When Puberty Knocks
I logged onto our family Amazon account and immediately my recent browsing history popped up. My heart sank as I saw the first thing that came up on my screen. I definitely had not browsed this particular item at all. Was one of my boys trying to buy this content? The product had women, on it with suggestive clothing and made my stomach twist in knots. I called my husband and we decided it was best for him to ask one of the boys for an explanation. Thankfully, it was clicked on by mistake. But all the same, it was enough for me to be reminded that different days would soon come, as my children get older.
It can seem like yesterday, your biggest challenges were chasing your toddler to come sit, eat or sleep. And now, puberty. While our kids are off being excited about becoming a “pre-teen” or teen, we may inwardly be cringing. We may not feel prepared for what is to come. But our kids need to know what it means to handle the different changes that will be coming in their mind, emotions, and bodies. And most importantly, they need to learn how to handle their natural process of maturing in a way that honors Christ.
Let’s face it, everything online or in stores that is geared toward puberty aged kids, is not based on a biblical lifestyle. So, it is imperative that we as parents seek God and bible-based tools to help our children navigate their adolescent years.
Don't Make it Weird
Get yourself together prior to engaging our children. You got this! Short and frequent conversations at the onset of puberty are a great starting point to see what is on your child’s mind and to set the foundation for more in-depth conversations later. Keep in mind although you may know other children the same age as your child, maturity levels vary. Don't ever feel obligated to approach your child like anyone else’s child. You will know how best to disseminate information and discuss details revolving around sex, relationships and the changes they will experience in their body.
Open the Word, Before Looking at the World
Always lay the groundwork that God’s way is the best way. He is the orchestrator of all things good and profitable in the long run. There are a lot of books, television shows, and other materials that will teach a young boy or girl how they should handle puberty, but their bible-based worldview is what they can always rely on. We aren’t expecting our kids to be perfect, but we are supposed to train them in the way they should go.
All this can feel overwhelming. Maybe you think somehow, they will figure it all out. But I implore you not to take that route. Let’s be willing to do the work! Pray over your child's purity of mind, body and spirit daily. Teach and explain why you set boundaries in your home. And, don’t let your own past mistakes or your current fears define how you handle your child’s pubescent years. Instead, celebrate your child as they walk into this new exciting season. Give your child the confidence and the tools they need to honor God; now and well into their future.