When you first notice your child experiencing hormonal and mood changes, your first instinct might be to run screaming from the house. And your second instinct might have you looking for reliable advice. However, take caution when you ask for opinions about puberty or teenagers. Every child experiences puberty differently, and lots of misinformation circulates that could mislead or even harm your child. Below, we’ve compiled three puberty myths you can ignore in favor of medical research, and sound parenting advice.
Myth #1: The Teenage Brain Isn’t Fully Formed
Many people excuse teenage mood swings and peculiar behavior saying that the rational thinking portion of the brain has yet to develop. Although your son or daughter will continue to grow and mature through puberty and beyond, the size and development of the brain finishes at the onset of puberty.
Instead of focusing on brain chemistry when your pre-teen makes a bad decision, sit down with your child and talk about responsible decision making. Encourage your child to set standards for their own behavior and write it down. Then ask them frequently how they feel they are living up to their own expectations. Teach them now to take responsibility for their actions and rely on their own instincts.
Myth #2: Greasy Food Causes Acne
It’s possible that parents blame fatty foods or a lack of hygiene for their kids’ acne to scare them into changing their ways. But the truth is, acne results from the body’s reaction to new hormones, not a lackluster diet.
Give your child an incentive to eat healthy by talking about the benefits of a balanced diet on the body and the mind. Provide healthy snacks for breaks at school, especially on test-taking days. And if your child suffers from a severe case of acne, call a dermatologist in Austin or in your local city. A topical facewash with acne medication or an oral prescription can help clear up pimples and boost your child’s confidence with peers.
Myth #3: All Kids Go Boy or Girl Crazy When They Experience Puberty
Scientists have compared the feelings of infatuation that teenagers experience, to a drug-induced high. However, not every child is a romance addict. Some kids don’t even begin the maturation process until their late teens, and some fully-developed teenagers don’t express interest in the opposite sex or in any romantic relationships.
Instead of assuming that your child’s behavior is motivated by their obsession for romance, establish open communication with your child. Ask your son or daughter how they feel about the dating scene at school. When your child feels ready, talk to them about curfews and acceptable behaviors while dating.
When you avoid misinformation, you give your kids the benefit of the doubt while they experience the dramatic changes of puberty, and strengthen your relationship as a family.