sure your tween has an outlet for her frustrations. Providing fun distractions can help your tween through puberty.. JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images

You've been through puberty and now it's your tween's turn to make the transition from child to teenager. It's going to be quite the ride, for both of you. While you have the perspective to know that puberty will eventually end, your tween is living it now and he or she may not realize that the challenges are just temporary. That being said, you can help your child through puberty, and it doesn't take more than a little time, patience and empathy.

Here's how to make puberty a lot easier for your tween. 

Help Your Tween Through Puberty

Prepare Your Child: The first step to help your child through the ups and downs of puberty is to prepare him or her for the inevitable changes. Your child's sex education class will likely touch on puberty, and may even answer all of your tween's questions. If not, be sure to let your tween know that you can answer questions, and that you don't feel funny doing so.  A book about puberty would also be helpful and will allow your tween a little privacy when learning about puberty.

Instruct: There will come a time when your daughter will need to know how to use a pad or a tampon, or your son will need to know how to shave or deal with awkward growth spurts or voice changes. Be sure you give your child the tools she or he needs to do what must be done. Your tween will also need to know that personal hygiene will be more of an issue now, so remind your child that showers should be frequent, as should deodorant use and other personal hygiene practices.

If you're uncomfortable tutoring your child on these new skills, be sure he or she has someone who can, such as an older sibling, or perhaps a cousin or best friend. You can also consider turning to online resources for instructions on how to shave, deal with acne, or manage oily hair. 

Be Patient: Your child will likely experience mood swings or other emotional outbursts.

Be patient. Your tween needs to know what behaviors are unacceptable and antisocial, but you'll also need to know when it's OK to let your tween get her feelings out of her system. You know your child better than anyone, so follow your instincts when deciding how to deal with an overly emotional tween. Help your tween learn how to properly deal with her changing emotions. Sometimes a little time alone can do wonders, or physical activity might do the trick. Distractions can help give your tween the time to put things into perspective, or forget about them altogether.

Don't Dismiss Physical Changes: Your child is growing, and physical changes are happening. Depending on the day, your tween might be excited about the changes, or horrified. Don't dismiss your child's feelings.  Your tween may be anxious about acne, voice changes, breast development or other physical changes. Provide support and help your tween troubleshoot the changes he or she is going through. Acne can be especially problematic for your tween, so be sure to address it and if necessary, consult your child's pediatrician for advice on managing it.


Make Sure Your Tween Has Someone to Talk To: The tween and teen years require a great deal of support, from both family and friends. Be sure your child has a strong social circle and friends to talk to about problems and challenges. Also, let your tween know that you're available to help or talk whenever your tween needs a sympathetic ear. An older sibling can also provide necessary instruction and support. 

Make Sure Your Tween Has an Outlet: Puberty and the years of adolescence can be stressful, even under the best of circumstances. Be sure your child has an outlet for his or her frustrations. After school activities, hobbies, sports, and other interests can help distract your child from problems and provide a way for your tween to regroup and move on. Be sure your child finds the time to do something he or she really wants to do. You may even consider joining along to give your child a chance to open up to you and share details of her day. 


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