At a certain point, your kids will mature past the child stage and become preteens. This stage is often the most challenging for many young people and requires a lot of careful planning, preparation, and understanding. For example, you’re going to have to talk with them about many different life elements to get them ready for their teen years. Therefore, the following three talks must all be taken ASAP.
The Driving Talk
Few things rattle parents like their preteen learning how to drive. They don’t want their teen to become one of the millions of drivers who experience minor to severe injuries every year while driving. That’s why it is essential to talk about driving right away, including finding time to let your preteen handle a car for the first time and practice their skills.
Identify a safe place where your teen can learn how to turn on, turn off, accelerate, brake, turn, and otherwise handle their car. Talk to them about things they do right and wrong, giving pointers on how well they did. Just as importantly, you can talk about the dangers of drunk driving and let them know, if they do drink, to call you and let you know so that you can pick them up and keep them safe.
The Sex Talk
No talk is going to be more challenging than talking with your child about sex. While our sources indicate the average age for teens having sex the first time is just under 17, many teens have sex well before then. Preteens are likely in the early stages of sexual exploration. Please talk with your preteen about this and let them know you’re here to answer any questions that they need.
As part of your sex talk, you must talk about the dangers of online dating and other concerns. After all, our sources indicate that the daily usage of device data went from 12 GB in March 2019 to 16.6 GB one year later. This 38% increase suggests a higher amount of general use, including sharing pictures and photos with romantic partners or even potential online predators.
The ‘Maturing Body’ Talk
As your kids grow, they’re going to start noticing some rather strange changes in their bodies. For example, boys will get deeper voices and start shedding much of their baby fat. Body hair will also grow on both boys and girls, including under the arms, across the rest of the body, and around their genitals. This hair growth can be startling for young preteens and must be discussed before it happens.
Let them know that this hair is completely normal and is nothing about which they should be ashamed. Then, you need to talk to your teen girls about the steps they can take to keep their body hair in check. While some girls may want to go au naturale, most will not. After all, female body hair removal is as old as civilization itself, with evidence of ancient India removing body hair between 4,000-3,000 BC.
Boys, too, need to be taught steps like shaving their face. However, some boys may want to grow beards, as it does provide extra warmth and some protection against impact injury.
When you start talking with your kids, it might be hard to see them as children anymore. However, preteens and even teens up to 17 and 18 are, in many ways, still in the emotional stage of their childhood. As a result, you need to assess their reaction to these talks and make sure that they are ready for these life changes in any way that makes sense for your needs.