How to Talk To your Child About Puberty

parenting Jul 24, 2023

As parents, we want our kids to stay as young, cute, and carefree for as long as possible. Sadly, that’s not how reality works. Puberty is as natural and inevitable as day turning into night. Kids grow up — that’s the plain and simple truth. 

I know discussing puberty can be a daunting task. It’s easy to feel awkward talking about puberty, especially to little kids. A lot of parents feel like they’re walking through a minefield talking about it — worrying that they’ll say the wrong thing or overwhelm and scare their child even more.

There’s no need to worry! Today, we’ll explore some essential tips to help you navigate the perilous waters of puberty talks. By the end of this blog, we guarantee you’ll be able to create a safe and comfortable space for your child to learn, grow, and welcome the experiences this time of change brings.

Let’s dive right into our top six tips for talking to your child about puberty!

1. Start While They Are Young

The most important tip for discussing puberty is to start early. It’s always a good idea to start introducing the concept to your child before they become a pre-teen. 

In fact, it’s better to start as early as possible! It might seem a bit too much or too soon to address these topics with kids, but hear us out. When kids are young, they’re naturally curious and open-minded, so it’s the perfect time to have this conversation. 

You can discuss how their body will change, what puberty is all about, and why it happens before it actually happens. Kids these days are exposed to sensitive content through media at an earlier age, so initiating conversations as soon as possible becomes even more essential.

It also establishes you as a trustworthy source of information they can turn to whenever they have questions or concerns.

2. Keep the Conversation Simple

I’m sure you’ve heard of KISS. We’re not talking about the band or act of affection, but the acronym — “Keep It Short and Simple.”

As you navigate how to talk about puberty with your son or daughter — especially when they’re younger — remember to use the KISS method. Information overload will only lead to disinterest, confusion, and maybe even avoidance of the topic.

Break down the discussion into smaller, bite-sized pieces. More importantly, keep the conversation age-appropriate and easy to understand!

Start with the basics and gradually add more detail as your child grows older or more curious. As they age and become more comfortable with the subject, you can start diving deeper into the more complex stuff. Basically, slow and steady wins the race here!

Remember, this is an ongoing conversation, not just a one-time talk. You can revisit the topic another day when they can understand better and continue their learning.

3. Dive Into Books Together

Books can be powerful tools when it comes to puberty talks. There’s a wealth of great books out there that can help explain puberty to your child in a fun, engaging way. 

Plus, reading together can be a great bonding experience! It provides you with a fantastic opportunity to discuss topics that might arise. Reading the book together allows you to answer your child’s questions immediately.

They serve as perfect and natural conversation starters when it comes to the more challenging parts of puberty discussions. If you’re a single dad, I know it’s doubly difficult and awkward trying to figure out how to talk about puberty with your daughter — books are the answer!

4. Be Correct and Clinical

Keep the euphemisms and nicknames about genitals to you and your fellow adults. If you’re going to discuss puberty with your child, it’s important to use the anatomically correct terms.

This clinical approach helps normalize these words and remove or prevent embarrassment that may already be building up in your kid. It reminds them that these body parts are normal and what they are going through or will go through are normal processes — not something to feel ashamed about. It also demonstrates that open communication about their bodies is welcomed and encouraged. 

5. Let Your Child Ask Questions

We all know by now that kids are naturally curious creatures. They don’t have any filter, and they ask questions bluntly — and expect them to be answered.

Do exactly that! Let your child lead the conversation. Embrace their curiosity and encourage them to ask questions. When it comes to information about the changes their body will go through, your motto should be “Ask and you shall receive.”

Be open and honest with your answers. The key is to tailor your responses according to their age and understanding. If you don’t know the answer, just say that — then say something like, “Let’s find out together.” 

By doing so, you’re creating a safe and judgment-free space for your child to ask questions, seek answers, learn openly, and discuss any concerns they may have.

6. Take Advantage of Everyday Moments

Life is full of teachable moments. It could be a scene in a movie, a conversation you overhear, or a situation involving friends or family. All of these are prime opportunities to engage your child in conversations about puberty. This will help to keep conversations natural and casual.

Having these kinds of casual conversations demonstrate that puberty is a normal part of life and not something to fear or hide. By incorporating puberty discussions into daily life, your child will feel more comfortable talking about it since they know it’s something you’re open to discussing anytime.

More importantly, this allows you to address fears, worries, and curiosities as they arise — not only theirs, but also yours.

Final Thoughts and Advice

When talking about puberty, the goal is to normalize the conversation and create a safe, supportive space for your child to learn. Start early, keep things simple and clear, and most importantly, make sure the lines of communication are wide open. Embrace the journey together with your child instead of being a spectator.

As parents, it’s our responsibility to help our children navigate puberty by giving them all the understanding, support, and knowledge they may need.

Watch the "How to Talk To Your Child About Puberty" video here:

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