Fresh Kids: Puberty – Already????
It’s all meant to be insightful, motivational, impactful, and helpful. We know there’s no one size fits all in parenting, so please give us feedback and ideas whenever you see fit.
The Change (no not that one).
You wake up one morning, took a look at your 11-year old son, and realize that … he just looks different. He's taller, a little lanky; his nose and ears are disproportionately larger than his little face ... and OMG ... he has a little bit of a moustache. What happened! Along with his physical alteration, he has a new-found attitude. He's fresh; he feels as if he can do what he wants, when he wants to do it. He also defies rules that have been in place since you and he can remember. He challenges authority every chance he gets. He's moody … isn't this all supposed to start in two years, when he turns 13? Didn't I have a little more time?
No, apparently. Many child experts say that it's appropriate for kids this age to start turning away from their parents and relying more on their friends. But we, as parents, take that to be a rejection. As a result, parents can personalize some of the distance that occurs and misinterpret their child’s new demeanor as willful, oppositional behavior, says Catherine Steiner-Adair, a Harvard psychologist. She highly recommends that we don't push too hard to get information from our tween; it’s important to start giving them a little more independence and space. They will come to you, when they need to. Preadolescent kids also push the boundaries to test their parents — not only to see if they can get away with things, but also to see if their parents care about them.
While some parents grow frustrated when their tween spends hours primping in the bathroom before leaving the house, others can't convince their kids to take a shower ... even when it’s pointed out that they don’t smell too good.
I believe that these tweens don't actually realize they are maturing as fast as they are. But the reality is their body has changed — even if their mind hasn’t fully caught up. For any parent, patience is key.
Children go through puberty at different ages — some as early as eight — so it's easy to see why my 11-year-old needs to take showers every day. We’ve also convinced him that it’s time to start using a deodorant — one that is natural, safe, and aluminum free. Even though all of Starling’s deodorants are safe for children, we created kids’ deodorants that are perfect for tweens ages 8 to 12. These products have fun packaging, great scents, and are super effective. Best of all, they keep your kids smelling fresh all day.
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