I know that commenting on blog posts is on the decline these days, and that’s ok. We are all busy, me included. More often than not I take that fabulous piece of information you’ve shared on your great blog and run… no time to comment!
But sometimes I miss the conversation.
Sometimes I feel like I live in a little bubble. I miss hearing other people’s ideas, thoughts, and opinions. I miss learning from new perspectives, and bouncing ideas around with others.
And sometimes I would like to forget about SEO, and ‘pinnable images’, and writing ‘shareable content’ and just the things that are whirring around my head!
So every now and them I am going to do just that.
I’m going to throw a few deep, and a few not so deep, questions out here on my blog to see if anyone else is up for a bit of a chat.
So grab a cuppa and a bikkie and pull up your keyboard, lets chat about….
Yeah, lets jump right in with a big, scary, parenting topic!
I’ve been writing a series about tweens for Childhood101 and one of the recent posts was about puberty. I learned a lot of about the nuts and bolts of puberty researching and reading for that article, but what I want to know about is the every day, how do we cope as parents and help our kids kinda stuff.
Do you have a child approaching puberty?
Or maybe you remember how you and your parents dealt with it when you were going through it?
How are you getting ready for puberty as a parent?
How are you, or will you, help your kids deal with it?
Do you think we should make a celebration of the changes eg a ‘period party’ or just address them as matter of fact every day things?
Am I the only one who wishes their kids came with a little timer to tell you exactly when these milestones would arrive??
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meri cherry says
I’m up for a chat and totally scared that one day my girls will be in this phase of life and we’ll have to talk about periods and puberty and everything that comes along with it. The only thing I can say is I am determined to TALK about it. I want to create an environment where we are always talking, about everything and anything. But man, I know it’s not easy and I’m pretty scared when I think about it.
I was totally petrified of the idea… mostly because I was (am!) struggling with the fact that my babies are growing up!
But you are right…talking is good! The more we’ve talked about and the more I have forced myself to be open and honest, the better I have felt about it all!
I don’t have kids but when I got my period my mother celebrated hard core. At the time I was mortified because we went to the shops and bought any kind of pads and tampons I wanted and she also bought champagne and strawberries, she leant across the woman that was serving us and whispered loudly ‘My daughter just got her period!’. I could have killed her. I look back on it now and think how incredibly sweet it was and such a positive experience my transition into womanhood was. I think it’s pretty special to have a mum who’ll get champagne to celebrate you first period! :-)
Ah see you hit the nail on the head!
As a mum I wan to celebrate and make my girls feel special… but then I don’t want them to be mortified by that either! LOL
Why is it so hard to find middle ground with these things!?!?! LOL
This is a timely post as my daughter and I had the ‘talk’…well the first one, yesterday! It was interesting that the things that concerned her were not what I thought and there were a few funny comments and facial expressions I will cherish for a long time I think!
It feels like being given a brand new baby to hold for the first time all over again!!!!!!
Oh that is so true… it’s like learning how to parent all over again!
I bought my twins a book about puberty at the end of last year as they are avid readers and I thought they might like to read more about some of the things we’d talked about. The night they got it I could hear them reading it to each other with lots of ‘eewww gross’ and ‘no ways!’ … made me smile quietly to myself!
I have a 16 year old daughter and almost out the other end of puberty – we still have hormonal outbursts at times, but I think that is part and parcel of being a teen. However, early puberty wasn’t easy for her or me! We had a whole pile of problems arrive with it, including some hard-core bullying at school that ended her in the emergency department and then in counselling for nearly a year. A change of schools this year and we have a different girl now, thank goodness!
My son is almost 11, and I feel quite young for his age. He much more of an easy-going personality so I hope for a smoother transition into puberty with him, however I am concerned that his easy-going nature will lead me into a false sense of security and that I won’t pick up on any problems that might arise.
I remember my teenage years and the constant fights with my mother and was determined to have a better relationship with my daughter during her teens. I think I have achieved that to some extent, but we still do clash on issues such as freedom and her thinking she is old enough to “do as she likes”
Oh wow that must have been so rough for you all, and at such a challenging time too!!
I’m also keen to make sure I remember what it is was like to be a teenager and try to maintain a good relationship… but I am betting you can’t always do that when you also have to set limits.
It is hard to try and maintain a good relationship, and to remember you are their parent not their best friend – but I like to think I have a good relationship with her. She talks to me now, where she didn’t really before and her problems hit me out of the blue (should I have seen the signs?? I’m not sure). With all that was going on (self-harm mainly) I really didn’t know how to feel – was it my fault, am I a bad parent, what could I have done differently? Being a working mum I’m not there all the time, so there was that guilt to deal with as well and also the hopelessness of knowing how much your child was hurting and not knowing what to do to help
My eldest is 18 so puberty seems a long time ago. We talk about everything casually whenever. At the moment she says she is never having sex because that means she will have to have pap smears. Think that might change, lol. As for celebrating a first period my daughter would have been completely mortified by the idea. My son is 11 and I find it harder to talk about puberty stuff with him, I guess because he’s a boy and I’m not. But it really is important to talk about it all often in a non scary way. Like recently laughing with my son as his dad came out of the shower and son went “eww, gross”, I said “you’ll be all hairy before long” and he said “yep, getting hairy balls already”. Lol, had to struggle to keep a straight face at that one!
LOL that’s as good a reason to wait to have sex as any! And it sounds like you have a fabulous relationship with your daughter… well done!
I can’t decide if my girls would be mortified or think it fab if we had a ‘period party’, guess I should ask them!
And yes, while puberty for my boys is a while off, I find that all kinda mysterious as I have no first hand experience. But I’m hoping the changes are more gradual for boys and less’in your face’ or is that just wishful thinking?
My 16 year old wants babies (eventually) but the idea of sex to her is gross! She doesn’t even like us talking about it! I asked her how she thought she was going to have babies without sex and she said she would adopt LOL
My twins used to say they would NEVER EVER have babies because… Oh my gosh, what would happen if they have twins!?!?! That would be horrible!!!
Um… er… I wonder where they got that idea!?!? LOL
Now that they are a bit older and they understand that they are not likely to have twins (they are identical twins so there is no genetic reason) they do occasionally say they might have babies… but not until they have finished doing all the things they want to do! LOL
Kylie @ Octavia and Vicky says
I’m not where near that with my own kids yet, but I hope to enter into that stage with some of the same wisdom as my own parents. They were quite open and we talked about most things, especially mum and I. I think keeping everything low key and every day is best. I am getting a bit concerned about my four year old’s preoccupation with a certain boy at kindy… already!? She talks about him very romantically. Oh my!
And blog commenting is one of my big goals since going to a blogging conference last week. I’m commenting on at least five blogs a day, hoping to hit up different ones each day for the week. I’m loving it so far. I’m connecting again!
My parents were very open and cool about puberty and sex as well, but I was really quite embarrassed and shy about my body, whereas my girls definitely are not… well not yet anyway so I am taking every opportunity I get to talk about this stuff now, before they decide it is ‘uncool’ or embarrassing!
And yay for commenting! I’ve been trying to make time to comment too… I think a big part of the drop in comments is how often we all read on our phones… so much harder to comment from a phone!!
I have 3 boys, not yet at puberty stage, but having no brothers of my own have no idea about puberty.
As for commenting, feedly crashes me out whenever I try
I think boys and puberty is hard when you are a female and have no first hand experience!
What a bugger about feedly… I wonder why that is happening. Do you mean that it won’t let you click through to comment?
My step daughter is now 16. Although she’s well and truly on her way to becoming a woman and is past pre-pubescence, the thought of her becoming sexually active scares the absolute bejeebers out of me. I would rather stick toothpicks up my nose then have to tell her father when it eventually does happen. I am not sure if it is his reaction I am scared of, the fact it means she is growing up and not a child anymore, the whole teen pregnancy risk or whether it’s because I am scared of feeling old. Probably a combination of all that. No wonder I am scared. Pass me the toothpicks please…
I wonder if that is part of the reason why puberty scares so many of us parents… because it’s the first step towards our kids being physically ready to have sex. Meanwhile we are all curled in a ball and rocking in the corner because we know they are not emotionally ready for sex and everything that comes with it!
Nicole Ruigrok says
I like to think I will be able to support my young sons through puberty. They are only 1 and 3 so I have heaps of time to figure it out! I know my husband will be great at dealing with it though. My Mum offered me no support. My period happened for the first time at school and I came home with bloody underwear and hid m look I’ll l it in the laundry. She found it of course and presented me with a packet of pads and that was the end of it, no chat no help no nothing… Right when I needed her the most! My Dad did help me on the other hand. Although he didn’t deal with the period side of things he did buy my first shaver and took me to the family planning clinic to get me on the pill as a teenager. Good old Dad!
Oh wow… that is some story! Good on your Dad for trying to help.
I have my girls pre-prepared for the chance that they will first get their period at school…. they always have a change of clothes in their bag and they now also have this little starter pack with a couple of different pads and some mini tampons (also came with a book and information) in a nice, plain looking, pouch. But I still worry about how they would cope if it did happen at school…
[email protected] and Giggles says
I can’t talk about this as a parent, my mother could in spades having been through puberty with 3 girls. I recall mum had a book that she shared with me, well told me to read. I then could ask any questions any time and she would answer. She has always been one that will tell the truth right down to a 3yr old asking about how babies come out etc. Her policy was to answer the question asked truthfully at the right level and not give more than what was asked for. I think the same policy worked for us as young teens. As I was the first I think it was a bit different for the others because by then talking about your body etc was normal kitchen table talk. I think it should be treated as something normal, not embarrassing and also not like the child is the first ever to experience it. Puberty is a part of life and should be treated like that. The other thing is that every child is different, even in our family we are all different. I think when it comes to hormones and mood swings patience, understanding and firmness about what is acceptable works. Being open with kids about their body and how it works and that is isn’t an embarrassing thing, that it is normal, right from when they are younger helps with their ability to openly question later without embarrassment (well I think so anyway).
I am with your mum on this… I’ve always tried to go with open honest age appropriate answers. So my four year old twins knew that while they were cut out of my stomach, I wanted their new baby sibling to come out my vagina, and they told every person they came across this very interesting fact! LOL
Books are a fab way to break the ice. While we’ve been open and honest about how babies are born and my kids new the basics of the physical/scientific side of sex, puberty had never really come up in conversation. So I bought my girls a book and that helped give them some great info and start the conversations…
Thankfully my little boy is only 5 and my girl is 1 1/2, so I have lots of time to prepare!
I started my period on my 10th birthday and remember screaming that I was bleeding! My mum was great and had a chat with me and sorted me out with small pads etc.
I guess I’m a little more worried about talking about puberty with my little boy, as his dad and I are nearly divorced, so I might get questions that I’m not sure how to respond to – I def don’t want to be the ‘talk to your dad when you see him’ kind of mum though, so I think a bit of research into some good books might help!
I think it’ll be a little easier with my little girl, as I have first hand experience, so feel a bit more confident I guess ;-)
I just hope my kids know they can ask me anything and that I will be supportive and try not to be too embarrassing!
When I was researching for my article on puberty I didn’t learn anything much I didn’t know about girls. but I found out lots of information about boys and puberty that I either had no clue about. or had kinda gotten wrong. So definitely read up so you can at least have the right information to pass on.
But I still think it is important for boys to have other men or older boys to talk to, someone who has been through it, so hopefully his Dad will be there for him on that front. :)
I hope his dad will be there with lots of answers too :-)
I have one daughter (17) that has pretty much been through puberty and we coped……my next child is going to be more of a challenge I think, my 10 year old son with autism. He is already going through huge changes and it has been difficult to help him understand whats going on. Lastly I have 7 year old twins, a boy and a girl. My son has cerebral palsy, they are next in line and I think will give me new challenges but this is life and as a parent, this is what I signed up – warts and all :)
I guess it really us what parenting is all about… every time you think you have it sorted there is a new challenge that pops up!!
Perian Murray says
When both my children reached puberty, we talked, talked, talked! As parents, we have to face and try to conquer the embarrassment of the birds and the bees before we can ask our children to do the same!
In our town, the children see “the movie” in 5th grade, so that made it easier to discuss things at home.
When my children were small, I remember thinking how difficult some things were, such as making sure I took a shower before my husband left for work! If I only knew! The saying, “The bigger the child, the bigger the problem” is so true!!!
Two important lessons: Give your children respect and they will respect you back! Don’t try to be their friend, you are their parent!
di @ lime&soda says
I’m right in the middle of this now. I have a 13 year old teen. I’ve always tried to be open and honest (although age appropriate) when discussing things like periods, sex, drugs and anything else that she brings up. They seem to have so much more in their face today. And I’m amazed at some of the things that get discussed in class at school. She had the ‘talk’ at school in year 5, and that made the whole discussion of puberty a little easier. From that time, she carried a little pencil case with pads, and a change of underwear.
But what I find it hard to deal with is the constant moodiness, and her disrespect when I challenge her! At school they have been teaching them that the reason for their moodiness is puberty! I think this is a cop-out, and that kids need to learn that they need to control their emotions. That’s what I try to instill in her anyway.