Sunday, January 15, 2017

Going Through Puberty

The Kyeongyang magazine has an article by a member of a diocesan family bureau on puberty and some lessons gathered from the author's own experience.

His daughter is entering middle school this year, they had a pizza party to commemorate her first monthly period. The father to make this a memorable day besides the party, discussed what happened with the daughter.

What did the girl experience, when did it begin, what did she feel, what did she do with the clothes, were there other girls she knew who had their first periods...  and similar very intimate questions which they discussed at the party with the family. He, the father, without any hesitation spoke very naturally with the daughter and she was at ease with the discussion.

He digresses on points of puberty which he explains for the readers. Often those beginning puberty like to go to bed late and get up late. The reason is the change in the hormones in the body. It is not laziness or lack of virtue but what is happening in the body of the child and the need for  parents to understand the changes taking place.

Studies made  show persons going through puberty need a little bit over 9 hours of sleep. He lists some of the problems that arise when deprived: growth of the brain is hampered, difficulties in studies because of memory loss, and suppression of the growth hormone a cause of anxiety and depression.

In Korea sleeping for 9 hours is difficult. Making the rounds is the myth that four hours you get your college of choice, with five hours you don't. Students required to leave for school early in the morning and return late at night is something society should be concerned.

The visual processing center of the brain is developing and children are conscious of how they are seen by others and interested in good-looking celebrities and clothes others are wearing. Interest in piercing their bodies for jewelry, if not excessive, parents need not be overly concerned, for it will pass in most cases.

The use of mobile phones for games and chatting are  a concern for parents but he doesn't see this as  a problem if parents keep in mind the reasons for the absorption in games. The games have a very clear goal with easy steps. They receive intuitive feedback, and it is a challenge they can handle. Games are not bad but they require close attention by the parents for they are addictive.

Children going trough puberty don't like to be reminded of this fact. At this time they are  becoming independent persons and parents need to help them walk this road. "Do not anger your children. Bring them up with the training and instruction befitting the Lord" (Eph. 6:4).  

He wonders if he does follow these commendations from the Scriptures. It is one thing to know this with the head and another to carry this out in his daily contact with the children. He ends the article by telling his readers that parenting is difficult

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