The Parent's Survival Guide to Puberty

Survival Guide to PubertyEveryone knows that it is a parent's right and duty to prepare their child to survive puberty. It is a strange and difficult time and parents, at least, have the benefit of having gone through it themselves and come out the other side. So they are expected to be their child's guides through this period of life and to help them reach the shores of personhood intact and healthy.

It is a big responsibility and one that leaves most parents feeling a little panicky. Perhaps you wish that you had your own guide, to help you through your child's puberty, or perhaps you'd just like to know that there are a few hard and fast rules out there for you to rely on. Either way, you'll find that though this is a sea you'll have to navigate on your own, there are plenty of resources available to help you plot a course.

Knowledge and the Big Picture

One of the reasons that puberty is such a terrifying and confusing time for parents and children alike is that the stakes are extremely high and the number of issues coming to a head is almost overwhelming in its size. The best thing that you can do then, is to take a step back and take a look at the big picture before you dive in and tackle each issue as it comes up.

The first and most important big picture issue for you to tackle is concerned with knowledge. You need to know your child in order to respond to their shifting needs during a time when they themselves may not even be able to articulate them. Just as importantly though, you need to provide your child with the knowledge that will get them through this period. Properly equipping your child to take on puberty is a project that begins long before the first signs of this sea change start to appear.

If you have not discussed something before it even happens, then you are much less likely to be able to make the necessary impact on your child. Worse, your child may stop coming to you with their problems or concerns, leaving them without a valuable advisor and guide and you without a very necessary window into their life.

Structure and the Small Picture

Keeping the lines of communication open is just one of your many responsibilities right now. You also have to provide your child with other sources of structure and support during puberty. They will need a set of rules to abide by as they begin to test themselves and their developing identities. These rules must be enforced solidly and consistently so that your teen can respect them, but they must also be designed to respond to your child shifting needs.

Remember though, a consistently enforced, but patently unfair rule will only undermine your relationship with your child whereas a well chosen rule will give them something to live up to and eventually respect. In the end, the key to surviving puberty is to listen and love your child for who they are and who they are becoming.

You might also find the following helpful:

Age-Appropriate Manners and Lessons

Bullying in Schools

Giving More Attention

Cleaning Their Rooms




Football and food go together. That's a lot of game day food pressure, so from appetizers to the best chili recipes ever...we'll make sure you don't fumble.

Best Chili Recipes

Game Day Recipes

   Thanksgiving Sides

Thanksgiving Sides

From stuffing to potatoes and dozens of other mouth-watering sides, we've got the recipes for the perfect Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Sides

25 Days of Christmas

25 Days of Christmas

Celebrate 25 Days of Christmas with activities every day from December 1st until Christmas Day!

25 Days of Christmas Activities

Easy dinner recipes, dinner ideas, and pre-planned weekly dinner menus make having a homemade dinner easier than takeout. You may think you're making simple dinners each night but your family will remember those dinners as memorable moments in time.
Check out the best selection on the Internet; great dinners for real families in our Think Dinner section. Easy Dinner Recipes is where you'll find the free, easy family dinner plans.
Dinner Ideas is dinner central, the place to get all your dinner recipes. From ideas for tonight to recipes based on time, ingredients, and cooking style; we'd love to have you join us at the dinner table.