The process of physical changes in the body is a natural process. When a child starts to grow and enter the stage of adolescence, they experience a set of bodily changes. This stage is known as puberty and it embarks a journey of physical changes in various bodily systems like the skeletal, muscular, reproductive, to name a few.
Physical Changes at Puberty
Puberty is a gradual and constant stage in every child’s life where they and their body themselves are exploring the growing years. Here, children tend to be slimmer than before since the entire body size increases while the body fat remains the same. The height and weight also increase considerably. The hereditary and genes of the parents tend to have an impact on the physical changes and the growth of the child. Apart from this, nutrition also plays an important role in the development of the child.
Factors that promote growth during puberty:
A well-balanced diet, the right nutrition, good sleep, regular exercise, and an affectionate stable household will ensure the proper physical development of a child. Puberty in girls and boys is marked by different bodily changes. In girls, we see breast budding, height, weight changes, menstruation that usually happens after 2 years of the onset of puberty, pubic and body hair. For boys, we see a sudden change in voice due to the appearance of Adams’s apple, enlargement of genitals, pubic hair, and zits. The legs, hands, and feet grow faster than the rest of the body.
How can parents play a key role in supporting these changes
It is crucial to note that, with the development of physical changes, the emotional, social, and psychological aspects contribute to the growth and development of a child. Just imagine, a child experiencing so many bodily changes that would affect the physical appearance of the body. Besides, the hormonal level institutes emotional changes within the child. With so many changes, and a whole world to explore the child will naturally have plenty of questions and very few would be answered correctly. The child might not understand what is happening with their bodies, so a conversation is necessary.
- The child might not understand what is happening with their bodies, so a conversation is necessary. Parents have to pick some time out to have this conversation with their children. The child has to be made aware that whatever is happening with their body is very natural.
- With the right conversations, there would not be any space left for confusion, or fear, or shame of any kind. When a child is aware of such changes happening, they are more likely to accept it with less ambivalent feelings.
- A lot of times, a child sees their friends and starts comparing their bodily changes with them. One has to talk and explain how the normal definition of puberty is going to vary across and not everyone is going to grow at the same rate but eventually, they will.
- When a child has many questions, the parent has to deal with patience so that the child does not have to approach someone else. It’s important at this time that the child’s curiosity is not only accepted with open arms but also provided with the right information.
Keeping all of this in mind, one also needs to respect a child’s privacy. Being too involved or interfering can prove to be more harmful to the child than the parents might have intended.
A child needs their space to explore and understand things. However, when they have questions, they should be able to come to the parents to talk and that can only happen when the parents have enforced a healthy environment to support this stage of life and the changes along with it. A lot of times parents might struggle with creating this space and a child could have trouble opening up. It’s best to turn to professionals like counselors in this situation who are just a click away to help facilitate the healthy development of the child.