By Lauren Ranalli, MPH | August 9, 2022
Director of Marketing and Communications, ETR
What do you remember from your own experience of going through puberty? For many of us, it was a time of confusion, excitement, embarrassment, anxiety, anticipation, and a mix of other emotions.
Puberty is a time when a body changes from a child’s body to an adult body. It happens to everyone, and each person goes through puberty at their own pace. As trusted adults working with young people, how can we help our students, patients, or program participants get through this challenging time?
Puberty and personal health are some of the fundamental topics covered in the skills-based health education curriculum, HealthSmart. If you are working with young people, here are 5 messages from HealthSmart that you can share around puberty:
1.) Remember that you’re not alone. Puberty happens to everyone. The adults in your life went through it. Your friends and classmates are going through it. Each person has their own way of growing and changing, but everyone grows and changes.
2.) Get the information you need. Find adults that you can trust. Your parents, relatives, doctors, nurses, teachers, and school counselors may all be people who can give you support. Know who you can go to so that you can find reliable answers to your questions.
3.) Take good care of your body. Your body is going through a lot of changes that can impact you physically and emotionally. Be sure to eat healthy food, be physically active, and get enough sleep. This can make it easier to get through some of the emotional ups and downs.
4.) Pay attention to hygiene. Changing hormones can mean you sweat more and may have body order. This is normal. It’s important to shower or bathe regularly, wash your hair, and use deodorant. Keeping your body clean helps you look and feel good.
5.) Work on a skill. Find something you like to do and can do well. It could be sports, music, cooking, studying, building or fixing things, training your dog, drawing, or writing stories. Having something you do well helps you feel good about yourself and worry less about the changes you are going through.
Looking for more science-based puberty information to share with young people? Puberty Facts is one of our most popular resources! Available in both English and Spanish, this pamphlet addresses the most common questions and concerns that come up during puberty.
This content was adapted from HealthSmart, the nation's leading skills-based health education curriculum. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about HealthSmart’s digital and print lessons for grades K –12 and discuss opportunities for your community.
Lauren Ranalli, MPH (she/her/hers) is a public health professional and the Director of Marketing and Communications at ETR. She can be reached at email@example.com.