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5th Grade



How to Talk to Your 5th Grade Son About Puberty, by Dr. Brad SchwallDr. Brad Schwall

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Schools typically offer talks for boys and girls about puberty in the 5th grade.  Issues specific to school include personal hygiene and respect and confidence concerning the varying rates of growth and development across children.  At home, you will want to address other aspects of development to help your child feel at ease about the changes happening and to counter false and inappropriate information that may be shared by your child's peers.  Though the conversations may not be comfortable, the information will help your child feel comfortable.  The conversations can occur over time and in response to teachable moments.

How to Describe Puberty

During puberty, the body produces hormones, chemicals that lead to growth.  This growth includes the growth of hair on the face and pubic region, voice change, and growth in height and muscle tone.  Emphasize that everyone develops at different rates.

When describing the changes, use direct language and proper names for body parts and bodily functions.  Normalize physical changes related to sexuality by describing them as natural physical responses and signs of growth and a maturing body.

Discussing Acne

  • Your skin produces more oil around hair follicles
  • The oil can build up and mix with dead skin cells causing pimples
  • To deal with acne, tell your child to wash his face
  • Tell him not to pop or pick pimples as this causes more oil and dirt to build up making the problem worse - use a washcloth

Discussing Body Odor

  • The chemicals that begin being produced in the body in puberty lead to an odor that occurs when sweat and bacteria mix
  • Talk with your child about showering or bathing regularly
  • Talk with your child about wearing antiperspirant/deodorant

Growing Strong

Encourage your son to grow a strong mind, a strong body, and strong character during this time.  He needs 9-10 hours of sleep and a healthy diet.  As peer pressure intensifies he needs strategies for resisting pressure and role-models who show him how to be respectful and responsible.  Talk with him about ways he can do his best in school, make good choices about that he views and hears, eat well, and be respectful and responsible.  Turn what could be an awkward stage into an opportunity to grow strong by supporting, guiding, and encouraging your son.


©  2013 Dr. Brad Schwall, Author Cool Kids Resources for Schools and Parents.  Permission granted to re-distribute these tips.  The Cool Kids resources help schools develop positive learning environments, children build character, and parents effectively parent their children.  Sign up to receive free parenting tips: www.coolkidschannel.com/parentingtips, DrSchwall@coolkidschannel.com


    © Dr. Brad Schwall - Cool Kids. All Rights Reserved.

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