Tip #4: Use the Right Tools
When you begin a project, what is one of the first things you do? You probably gather the tools you will need to do the job. If you don’t have the right tools for the project, it can be frustrating or impossible to be successful. The same is true of teaching your child about puberty. Equipping your child to have a positive puberty experience is an important project. Use the right tools to help you feel ready for success.
Fortunately, many more tools are available for you to use than in previous years. In fact, it can be challenging to choose among the options. Here are a few of my favorite tools:
Amaze has developed a whole set of cartoon videos for children ages 8-12. They cover a wide variety of topics. These videos were created for kids, with input from kids. Each video is about three minutes long and creates a fun way to introduce a topic and begin a conversation. Be sure to watch them first to see which videos you like best for your family. Then save them as your own “My Amaze” playlist.
Amaze Junior has developed a set of cartoon videos for younger children ages 4-9. They provide gentle introductions to topics that are relevant for the younger set. Use these two- to three-minute videos to introduce your child to a topic and then follow up with a short discussion. The videos come in two versions, so watch them first to select the version that works best for your child. Save your favorites in your own “My Amaze” playlist.
You probably already know that books are a favorite tool of mine. Read my blog post “Tip #1: Read Books” for book lists and book reviews. Begin by reading one written for parents. Next select a couple to read together with your child. Then, select a few for your child to read alone and keep in their room so they can look up information as they experience new stages of puberty.
Brand-new and hot off the press, Bloom Playbooks are interactive kits teach your child about puberty and sexuality in a way that feels a lot like play. Each kit includes three spiral-bound books with developmentally appropriate activities about empathy, safety, and biology. The Playbooks are available for three age groups: 5-10, 7-12, and 9-14. Have fun as you actively engage your child in their learning.
You don’t need to know all the answers; you just need to know where to find the answers. These websites have reliable information about puberty:
- Understanding Puberty, KidsHealth
- Parent Resources, Puberty: The Wonder Years
- For Parents, Planned Parenthood
- Puberty, MedlinePlus
- For Parents: What to Expect When Your Child Goes Through Puberty, American Academy of Family Physicians
- Physical Development: What’s Normal? What’s Not? American Academy of Pediatrics
- Puberty Information for Boys and Girls, Avert
- Roo Chatbot, Planned Parenthood
- Videos for Parents, Planned Parenthood