Somehow the dictionary definition doesn’t seem to do the experience justice. “Puberty is the process of physical changes through which a child’s body matures into an adult body capable of sexual reproduction. ”
For those of us working with young people the definition seems so sterile, so logical and so easy. But the experience is far from those – it is irrational, emotional, exciting and scary as the “process” progresses.
So how can we help?
Of course we can give them the facts, or more repeat the facts that they have learned in health class. We can help them work through the schoolyard information and see which parts are true and which parts are not. But it’s not usually the facts that present themselves for discussion but rather the emotional, hormonal side of puberty that present at our door. Often the early or late bloomers are the ones with the concerns particularly when they are being subject to comments from other kids – or even from their family.
Check out this months resources on puberty where I talk about the issues early and late developers face; how you can help the student; how you can help the parent along with some helpful links.
Next week I will talk a little about my experiences – both my pubertical (a made up word) journey as well as encounters I have had on my 24 years of working with young people. As always, if you have any comments or questions or want to share your experiences please comment below.