Kids ask questions. Yours have probably been asking lots of them ever since they learned the word, “Why?”
And that’s all well and good as long as they’re asking how car engines work and why the sky is blue… but there comes a time when you have to sit down with your precious little angel and explain puberty, sex, and all those wonderful topics to them.
First of all, put the wine down. This conversation is going to be even more difficult if you can’t get your facts straight. Second, pick up the book Will Puberty Last My Whole Life? by Julie Metzger, RN, MN, and Robert Lehman, MD. They’ve collaborated to answer the questions most children have about what is going to happen to their bodies (or what is already happening, depending on how long you waited to talk to them about it).
Over the years, Julie met with girls and their moms while Robert met with boys and their dads to answer the hard questions. During that time, they collected questions on notecards from the kids. Those questions have been answered and grouped into this book. If your child has a question, the answer is most likely in this book. They’ve also devoted half of the book to girls’ questions and the other half to boys’, formatting it as a flip book for easy access to either set of questions.
Growing up, puberty can feel like the most confusing and embarrassing thing ever. Probably the best asset of this book is the explanation about normalcy. There is a constant emphasis that no matter how awkward and embarrassed they feel, what they are going through is a totally normal part of life. All their peers are going through the same thing. Even in the situations of early and late development, being taller or shorter than their peers, or exhibiting different traits (zits, hair, etc.), the authors are positive and make it a point that every body will develop on its own timeline in a normal way.
As a parent, you probably dread having the sex talk with your child. The day they first asked where babies come from, you were probably about ready to dig a hole in the sandbox to bury your head in. Now, it’s time for the big talk though. If you have this book handy, you can sit your son or daughter down with it and let them read it on their own. Let them know they can approach you with any other questions afterward, and voila! You have a natural start to the conversation.
The important thing is to keep an open mind. Remember that your child is already feeling awkward and embarrassed. It’s your job to help them through this weird time. Having read through the book before them, knowing what you already know, and having an unconditional love for your child means you have all the tools under your belt to educate your child.