The right guidance and support can help your adolescent navigate this transitional time of life more easily.
The physical and emotional changes that come with puberty constitute a rite of passage for preteens. The experience is not always comfortable. In fact, a study published in Pediatrics, a journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, found that girls who enter puberty before their peers are at increased risk of depression, possibly due to hormonal changes and social pressures.
“Everyone experiences puberty differently and in their own time,” says Katie Udenberg, DO, Pediatrician with Prevea Health. “Remind your child that growth is individual for everyone and urge her to talk with you about the challenges she’s facing.”
Three Ways You Can Help
Because your child is exploring her need for independence during puberty, giving her space and privacy is critical. In addition, here are three meaningful ways parents can help smooth the transition:
- Make sure your child is eating a healthy diet.
- Offer emotional support and positive feedback about body image.
- Remind your child that her hormones and emotions are changing with her body and brain chemistry. Extreme mood swings are normal during puberty.
“The most important thing parents can do during puberty is to stay engaged with their child,” Dr. Udenberg says. “This can be a stressful time for everyone, but having open conversations can help.”
Are you looking for a doctor for you child? A Prevea Health pediatrician can answer your and your child’s questions about puberty.
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