Are you ready for your child's puberty?
Respond to these questions to check if you
and your child are ready for the big milestone.
by Mousumi Chakraborty
- Is your child entering puberty or undergoing that special phase in life? Have you explained its significance to him/her?
- Have you explained the biological details to your child?
- Have you taught the hygiene guidelines that they have to follow to avoid infection?
- Have you outlined the safety rules that they have to follow when they are alone with strangers?
- Have you explained the dating rules if they are showing an inclination towards it?
- Have you instructed them about the harmful side effects of drugs and alcohol?
- Is your child embarrassed with the sudden growth and changes in his/her body?
- Have you explained the laws that are made for them like POCSO?
- Do they know the child helpline number?
- Have you taught them how to regulate their emotions and stay calm during this phase?
Prepare a scorecard for yourself and honestly give marks to yourself out of 10. Your score shows how much effort you have put to make your child adolescence ready.
Children require parent’s advice and hand holding during their teens. They are confused with their body. Some develop quickly, and some develop late. It can be an embarrassment to them if they develop quite early before their peers or very late. It can erode their self-esteem and self -confidence. They can be victims of bullying. Instead of hiding facts, it is better parents to explain the puberty process to their children. Let them know the truth from elders rather than getting distorted facts from peers or the internet.
Parents can show these videos to their children and clarify all their fear and curiosity arising in their young minds.
- It is ok to have mood swings during puberty.
- It is ok to get angry and scream during puberty.
- It is ok to get attracted to the opposite sex during puberty.
- It is ok to stand in front of the mirror and observe the body change.
Physical and mental fitness
Physical activities are essential during puberty both for boys and girls. An hour of any games or dance will keep them physically and mentally fit. Yoga, meditation, mindfulness techniques, positive affirmation chanting helps in keeping the mind calm and increases concentration.
Fresh fruits and vegetables should be part of the daily diet of teenagers. They require a lot of protein for their growth. Girls should be given iron rich fruits and vegetables if they are anemic. Junk food, cold drinks, processed food should be avoided.
There are a lot of things that can distract an adolescent. Parents should regulate the use of things that distracts their children from their studies.
- Screen-based gadgets: TV, mobile, laptop.
- Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
- Parties, Night outs
Parents should educate their child about these threats. Ignorance is not always a bliss. An informed child is an equipped child who can face the threats of outside world bravely.
1. Alcohol, drugs
2. Social media abuse
3. Sexual abuse/STD
Instead of admonishing and criticizing their children, parents should teach them social skills, emotional skills, values, and morals so that they can deal with puberty and adolescence with confidence. Happy parenting!
(Chakraborty is an educationist, counsellor and life coach. She has 25 years of experience in education and has worked as Dean, Principal and Vice Principal in various renowned schools. She was felicitated with “I Woman of Substance Award in Education in 2019”. She is the State Secretary of Private School and Children Welfare Association of India, Andhra Pradesh, and the founder and director of GSQ Foundation, which manages Blissful Life Wellness Centre and The Teachers and Trainers Forum of India.)