It’s never too early to talk puberty
Puberty is a milestone in life. For some children it is an exciting time as they move from childhood to adulthood. But for many, puberty is an emotional and somewhat scary transition, not just for those whose bodies are changing, but for the parents and educators who must prepare them for what lies ahead.
When is the appropriate time to begin the puberty conversation?
Marsh Media relied on recognized expert sources and ongoing discussions with school nurses and health educators to develop age appropriate programs on puberty. In a series of up-to-date video presentations, we give schools and families the tools to begin educating kids as young as 3rd Grade about the physical changes to expect during puberty. As students age, DVDs address their changing anatomies in more detail and discuss hygiene routines, body image and the effects of tobacco, alcohol and drugs, as well as healthy relationships and so much more.
- Meet the New You! for girls and for boys Grades 3-5
- Just Around the Corner for girls and for boys Grades 4-6
- Growing Up! for girls and for boys Grades 5-7
- Straight Talk About Puberty for girls and for boys Grades 5-8
According to many leading authorities, puberty begins for girls when they are between 8 and 14 years old. Boys develop a bit later, with puberty hitting between 9 and 16.
Experts suggest children learn about puberty well before the changes begin occurring. And preteens and teens should hear about puberty and sex long before they learn about it from TV, social media or misinformed friends.
When it comes to talking to youngsters about puberty, physicians recommend starting earlier than you might think. Parents should be teaching the proper names for body parts early in language development. Early elementary school students should know the difference between good touch and bad touch.
Parents are encouraged to keep the lines of communication open and ongoing about body-related topics. Never avoid a teachable moment if a youngster poses an awkward question. The “birds and the bees” isn’t just one discussion but a series of conversations occurring over years. While children can take the lead on how little or how much they want to know at a given time, some kids may never get around to bringing up puberty and you might need to initiate the talk.
Marsh Media’s varied educational DVDs on puberty are an excellent accompaniment to any classroom curriculum geared towards health and wellness and sex education. Parents can also use these modern videos to help them start the conversation at home. Over the summer, spend time with your child to review what they learned in school the prior year, and prepare them for more advanced discussions about puberty that will most likely be coming in the next school year.
Check back for tips on how to approach the subject of puberty with your tween.