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How To Stop Embarrassment Explaining Puberty Early To Children.

Age Appropriate Language With Examples.

When it comes to discussing the physical changes of puberty with young children, It will probably be you who is the most embarrassed. Why? You already have adult associations with words which you were taught to be embarrassed about from your parents, friends and educators.

Think about it, when you describe breasts or a penis which words do you use? Were you ever taught the name of your vulva or uterus or were you given “pet names” which you might still be using now. So to stop this ripple effect into every generation how about we change our attitude and pass on some real body positive confidence instead?

When talking about puberty it is important for adults to use age-appropriate language and examples. This not only helps children understand the information better but also that they do not feel overwhelmed or confused. Small educational “tips” are easier to include in a conversation.

Using age-appropriate language means using words and phrases that are suitable for a child’s level of understanding. So rather than using medical terms, use more common terms while they are younger so they can grasp the concept you are teaching.

In addition to choosing appropriate words, parents should also consider their child’s age when explaining the physical changes of puberty. Younger children may have a more limited understanding of body anatomy and reproduction, so it is important to keep explanations simple and relatable.

It is really useful to start teaching the correct names for body parts at a young age as to a child “arm and breast” is just a word to describe a body part. This updated process helps the child be confident using the word and gives a much more positive approach to body image going forward.

Stopping the embarrassment of a word, which has adult connotations, has many positive outcomes as an adult.

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One helpful approach is to use real life examples that children can easily relate to. For instance, when discussing breast development in girls, parents can explain how breasts are similar to muscles that grow bigger as we get older. Similarly, when talking about pubic hair growth in both boys and girls, parents can compare it to hair growing on our head.

It is also crucial for parents to be respectful and sensitive towards their child’s feelings during these conversations. Some children may feel uncomfortable discussing these topics, so it is important for parents to create a safe and open environment where their child feels comfortable asking questions and expressing their thoughts.

Parents should also avoid comparing their child’s development to that of their peers or siblings. Every child goes through puberty at their own pace, and it is important for them to understand that there is no “right” or “wrong” way for their body to change.

In summary, discussing the physical changes of puberty with young children requires careful consideration of language, examples and sensitivity towards their feelings. By being open, honest, and age appropriate in these conversations, parents can help their children understand and navigate this natural process with confidence.

Encouraging Questions and Open Communication.

Encouraging questions and open communication are essential components of effectively explaining the physical changes of puberty to young children. As a parent, it is important to create a safe and supportive environment where your child feels comfortable asking questions and expressing their thoughts and concerns.

One way to encourage questions and open communication is by being approachable. Let your child know that they can come to you with any questions or concerns they may have about their changing bodies. Be patient and understanding, as some children may feel embarrassed or shy about discussing these topics.

Another helpful tip is to initiate conversations about puberty before your child starts experiencing physical changes. This will help them feel more prepared and less overwhelmed when these changes do occur. You can start by talking about the basic concepts of puberty, such as the fact that everyone goes through it at some point in their lives.

When your child does ask questions, make sure to listen actively and provide honest answers. It’s important not to dismiss or minimise their concerns, even if they seem trivial to you. Remember that what may seem insignificant to an adult can be a big deal for a young child who is just starting to understand the world around them.

In addition to encouraging questions, make sure to also validate your child’s feelings during this time of change. Puberty can bring about a range of emotions such as confusion, embarrassment, and even anxiety. Let your child know that it’s completely normal to feel this way and reassure them that you are there to support them through this transition.

Adult Female With Two Children Hand On Each Shoulder Educating

Finally, be prepared to have ongoing conversations about puberty as your child grows and develops. As they get older, their understanding of these changes will deepen and they may have more in-depth questions or concerns. Keep the lines of communication open and continue to provide a safe and supportive space for your child to express their thoughts and feelings.

By encouraging questions and open communication, you can help your child navigate the physical changes of puberty with confidence and understanding. Remember to be patient, honest, and supportive throughout this process.

Want to know more details?

Check our Parents Guide to each step of puberty in more depth, covering growth spurts, body shape changes, hair growth & skin changes, breast development, mood swings and first menstrual cycles.

BLOODY MARVELLOUS LIMITED GOES TO GREAT LENGTHS TO ENSURE THAT, TO THE BEST OF ITS KNOWLEDGE, THE INFORMATION PROVIDED ON THIS WEBSITE AND ITS SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS IS CORRECT AT THE TIME OF PUBLICATION AND/OR SUBSEQUENT MODIFICATION. THIS INFORMATION IS SOLELY FOR GENERAL PURPOSES. IT HAS BEEN PREPARED IN ORDER TO PROVIDE INFORMATION, EDUCATION AND RELATED PRODUCTS/SERVICES OFFERED BY BLOODY MARVELLOUS AND ASSOCIATED ORGANISATIONS.

How to Talk to Children Below Eight About Puberty.

Talking to children about puberty can be a daunting task for any parent, but it becomes even more challenging when your child is below the age of eight. At this age, children may not have the cognitive and emotional maturity to fully understand the concept of puberty.

However, it is important for parents to initiate conversations about puberty at an early age in order to prepare their child for the physical and emotional changes that they will experience in the future.

Here are some tips on how to talk to children about puberty:

Use Simple And Age Appropriate Language.

When talking to young children about puberty, it is important to use simple and easy-to-understand language. Avoid using medical terms or complicated explanations that may confuse them. Stick to basic terms such as “growing up”, “changing bodies” or “becoming an adult”.

Start With The Basics.

Before diving into details about specific bodily changes, start by explaining what puberty is in general. Tell them that it is a natural process that happens as they get older and their body starts changing from that of a child’s to an adult’s.

Use Visual Aids.

Children learn best through visual aids, so consider using books or videos specifically designed for young children about puberty. These resources can help explain the physical changes in a fun and engaging way while also answering any questions your child might have.

Focus On Hygiene And Keep Repeating.

One aspect of puberty that young children can easily understand is personal hygiene. Explain how their body will start producing more sweat and oil, which can lead to body odor and acne. Teach them about the importance of showering regularly, using deodorant and washing their face.

Address Emotional Changes To Expect.

Puberty not only brings physical changes but also emotional changes as well. Children may experience mood swings, new emotions and increased sensitivity. Talk to your child about these changes and let them know that it is normal to feel confused or overwhelmed at times. Encourage them to express their emotions and provide support when needed.

Reinforce The Importance Of Boundaries – Physical And Mental.

During puberty, children may become more aware of their bodies and may start exploring their sexuality. It is important to reinforce the concept of boundaries and teach them about consent. Let them know that it is okay to say no if they don’t feel comfortable with certain physical touch or actions from others. This also includes mental boundaries, gently introducing if someone says things that make you feel uncomfortable.

Keep An Open Line Of Communication.

Make sure your child knows that they can come to you with any questions or concerns they have about puberty. Reassure them that there are no “wrong” questions and that you are there to support them through this process.

Remember, every child develops at their own pace, so don’t worry if your child doesn’t seem ready for a detailed conversation.

Cartoon Girl surrounded By Symbols Of Puberty

Tips for starting the conversation

As a parent, it can be intimidating to talk to your child about the physical changes of puberty. However, it is an important conversation to have in order for them to understand and navigate through this stage of their life. Here are some tips for starting the conversation with your child:

Choose The Right Time And Place.

It’s important to have this conversation in a private and comfortable setting where your child feels safe and relaxed. Avoid having this talk in public or when you and your child are both rushed or stressed.

Use Age Appropriate Language.

Keep in mind that young children may not understand complex medical terms or scientific explanations about puberty. Use simple and easy-to-understand language that they can relate to.

Be Honest And Open.

It’s normal for parents to feel awkward or embarrassed when talking about these topics with their children, but it’s crucial to be honest and open with them. Remember the younger they are the less they know so you are gently and appropriately setting the nature of their interaction with you and discussions about puberty now. Your child will appreciate your honesty and trust you even more.

Starting These Talks Early Is Easier.

It’s never too early to start talking about puberty with your child. In fact, experts recommend starting as early as 8-10 years old before any physical changes occur so that they are prepared beforehand.

Use Visual Aids.

Children learn better through visual aids such as pictures, diagrams, or videos. You can find age-appropriate books on puberty or use online resources like videos specifically designed for children.

Share Personal Experiences.

Sharing your own experiences going through puberty can make the conversation more relatable and less intimidating for your child. It also helps them understand that what they are going through is a normal part of growing up.

Be Prepared To Answer Questions.

Your child may have a lot of questions about puberty, so be prepared to answer them honestly and without judgment. If you don’t know the answer, it’s okay to say so and find the information together.

Emphasise The Positive Aspects.

While puberty can be a difficult and confusing time for some children, it’s important to highlight the positive aspects such as becoming more independent, developing new interests, and growing into their own unique self.

Address Body Changes.

Puberty involves physical changes like growth spurts, body hair, acne and menstruation (for girls). Be sure to address these changes with your child and provide them with accurate information on how to take care of their changing bodies.

Keep the conversation ongoing.

Puberty is a process that lasts several years, so it’s important to keep the conversation going as your child grows and experiences different stages of development. Let your child know that you are always available to talk and answer any questions they may have.

Read the next step of our Parents Guide to Puberty here.

BLOODY MARVELLOUS LIMITED GOES TO GREAT LENGTHS TO ENSURE THAT, TO THE BEST OF ITS KNOWLEDGE, THE INFORMATION PROVIDED ON THIS WEBSITE AND ITS SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS IS CORRECT AT THE TIME OF PUBLICATION AND/OR SUBSEQUENT MODIFICATION. THIS INFORMATION IS SOLELY FOR GENERAL PURPOSES. IT HAS BEEN PREPARED IN ORDER TO PROVIDE INFORMATION, EDUCATION AND RELATED PRODUCTS/SERVICES OFFERED BY BLOODY MARVELLOUS AND ASSOCIATED ORGANISATIONS.