Supporting your child’s communication and social skills through puberty means that you need to become more comfortable talking about puberty. This includes using the correct terminology for private body parts and behaviours. E.g., penis, breasts, vagina, masturbation. This may be a bit awkward at first, but using the correct terminology will help to minimise the confusion that can happen when different people use different slang words.
The more comfortable you are in talking about puberty to your child, the more comfortable they will be to talk to you about puberty.
Model good communication and social skills in your conversations
Modelling good communication and social skills in your conversations helps to show your child how they can be a good communicator.
This can include modelling things like:
- turn-taking in conversation
- asking consent (e.g., consent to go to a friend’s home or touch their belongings)
- respectful disagreement
You can model this in your conversations with your child and your conversations with other people as well.
You could also record a video of yourself or your child modelling good communication and social skills. Your child can then re-watch the video as many times as they need to learn the skill. This is called video modelling and can be particularly useful for children with autism who may find face-to-face social situations confronting.