The threshold to becoming a ‘grown up’, puberty can be a trying time for both parents and their young soon-to-be adult. So what can we expect, and how can we ease the path through the emotional ups and downs and the physical changes?
In short, puberty is the period of sexual maturation and achievement of fertility. The best way to deal with different challenges at this period is to know about them and face them.
By Dr. Mohamed Abdu – TABIBI Pediatrician
- Physical changes
These occur due to changes in the hormone levels and manifest as development of fuller breasts in girls, change of voice and the appearance of facial hair in boys, acne, the growth of pubic hair in girls and boys, and the onset of menstruation in girls.
These can be addressed through explaining that it is normal for the body to change, and by encouraging them to stay healthy and fit through nutritious diet and exercise.
- Behavioral changes
Overwhelming emotions can lead to impulsive behavior that can be harmful. Your teen’s dress code, hairstyle, and sense of fashion also change, often to something you may not approve of. That can be solved by gaining your child’s trust. Do not judge them, and let them know you love them.
- Emotional changes
Hormones affect teenagers emotionally. They tend to feel overly emotional, that can make them happy, excited, sad or angry. The best way to release pent up feelings is through exercise.
- Educational challenges
The stress to perform academically and obtain college admissions can be harmful for a teenager. Try to encourage your child to reach his or her college admission without stress, be supportive and encourage good nutrition and exercise.
- Smoking and substance abuse
Teenagers are vulnerable and can be easily swayed to pick up bad habits. Substance abuse is an example. Peer pressure is one of the significant factors that encourages adolescents to take up smoking or other risky habits, so keep an eye on your child’s behavior and be aware of any changes.
- Psychological problems
The most common psychological disorders that occur during adolescence are anxiety, mood disorders, panic disorders and depressive disorders. In order to avoid these problems try to keep an open dialogue about any of their problems.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can prevent the onset of depression. If you notice that your child is becoming too moody, he or she may need to be examined by a physician.
You can talk with specialized doctors and make an appointment with a Tabibi physician 24/7 by contacting call center 16724.