Puberty, the word alone strikes fear into most parents. It starts very slowly. You hardly notice it, and then all of a sudden, you’re having full on fights with your little darlings about the smallest of things. Every molehill turns into a mountain and you suddenly realise that you can no longer exercise your own will on them. They have become people in their own right and it seems that their one goal is to go against everything you want or say!
Can we make it easier on ourselves and on them? Actually we can by simply preparing our children for what is to come. I remember when my own daughter was about 9 or 10, she had what we call in our house, an emotional meltdown. When I spoke to her about it, she said “my head is saying one thing, but my mouth just shouts out something else and I don’t know how to stop it.” If we think about it or even think back to our own puberty, the reality is, this is a very hard time for them and the resulting confusion can be very hard to cope with. Not only are their emotions running away with them, there are changes happening to their bodies which unless someone talks to them about it, they really won’t understand.
It’s also important to recognise that not only does puberty vary between the sexes, it can also be different between two children of the same gender. No child will go through it in exactly the same way. So while we can impart our own experiences and read every book or article on the subject, we have to be prepared for something totally different.