Puberty. We’ve all been there and our children are on their way. The word alone can be terrifying and somewhat dreadful- for both parents and children. Your attitude and approach towards this transitional time in your child’s life can have a huge impact on their own attitude. It can either be a time of crisis or a time of exciting change. We advise you to be compassionate and reassuring to your child. Girls especially can feel very vulnerable during this time in their life. They may feel uncomfortable in their own skin or constantly compare themselves to their peers. Modeling body acceptance is very important. Your child will follow your lead. Set a positive example. Practice healthy habits. Let them know that bodies come in all shapes and sizes and all are beautiful. Do your part as the parent to help ease the growing pains your daughter may be feeling.
Ways to make growing less painful
Every teen responds differently to their parent’s helping hand. While teen years feel like the time we are supposed to assert our independence, it is no secret that our children still need us. Puberty brings many scary and foreign changes to both our mind and body. Here are some effective ways you can help your daughter manage her walk into womanhood:
- Focus on positive reinforcement. Praise your teenager for their efforts, achievements and positive behavior. This can help stabilize their confidence in check during the chaos puberty can bring.
- Be sympathetic. Analyze your child’s behavior for what it is: your child struggling and learning to find their identity.
- Keep calm during angry outbursts from your child. Wait for your child to cool down before confronting them. This is the best way to assure you are handling the situation when you both are in a clear frame of mind.
- Stay interested and involved. Keep the lines of communication open with your child. Let them know you are there for them so they can come to you with questions or concerns and to seek advice.
- Seek support from others. Sharing concerns and experiences can reassure you that you are not alone in your struggles of parenting a child during puberty. Other parents also may be able to offer tips and things that have helped them.
- Respect your child’s self-expression. It could seem odd to you, but support extreme haircut or offbeat clothing choices. This is all a part of self-discovery.
- Acne is a common, not so pleasant part of puberty. This can demolish your daughter’s self-confidence. Talk to her about how they feel about it. If it bothers her, ask if she would like to see a doctor. Your doctor may refer your teenager to a skin specialist or dermatologist.
- Prepare her for the cramps and emotions. Educate your daughter on the many changes a menstrual cycle can bring. This is one time in which surprises are not welcome. Let them know what to expect and how to take care of themselves.
Asheville Academy can help
Asheville Academy is a therapeutic boarding school for young girls ages 10-14 who are struggling to cope with life’s demands. This program focuses on the social/emotional elements that play a huge role in the development of young women. Students will learn healthy ways to cope and manage their emotions. Various types of therapy will be used as a way to give them the opportunity to reflect on their own behaviors and seek effective ways to improve them. Communication, respect, rule-following, and emotion management are a few of the many skills focused on this program. Asheville Academy gives young women the confidence and skills they need to lead happy and healthy lives.