Puberty hits, fast. Sadly, there’s no warning sign that appears above tweens’ heads saying “WARNING!! PUBERTY APPROACHING IN THREE… TWO… ONE” So, as parents, we take our chances and wait on the edge of our seats. It’s best to be prepared, don’t you think? It’s far better to stock up on everything we need, early, before our puberty stress-levels get so high we’re hitting emergency buttons and calling the fire department in panic.
For this post, I polled parents of teens, pediatricians, nurses, teachers and administrators to find out what they recommend to be the items every family should stock up on to prepare for puberty. Most recommended that you have these items in your homes before your oldest reaches age ten. Most links in this post are affilliate links, thank you.
Books about growing up
|For Girls||For Boys|
|The Care and Keeping of You: The Body Book for Younger Girls, Revised Edition. Once you and your girls are comfortable with the first book, move onto the second||The Boy’s Body Book: Third Edition: Everything You Need to Know for Growing Up YOU|
When a punching bag was first mentioned, I thought it was a joke. But it resonated with me. Punching a pillow is something we’ve taught our kids and we have done ourselves. It’s far better to punch a pillow or a bag, than to punch a wall or a person in frustration. So, an investment in a punching bag will encourage children to take out their frustrations in a positive manner. (Bonus! It could also lead to strength training for the family.)
Early last Fall, my 5th grade son’s teacher sent an email to the parents of the entire class. In it, she explained that having a classroom full of 25 11-year-olds after recess or PE can be quite disturbing to a sense of smell. She requested that all parents purchase a tube of deodorant, and teach their kids to use it.
Well said, Mrs. G.
A few months after my son began wearing deodorant, I took him with me to CVS so that he could self-select the scent of deodorant he preferred to wear. I was surprised at how seriously he took this activity (and how long he took to select his brand and scent.)
The clothes… oh the clothes. We’ve all seen moms complain about the massive amounts of laundry piling up, and how to combat the laundry stink as it lays around the floor. A laundry hamper in each kids’ room helps make it easier to clean up the dirty clothes. It also will encourage kids to learn to do their own laundry… or so I’ve been told. We’ll see.
Many polled parents mentioned hair care and skin care. As tweens and teens enter puberty, their body will produce different oils than before. It’s going to be important to teach kids to create healthy skin and hair care habits.
A lot of moms tell me that using a shampoo/conditioner combination is the way to go. And most days of the week, that’s what we do. But twice a week, we’re using a better shampoo (yes, a pricier one) that was recommended by my hair salon. A stronger shampoo helps to wash out the unnecessary, heavy build-up by lightening the oils produced by the body and added from the regular shampoos and conditioners.
|For Girls||Aveeno Nourish + Moisturize Shampoo, 10.5 oz|
|For Boys||Dove Men+Care Fresh Clean 2 in 1 Shampoo + Conditioner 12 Ounce|
We all remember being teens… it wasn’t too long ago. It was the time when my face reacted exactly how I didn’t want it to. Keep good skincare product in your home and teach your kids to develop good skincare habits. Look specifically for skincare that is created with sensitive skin of tweens and teens in mind.
|pimple cream||Bliss No Zit Sherlock Spot Treatment for Unisex, 0.5 Ounce|
I am forever grateful that my mom taught me to shave with an electric razor and not a regular one — there’s no way I was ready to shave, safely, with a sharp, flat edge when the dark hairs on my legs was begging for a shave. I asked Panasonic for recommendations for the best shavers for teens. She mentioned the importance of finding hypo-allergenic shavers for teens’ sensitive skin:
|For Girls||Wet/Dry Shaver with Pop-Up Trimmer|
Back & Forth Notebook
I love this idea a friend recommended. Often during puberty, she points out, kids clam up and don’t want to talk. But they still need to be able to communicate. She recommends introducing a private back and forth notebook into your home. This way, teens can ask questions about life without having to utter the words. Parents have the opportunity as well.
While a regular notebook or journal will work fine, there’s a mother/daughter version available: Just Between Us: A No-Stress, No-Rules Journal for Girls and Their Moms.
Easy to grab food
It’s true: these kids are growing a lot and they eat, a lot. Make it easier for all of you by keeping a grocery list in the kitchen and invite kids’ to add their favorites all the time. We recently purchased an Amazon Echo. Now, whenever the kids eat the last of their favorite food (let’s say it’s Pirate Booty) they simple direct the Echo to order more by saying “Alexa, add Pirate Booty to the shopping list.” Anytime my husband or I go to the store, we can open the Echo app and see what’s been added to the list.
A magnetic notepad on the refrigerator will work well, too.
Foot spray, foot powder and sneaker balls
I’m pretty sure that seeing this on the list is bringing about a lot more nodding heads than questions. It goes without saying that stinky feet are common among tweens. We should probably all buy stock in these products.
Natural Shoe and Foot Deodorizer spray for Active Feet
Dr. Scholl’s Odor X All Day Deodorant Powder
Sof Sole Matrix Sneaker Balls — per my son’s suggestion, we’re starting to also keep these in gym bags and goal keeper gloves.
For her first period
With my daughter being only 6-years-old, I referred to my friends with tween daughters for this section. Please make sure you’re ready for this early on by having the right supplies in your home, talking with your daughter before her first period, and teaching her about pantyliners.
*Moms of pre-pubescent boys: please, please keep a teen-friend tampon and pad in your bathroom just in case a friend is over and needs it!
- Hello Flo Period Starter Kit (read the reviews from teen girls — they’re so sweet!)
- Always Totally Teen Always Radiant Infinity Pads
- Radiant plastic regular absorbency unscented tampons (for when you both feel she’s ready for tampons)
- KAVU Sidewinder Bag (to carry important items)
- SHANY Cosmetics Limited Edition Mini Tote Bag — this bag cosmetic is perfect for hiding her personals in her school backpack.
From a friend: “We just got each of our kids extra sheets and put them in their room and said, if you ever need to change sheets in the middle of the night, here they are. Told them to wash the dirty ones right away and they don’t have to explain or even tell us.”
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