Talking to teens about their body and changes isn’t always a simple topic, but it’s an important one. If you’re looking for ways to help ease into the conversation, these simple tips can help.
Being a teen isn’t easy. And what’s even more than that is that being a teen comes with a lot of additional feelings and hormones. Think back to your life of being a teen.
All the memories are coming back, aren’t they?
There are the feelings of emotions, the skin issues, the body changes and the sudden dislike for anything and everything around…Simply put, the life of a teen can be similar to entering the twilight zone.
If you’re looking for a way to talk to teens about their body and changes, there are conversation starters that can help.
Talking to Teens about Their Body and Changes
Before we start talking about teen’s and their body questions, first let’s tackle the big elephant in the room.
What are hormones?
You probably hear people talking about hormones or feeling hormonal, but do you know what that even really means?
And while we all have them, how many of us understand exactly what they are?
Hormones are a chemical substance that is found in the bloodstream. Hormones are often seen as receptors or causes sometimes of feelings and can be altered and changed as the body changes.
Talking to teen girls about their body
If you have girls, then you know that changes are coming. Once the female body transitions into that “teen” world, everything starts to change.
Breasts, period, birth control, and attitudes, oh my.
And just like that, your little girl has become a woman overnight. (or at least started the process)
But more than likely, your teen daughter has a ton of questions about her body.
What that means for you is that you need to brush up on your knowledge as well so that you can have informative and informational conversations with her that will provide her comfort and the answers to the questions that she seeks.
How to talk to your daughter about her period
If you’re a female, talking to your daughter about her menstrual cycle probably won’t be that hard.
But, if you’re male, you might find it a tad bit more difficult. Regardless of if you’ve been through it yourself or not, it’s important to talk to your teenage daughter so that she knows what to expect.
- Have the period talk before it happens
Don’t make the mistake of trying to teach and have her learn on the fly.
It’s setting you and her both up for a disaster.
And while you may not want to have the conversation with her because you aren’t quite ready, that doesn’t mean that she isn’t ready. Every girl’s development and body is different.
Periods start all the way from sometimes as young as 8-age 17.
What age you were when you started doesn’t mean that’s the age it will be for your daughter. Have the conversation before it happens.
- Let her know it’s okay to ask questions
Even as an adult, a period is confusing! Imagine just one day talking to your daughter and everything that is going to happen and then just expecting her to understand it? Wild, right.
After you have the talk, tell her that you know she’ll have questions.
And that’s okay. Questions are good.
Questions are what helps her mind become used to the idea that this is going to be part of her life for at least the next 30 years.
- Understand her thoughts and emotions as she has them
Once you get to be older, it’s safe to say that your period almost becomes a second thought. You know when it’s going to happen, you are prepared and life goes on.
But for a teen, it’s not always that simple.
Let her have emotions, questions, feelings, and frustrations. She needs to have those to be able to accept it and move forward.
Talking to your son about puberty
And if you have a son, you knew that this was going to be the next teen body topic to discuss. It’s no doubt that your son is going to be going through a ton of different feelings and emotions.
And while both boys and girls go through puberty, talking to your son specifically about it to help prepare is important.
The body of a teenage boy goes through a lot of changes once puberty hits. Growth spurts, voice changes, awkwardness, skin issues…you name it, they come on full force.
Preparing your teenage son for puberty is so important so that they don’t lose their confidence during this time.
- Don’t sugarcoat the topic at hand
Stumbling around and finding the words to talk to your teenage son about puberty is important, so don’t try to tame them down.
And while your intent isn’t to scare him, you do need to make certain that he understands how the next few months of his life are going to change.
- Make certain he doesn’t feel alone
All boys go through this. This is the key point to keep in mind and reiterate to him. He isn’t alone.
This isn’t something that is just happening to him. More than likely, several of his friends are either going through puberty now as well or have already gone through it.
And if they haven’t, they soon will be.
- Be his ears for when he has questions
While you can stand there and talk till you’re blue in the face to him about his body and the changes that are happening, make certain that he knows that he can always come back to you for questions.
Because as we know, hormones and their effects have no time constraints or boundaries.
Now that we’ve addressed a couple of various ways that the teenage body will change, let’s look at some questions and topics about how the teenage attitude and mind can alter as well.
How do you talk to your teenager so that they will listen?
Honestly, this just might be the million dollar question.
Teenagers like to have their space, and as they get more space, their attitude tends to grow with it. Now, don’t get me wrong here…along with that teenage attitude can come great things.
Confidence, speaking skills, moxie….you name it.
BUT, there’s a fine line of being sassy and confidence and being rude and not listening.
Welcome to the teenage years.
Finding ways to get your teenage child to show you respect may be easier said than done, but here are some parenting tips that just might work.
- Stay calm
When they’re upset and throwing you attitude, the last thing that you need to do is throw it right back.
Instead, stay calm and deal with it as you can. Letting them vent isn’t always a bad thing and can often result in you giving them an example of how not to overreact.
- Treat them like a person and don’t berate them or talk down to them
Parenting mode often means that you’re on a roll with advising and lecturing that sometimes, you forget to stop and actually speak to your teenager and not at them.
If you truly want your teen to listen to you and respect you, don’t forget to make certain that you’re stopping and respecting them as well.
- Speak to them when they aren’t around their friends
As weird as that sounds, it’s true. Your teen is in a life where they may be splitting their emotions.
And what that means is that they may act one way at home and then be a totally different person around their friends.
Talking to your teen around other teens isn’t probably the best idea to get them to listen to you.
If you want your teen to truly hear you, having a one on one discussion or conversation with them is best.
Why are there so many teenage problems with parents?
Seriously, what’s the deal? Why do so many teens tend to have issues or problems with their parents? Do they defy the want for structure? Or maybe they dislike an authoritative person “bossing” them around?
When it comes down to it, teens really don’t have a problem with their parents.
More than likely, they have a problem with their body changes and their hormones. But what that does mean for parents is that those feelings of frustration or emotion are going to be thrown at them to handle and deal with.
All the confusion that your teen feels, all the anger…it’s all directed at you.
So, how do you, as a parent, deal with teenage emotions?
This is for all the moms, dads, guardians and anyone else who is parenting and raising a teen…
There will be days when you just can’t win.
Nothing you can say or do is going to fix the changes in body and emotion that are happening to your teen.
And it’s okay.
It’s what you do moving forward that can change the outlook for the day, week or month.
Give grace to your teen during these transitional times.
They probably have no idea why they are lashing out just like you don’t understand.
While this doesn’t give them a free pass, this does give you the chance to talk to them about their feelings and emotions. You can also point out to them how their actions and words towards you are hurtful.
That’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with letting them know that.
And as a matter of fact, once you let them know that, it may open up their eyes to how they’ve been treating you and acting as well.
Relate to them and their feelings.
Go back to this time in your life when you were a teen. You remember those emotions and feelings, right?
They are the same ones that your child is going through this very moment.
Give them their space when they need it and other times, give them hugs.
Comparing the teenage years to a roller coaster is actually a pretty spot on analogy!
When do teenage hormones start to subside?
That’s the thing. There’s no magic crystal ball that will tell you when those overwhelming feelings of hormones will subside.
Every child and teenager is different.
And don’t ask your teen when and how they are going to manage because they don’t even know how to process what’s going on.
They just don’t.
Instead, pay attention to the cues on your own. You’ll notice a day that your teen starts to become a little less irritable…and a little more confident.
You’ll notice the growth spurts and the voice changes…and you’ll notice that your teenager has suddenly transitioned into more of an adult than a child.
And just like that, those hormonal teenage years of life are over and done, and you just may find yourself scratching your head and wondering where they went.
Sometimes, those years fly by while others tend to stay around and drag on…but don’t forget to cherish the good moments with your teen as they happen as well!
Being a parent of a teenager is a great gift.
There are so many wonderful attributes and characteristics that teenagers bring to the overall flow of families.
It’s a time in their life when they’re discovering their body and themselves and opening up their eyes to see all the options and beauty that is out there.
And if you happen to already be parenting a teen, give them an extra hug today.
Who knows what emotions or thoughts that they have going on in their head at this very moment…but with one simple hug from you, you can give them the thought and feeling of love and acceptance.
Cherish the teen years and do your best to talk to them about their body and the changes. It’s a learning process in life that we’re all still learning about so why not tackle it together head on?