"Mommy what is this on my....?"
The daunting question that every new parent dreads to hear. Here you have your baby, that you watched grow up so fast, within such a short amount of time asking questions about their special place. I don't know about you but my heart dropped into the soul of my shoe. Your first thought is to dismiss the whole conversation and hope for a simple answer to pop into your head, but none appear. So what do you do? How should you approach the situation without sharing too much information, that could ruin your child's innocents? Well here are a few ideas that may help.
1. Make them feel comfortable
One thing for sure you don't want to make them feel like they have done something wrong for asking a question. Keep in mind that they are young and very inquisitive at this age, you don't want to make them scared to come to you when they really need you, so try to be calm when answering.
2. Ask them questions
Next try asking them questions too, see how much they think they know. This way you can feel in the blanks with your insights.
3. Make a Doctors Appointment
Once you have an idea on what they may know or don't know schedule you both a doctors visit. If you live in the Newark area there are family practices in the Newark Public Schools. (ie Talk to your school district to find the local Jewish Renaissance Center)
This visit will promote open communication. Allow your child to sit in the room with you as the doctor ask you questions. Let them see you vulnerable while the doctor ask you questions. By doing this, it shows the that they can trust them. Then allow the doctor to give them some basic information on their body changes.
4. Let them ask questions
After the introductions, see if they have any question of their own to ask. By doing this you help them see that its ok to ask questions. It will also keep them from feeling self conscious about the changes they are going through.
These are just a few things that you can do if you feel overwhelmed. Talking to your child about Puberty can be challenging, but its important. Many children turn to their friends or other adults for this information. As parents we need to become more proactive in educating our children so that they have the right information as well as be comfortable in their own skin.