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Teen Health: Surviving Puberty  Previous Next

Surviving Puberty

Terrance Lile (Uncle Terry)

So you made it through the “terrible two’s” and early parts of childhood. You went through the potty training. You survived the tantrums while shopping when the little ones wanted everything they saw and would start screaming when they didn’t get it. You tried shouting at your child and found that this works as well as driving your car with its horn. Soon things are going much smoother and you are finding it easier to love your child. It looks as if you have trained some very well mannered children that know you are the boss and they better listen up or else. Once again, I hate to remind you folks but you also have the joy of puberty and adolescence to look forward to. Now, I realize you were a perfect child and never gave your parents a bit of trouble. You never back-talked, fibbed, snuck out of the house or did anything else that your parents should be upset about. I understand just where you are coming from, for I was a perfect child too. Now my brother and sisters, I know they gave our parents plenty of trouble but me, I was just the one that got grounded or spanked when they did something wrong. Now with your child it will be different than it was with you.

As your cute little darling is going through the adolescent years you are going to have some very trying times. Adolescence is the age at which children stop asking questions because they know all of the answers. This is the time they are going to do all of those things that we don’t want to admit that we did. You will tell them not to snack before supper and a little while later you catch them with a cookie and soda pop in their hand. “But mom, I caught the dog with the soda and cookie and I was just putting them away.” You catch them sneaking into the house at midnight when you had sent them off to bed at 9PM. “But dad, I heard a noise outside and was just checking on the cat.” You ask, “Did you do your homework this afternoon?” “Oh yes,” they reply, but the next day you get a call from the school, only to find out that no homework has been turned in for the last two weeks. Over time, you try all types of punishment from taking privileges away, grounding and spanking (yes, the good old spanking does still go on in some homes, but nothing seems to work.

The adolescent continues to defy you and you keep fighting back. Remember this is adolescence, an age when the children are trying to bring up their parents. Don’t fret, you are lucky, for in 8 to 10 years they should be through this stage, and time does seem to go by fast when you are having fun.

While puberty and the teen years are often spotted with periods of hell for the parents, it is also a magnificent time. A time when what was once no more than just a seed (egg) and a bit of fertilizer (sperm) has started to develop into a beautiful flower. I know you will have days when you think of them more as a vegetable or weed than a flower but this is normal, so don’t fret, just survive.

If we can think back as far as our own puberty and adolescent years, we will remember that there were periods of hell for us, too. Our bodies were making some horrific changes that we probably did not completely understand. In all honesty, if we were placed under hypnosis, we would probably find out that we, too, were rebellious.

It isn’t easy to change from a child to an adult, something that we didn’t choose. The chemicals in our bodies called hormones made this choice. As we are going through these changes we are doing a lot of questioning, we start to get a bit of hair under our arms and on our crotch and we think that we are now grown up and should be treated as an adult. We want to do things our way and not be told how we should to it. The word “no” is not in our vocabulary, at least when our parents or other adults tell us that we shouldn’t do something.

You will have times when your teenager has episodes of anger and negativity in which they slam doors and scream tirades. According to experts, most puberty-driven “snit fits” last and average of 15 minutes, it just seems like longer because they are doing it off and on for about 15 years.


Terrance Lile (Uncle Terry) is not your typical writer and advisor on sexual relationships. He serves frank, down to earth, sometimes brutal advice on sex and life. He uses humor and knowledge gained through extensive reading and personal experience. He has the support of advisors from medical and mental professionals to educators and clergy and pornographers to prostitutes. Uncle Terry can be found at http://www.askuncleterry.com

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