Last updated on 11/20/08
When should I talk to my child about puberty?
Today, kids are exposed to so much information on television and the internet that by the time they approach puberty, they may be familiar with some advanced ideas. Even so, it is still important for parents to speak about puberty with their children, as not all of a child's information comes from reliable sources. Many parents wait for their children to approach them about puberty, and are surprised when they never come. Kids do not always know that it is normal to talk to parents about puberty, so parents must take the initiative.
If a parent suspects that his or her child is not developing appropriately, it is imperative to speak to the child’s pediatrician. A child’s developing stages can affect them for the rest of their lives, and problems must be dealt with as soon as possible to ensure that there is no lasting damage.
In the Jewish Community
Children in the Jewish community are generally less informed about development than other children. Some children are never informed about puberty and learn about it as it happens to themselves. This can be damaging for children, and parents should try to prevent this from happening. It is important to speak about puberty before it actually occurs so your child will be prepared for it when it happens.
Parents must also be aware that emotional changes come along with the physical changes. A child undergoing puberty may be moody, irritable, or anxious. Although this generally passes, it is important for parents to be sympathetic and understanding to their children during this time.
Use the following links to learn more about puberty. Find out how to talk to your child about puberty and what to do if you suspect that something is wrong.
Frequently Asked Links
What is puberty?
How do I talk to my child about puberty? more
How do children understand puberty?
When will my child start developing?
What happens when kids start developing?
What changes can girls and boys expect during puberty?
How do boys experience puberty?
When do girls get their periods?
Why do boy’s voices change?
What is normal during puberty?
Why are teenagers sometimes hard to manage?
By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz
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American Medical Association (AMA)
The AMA has made a commitment to medicine by making doctors more accessible to their patients. Contact the AMA at: American Medical Association 515 N. State St. Chicago, IL 60610 (312) 464-5000
American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP)
AACAP offers up-to-date information on child and adolescent development and issues.
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.
Adolescent Health Transition Project
This is a health and transition resource for adolescents with special health care needs, chronic illnesses, and physical or developmental disabilities.
GirlsHealth.gov, developed by the U.S. Office on Women's Health, offers girls between the ages of 10 and 16 information about growing up, food and fitness, and relationships.
This website offers answers to questions about puberty and menstruation, as well as information about music and fashion, quizzes, and games.
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This CDC website is designed for 9- to 13-year-olds and addresses health, nutrition, fitness, and stress. It also offers games for kids.
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Human Growth Foundation
The Human Growth Foundation is a resource for kids and teens with growth problems.
Rabbi Horowitz does not endorse any external sites or monitor or approve content on these sites. When considering information presented here, you should consult your experts to determine what is best for you. Our sole purpose is to help you access information that Rabbi Horowitz and others have made available on the internet.