Puberty and Your Preteen

Have you had "the talk" with your preteen? Every parent knows exactly what talk this is and more than likely dreads it! However, there is another approach to this talk – that of an ongoing conversation about boundaries, roles, anatomy, and your child as a special creation of God — that renders the talk a natural outgrowth of previous conversations. In other words, it is not the talk, but an ongoing conversation.

In the May issue of ParentLife, be sure to catch both approaches! Check out our feature on a lifetime of conversation with your child and the preteen Growth Spurt (pp. 16-17) about talking to your child about sex. In addition to this article, the author provided a few extra facts that sheds light on the changes boys and girls go through during puberty.


The Normal Life of Boys in Puberty
A boy experiences five to seven surges of testosterone each day. This will affect his body as it grows and changes. It also will affect his feelings. He will be sad, happy, embarrassed, and angry, often all at the same time. He also will think about girls and sex on a very regular basis (statistics say every 20 seconds).

The Normal Life of Girls in Puberty
A girl’s brain moves into hyper drive during puberty. The brain connections grow rapidly, affecting two things predominantly: her memory and her self-confidence. So she periodically will not remember even things that are important to her. She often will feel bad about herself for no reason at all. The changes in her hormones also will cause her moods to fluctuate often and with great intensity.

What has helped you in conversations with your preteen about these sensitive topics?