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Helping Your Child Manage Their Changing Body

In puberty, your child is coping with many physical and emotional changes. Maybe you remember your own emotions and worries during that time? Thinking about how you felt might help you be more empathetic and relate to how your child feels. 

Acknowledge the Changes

Commonly, teenagers feel self-conscious or embarrassed at times when it comes to their changing bodies. Being there for your child as they transition through physical, emotional, and sexual changes to their bodies and psyche will help them feel safe and understood. 

However, you don’t have to wait with the conversation until the changes start to happen. Preparing your child before their body starts to change can help them know what to expect and provide them with reassurance that these changes are normal and nothing to be ashamed of. 

While not every teenager feels comfortable talking about these personal subjects, having open and relaxed conversations can be helpful. Remember you are the most influential role model in your child’s life, so lead by example. If your child can see you’re comfortable talking about these issues, your child will feel more comfortable too. Just keep in mind that big or uncomfortable conversations can’t be forced and are best had when your child is ready to talk and listen.

Give Simple and Factual Explanations

Giving simple, factual explanations can prepare your child for upcoming changes and provide reassurance that puberty is an important and exciting life stage. Talking to your child about physical and emotional changes like underarm hair, breast development, voice changes and mood swings can normalise the subject, soothe out anxiety and help them feel comfortable with it. 

Give your Child Options 

If you or your child feel uncomfortable talking about puberty, or have questions that you are unsure about, talking to a trusted adult such as a relative, counsellor or GP can help. 

Try to avoid comparing them to others and instead encourage your child to accept their body as it is. This will help them feel more confident and understand that everyone develops at their own pace. Alternatively, you can also provide your child with age appropriate books and videos to help educate them. 

Remember to Listen

Listening to your child shows that they are respected, and that their thoughts and feelings are valid. By allowing your child to lead conversations, you help them share their worries and anxieties with you, giving them the safe space to explore their own feelings. 

Remember, sometimes the best parenting is not saying anything at all. 

Lastly, Remember to Have Fun

Remind yourself that not everything has to be serious. Taking your child shopping for personal hygiene products can encourage them to embrace changes, nurture their growing independence and give them an outlet to celebrate their growing body. Girls may even want to bring along friends or add a selfcare or pamper experience to the outing. An experience like this can help your child associate positive feelings with their growing body, and perhaps even reinforce and nurture your parent-child relationship.  


  • Lis Rooks

    Elisabeth, or Lis as she likes to be called, is an aspiring multi-media journalist. She loves capturing fleeting moments of raw beauty and sharing stories from the heart. Stories have always been an intrinsic part of her life. Born in Germany, intergenerational storytelling and folklore were an innate part of her childhood, nurturing her creativity and teaching her to value the power of storytelling. After graduating from visual arts school in 2006, she immigrated to Australia, where she spent five years living and working in far remote communities. The land's untamed, colourful beauty and rugged lifestyle captivated her, sparking her passion for documentary film and photography. Her work has been featured in various magazines and online publications both in Australia and overseas.