“I think my feet have started puberty,” my son said the other night at dinner. We almost fell out of our chairs laughing. But, he’s right! He’s beginning to stink in all the usual places. 🙂 Puberty has begun.
We are talking about puberty a lot at our house. Our kids are 12 and (almost!) 10. Their little bodies are changing and we want them to understand what is happening and what will happen. We bring up body parts quite often just so they can get their giggles out. It’s hilarious, but also healthy. Instead of hiding what is happening with their bodies, being ashamed or embarrassed, they talk (& giggle!) about it openly. I want them to feel that there is an openness in our conversations and that they can talk to us about anything. And I mean anything.
Don’t shame their sexuality. I think this is a biggie for us as parents. We tend to downplay, keep silent, act embarrassed and ignore our kids’ sexuality. We need to remember that God made us and gave us these sexual desires. No, they aren’t to be acted upon yet, but they shouldn’t feel they are wrong, or feel shamed because their hormones are doing all sorts of craziness.
Their hormones are responsible for acne, weight gain or loss, emotional wackiness, lowering of voice, periods in girls, hair growing in all the wrong places and sexual feelings. As a parent, we can help our kids by explaining to them what puberty is, what it does to their body, their emotions and their thoughts.
I love that we can all laugh about it together and talk openly how their bodies are changing. It doesn’t have to be weird or last too long. Just keep the discussion happening. At one point, you need to have a pretty open and honest talk, but that shouldn’t be the first time puberty is addressed. Start today by bringing it up casually and keep doing it so your kids feel safe. Keep it life-giving. Never let them see your shock if they tell you something. Just keep a straight face and ask them more about it and how it made them feel. And, if you can inject a little comedy relief, do it. Your kids will appreciate it more than you know because they are nervous as heck to even bring these subjects up.
Help them to never feel ashamed of their changing body or sexual feelings. Explain to them that God created them to have those feelings for the purpose of marriage. Shaming them won’t help them not feel or do, but it will just make them hide it from you. That’s the last thing you want.
Blessings on your family and all these awesome conversations!
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