As your youth approaches the teen years you will want to be aware of the 4 main areas that you will see changes in:

Physical
Emotional
Social
Spiritual

Some of these changes will be obvious and some of these not so obvious. As life parades on and you are a parent to multiple children at different stages it can be very easy to lose sight of your youth’s development as they enter the tween years. In these posts I will only be scratching the surface but I hope that you find something that will encourage you and enable you to 
Be Brave….

In this post I will tackle  the first one…..


1. Physical

Physical changes begin to happen around 11 years old and sometimes earlier. 
Thinking back to your own adolescence you probably recall how awkward it can be. 
Here are just some:
*Hormones, height, weight, voice changing, hair in places it wasn’t before, hands & feet larger (seems like this happens before their height can catch up), sweatier, acne, sexual physical changes for boys and girls
OH so AWKWARD……..
Ugh! And to top it off in the middle school years some mature sooner than others. This is a storm for self doubt, comparison and ugly self confidence killers. 

As a parent what are some ways that you can help your youth?
*Be aware of how their clothes fit.One of my daughters feet grew 3 shoe sizes and she didn’t even say anything to me! When I found out I totally felt like the ‘bad’ mom. She didn’t want to bother me and was cramping her foot into too small of shoes.  Often a child’s feet will grow larger before their height catches up to the size of their feet. Their pants may be too short, or if you have girls they need a bra.They may not want to say anything because they are becoming very aware of all of the changes happening to their bodies. Approach them and make it easy for them to come ask.
 
*Be prepared to help them with personal hygiene…..They may need stronger deodorant, face wash for their acne, or shampoo for oily hair or if you have girls the dreaded word ‘makeup’. Help them out by being willing to purchase these products and do your best to not embarrass them. Truly…they are already embarrassed enough by all of this weird stuff happening to their bodies. 
 
*Be prepared for a new style….They may want a new haircut, different styles of clothing, this is part of their independence see this post
Give them the freedom to wear and buy clothes that they previously would have had no interest in. This does not exclude modesty, it does include change in color and style. Your youth that used to be satisfied with jeans from Kohl’s wants jeans from American Eagle. Or your little girl that used to love pink wants to wear neon colors and black. Hang on….mama everything will be alright….
 
*Be Open….To have uncomfortable conversations about hair, boobs & genitals….as well as sex. I have survived 3 conversations of the ‘talk’ and multiple subsequent conversations about related topics. I will say that the first was the hardest. It is excruciating as a parent to think that now you MUST talk about these topics with your child. It opens a door that you would rather stay shut, but the truth is it won’t. As a parent it is tempting to just buy a book and toss it to them and say ‘here is what you need to know, read it and come talk to me’ but this  will not meet their needs. They need conversation, they will have questions & they need YOU. It may seem like they don’t…like your opinion and values are not as important as a friend’s but they are. Trust me a lot of kids are already talking about it. They know because they may have friends that have already experienced these changes earlier than they have. Be brave…..once you open this conversation they will come to you when they have other questions. Be the one that your youth can talk to without fear of criticism or judgement. It may seem scary,  but the Lord will help you….

“Wait for the Lord; be brave and take heart…”
Psalm 27:14

 

 

 
If you have questions or need some encouragement you are NOT alone 🙂
feel free to email me  @cindyfincherfaith@gmail.com
My Joy-Filled Life