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How to Help Your Teen Navigate Puberty

Help support your child’s wellbeing as they manage adolescence
Photo: Shutterstock

Puberty can be a difficult and confusing time for both teens and parents. Many parents struggle with talking to their children about sex, menstruation, and other body changes. However, it is crucial to normalize these conversations and be proactive rather than reactive. This is a time when your pre-teen needs you the most, and being a source they can trust is essential. By creating an open and safe space for discussion and providing accurate information, you can help your child navigate puberty with confidence and ease.

As puberty is a crucial stage in a teen’s development, it’s essential to address the questions that arise during this period. Caroline Makoujy-Kusnetz, national board-certified health and wellness coach; Carly Kaufman, a board-certified functional medicine health coach, teen behavioral education psychology educator; and Kathryn Beaton, a brand advocate in the wellness industry, all mothers, are co-Founders of a revolutionary teen movement, GRYT, offering a safe space for teens to communicate and gather the right information they seldomly have the courage to talk about to parents, family, and friends. The founders along with an expert list of advisors, doctors, therapists, and dermatologists are all on board in normalizing the most difficult conversations in the pre-teen/teen years, the topic of puberty is one of them.

Here, the GRYT team shares some important questions you or your child may have, as well as advice for how to answer:

What is puberty? 

Puberty is the stage of life when a child’s body begins to develop into that of an adult. This includes physical and emotional changes.

When does puberty start? 

The age at which puberty starts varies from person to person, but it usually begins between the ages of eight and 13 for girls and nine and 14 for boys.

What physical changes happen during puberty? 

Some of the physical changes that teens may experience during puberty include breast development, body hair growth, and growth spurts.

What emotional changes occur during puberty? 

Teens may experience a range of emotional changes, such as mood swings, increased anxiety, and changes in self-esteem.

How can teens deal with body image issues during puberty? 

Encourage your teen to focus on the things they like about their body, rather than the things they don’t. Also, remind them that everyone’s body is different and that’s okay.

What is menstruation and what does my teen need to know? 

Menstruation is a normal part of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Educate your teen about sanitary products like pads and tampons and how to use them properly.

What is the right age to start dating? 

There isn’t a right age to start dating, but it’s important to talk to your teen about healthy relationships and setting boundaries.

How can my teen deal with acne during puberty? 

Encourage your teen to practice good hygiene, and if acne persists, consult a dermatologist.

What is consent, and what should my teen know about it

Consent is when someone agrees to something willingly and without pressure. Teach your teen to respect boundaries and always ask for consent.

What should I know about LGBTQ+ issues during puberty? 

Teach your teen to be accepting and supportive of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Encourage them to educate themselves about LGBTQ+ issues.

Remember, it’s important to create an open and safe space for your teen to ask questions and express concerns. By being a supportive listener and providing accurate information, you can help your teen navigate puberty with confidence.

About The Author
julieKeller_author-1

Julie is the co-founder of Well Defined and a longtime influencer and advocate in the wellness world. Along with her work at Well Defined, she is an executive recruiter and marketing specialist for Hutchinson Consulting. She is also a consultant and content strategist for numerous wellness brands. She is the former editor-in-chief and publisher of American Spa and was named a 2019 Folio Top Woman in Media in the Industry Trailblazers category and a 2018 winner of ISPA’s Innovate Award. She is also a seasoned journalist, specializing in spa, travel, health, fitness, wellness, sustainability, and beauty. She has been published in Departures, ForbesTraveler.com, E! Online, Gayot.com, Insider’s Guide to Spas, Luxury Travel Advisor, Marin Magazine, Ocean Home, Smart Meetings, Spa Asia, and Travel Agent.