I can’t tell you I’m an expert when it comes to puberty. I have been through it once myself which is a terrible sample size, scientifically speaking. I have one child who is on the cusp of it. The cusp is a scary sort of place to be as a parent. You hear the stories and you wonder what it will be like “when the hormones hit”. In fact, as a parent to a girl, I have been warned many times since birth about these hormones and how horrific the teenage years are.
I was a teenager once too
I remember being a teenager. I remember feelings of anxiety, pouring out of me in anger and yelling. I remember feeling like I didn’t really fit into any of the school groups. This resulted in loud music and poetry. I may have hang on the phone a bit long, though I don’t remember ever spending more than five minutes getting ready to go anywhere. I didn’t sneak out at night, and none of the screaming lasted more than that moment of frustration or worry.
Because we are on the cusp of this puberty journey with my eldest, I have been trying to carve out extra time with her. I tell her tales of my teenage years, and what things were like for me. I hope that doing this helps her know that some of the things that are coming, are normal and okay. I hope it also helps her see me as an open person she can always talk to.
Time for deodorant
Recently, one small change has happened. It brought this memory flooding into my mind. Back in the early 90s I was at school and someone unkindly pointed out that I stunk. I say unkindly because they seemed very pleased after passing this information onto me. I was mortified and kept to myself the rest of the day. I don’t remember the logistics of it, but I know I soon had a bottle of Impulse to spritz around.
When I noticed a faint smell after a long and sweaty hike with her, I mentioned a mummy/daughter trip to the supermarket to check out the deodorants. I thought I knew what kind of scent she’d be after, but of course she surprised me by wanting something that they didn’t stock! Instead she sat on the floor by the huge array and quite overwhelmed, smelt every one I handed to her. After sniffing approximately 26, she settled on one with an oddly grown up name that makes her giggle a lot.
She’s still a wee bit unsure about it. Applying it is still awkward and unnatural to her. The sensation of it, is an oddness that stays under her arm all day. But more than that, it’s a marker that time is moving on. It’s a big neon light saying “these carefree childhood days are almost gone”. She is sensitive and feels it coming like a freight train. I know it will be a slow trip for her, but it doesn’t always feel like it. If I could slow it down for her I would.
The journey into puberty
I don’t know what kind of teen she will be. But I know she can’t be anything but herself as she traipses into this foreign land of puberty. I often think that when this child who I know and love becomes a teenager, it might not be as bad as everyone says. She is an amazing human already. Chances are she’ll be more her by the end, than she is now.
This blog was written by Kym Moore.
- The stages of puberty for girls
- Raising a psychologically healthy teenager
- Challenges can make teens stronger
- Make-up and your teen