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If you don't know the answers, get them from someone who does, like a trusted friend or your pediatrician. You can hear when your child's starting to tell jokes about sex or when attention to personal appearance is increasing.This is a good time to jump in with your own questions such as: A yearly physical exam is a great time to talk about this.A doctor can tell your preadolescent — and you — what to expect in the next few years.An exam can be a jumping-off point for a good parent/child discussion.If teenagers want to dye their hair, paint their fingernails black, or wear funky clothes, think twice before you object.

But the primary goal of the teen years is to achieve independence.Give your child books on puberty written for kids going through it. There's nothing like knowing that mom or dad went through it, too, to put kids more at ease.Practice empathy by helping your child understand that it's normal to be a bit concerned or self-conscious, and that it's OK to feel grown-up one minute and like a kid the next.If parents have appropriate expectations, teens will likely try to meet them.Without reasonable expectations, your teen may feel you don't care about him or her.

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