The onset of puberty typically ranges from 8 to 12 years in girls, and a little later in boys – around 9 to 13 years. This comes with physical changes such as weight gain, changes in fat distribution (e.g., around the hips for girls), voice changes for boys and breast development for girls.
Topping it all off? Tweens’ emotional outbursts can often be triggered by these rapid changes to their body. The Finder Kids consulted some knowledgeable experts on what to expect and what to do, when it comes to…
Heading into puberty, children become more aware of body image and social structures. The desire to fit in can leave tweens susceptible to peer pressure, bullying and stress.
One of the biggest problems for tweens is their self-esteem, which is often linked to bodyimage concerns. How to help? Counsellor Maria Luedeke of Aspire Counselling (www.aspirecounselling.net) suggests parents model a healthy approach to body image for their kids.
“How parents talk about their own body image sets the tone for their kids,” she says, noting that parents should encourage kids to participate in activities not focused on body shape or size, as a way to boost self-esteem. “Focus on things that don’t have anything to do with appearance, such as having a great sense of humour, being a good friend or doing their best in academics, sports or the arts.”
However, she cautions: “If you find your child is overly focused on his or her body image – to the point where it is interfering in daily functioning, or he or she is demonstrating behavior chang