talk about puberty with your children

When is the right time to discuss sensitive issues with children?

When is the right time to discuss sensitive issues with children?

Or, which are the right words to use when discussing touchy topics, when most children seem to be familiar with so much that it is difficult to guess just what it is they do not know already.

Today kids are exposed to so much information about sex and relationships on TV and the Internet that by the time they approach puberty, they might be familiar with some advanced ideas.

And yet, talking about the issues of puberty remains an important job for parents because not all of a child's information comes from reliable sources.

Don't wait for your child to come to you with questions about his or her changing body - that day may never arrive, especially if your child doesn't know he or she can talk to you about this sensitive topic.

Just when should parents, or adults, discuss puberty with their children? Timing is everything. Ideally, as a parent, you've already started talking to your child about the changes our bodies go through as we grow. Since the toddler years, your child has been asking you questions. And most of your discussions probably come about as the result of these enquiries.

It is important to answer your child's questions about puberty honestly and openly, but you shouldn't necessarily wait for your child to come to you to initiate a discussion.

By the time a child is aged eight, he or she should know what physical and emotional changes are associated with puberty.

That may seem like a young age to know about "adult" topics, but consider this: some girls are wearing training bras by age eight and some boys begin to grow facial hair when they're just a few years older than that.

With girls it's imperative that parents talk about menstruation before girls actually get their periods. If they are unaware of what's happening, girls can be frightened by the sight and location of blood.

Most girls get their first period when they are 12 or 13 years old, although some get it as early as age eight and others as late as age 16. On average, boys begin going through puberty a little later than girls, usually around age 11 or 12.

But they may begin to develop sexually or have their first ejaculation without looking older or developing facial hair first. So, your child should know about puberty beforehand. - Kidshealth