How To Talk To Tweens About Puberty: 20 Conversations That Could've Gone Better

Many parents know that talking to children about puberty and all of the changes that will soon be happening to their bodies is never easy. After all, they’ve got other things on their minds like the latest phone apps, their chic eraser collection, and getting ready for the Season 4 premiere of Netflix’s Fuller House (trust us, it’s a big thing among tweens).

And while parents often find that they can talk with their kids about anything (like the Red Sox, Taylor Swift, the latest Nintendo Switch game or why crop tops should not make a comeback), they still have a hard time with that “talk.” Because no matter how prepared you think you are, you might never be prepared for their questions or even what’s to come. No two people are the same, and as much as tweens want to look like their peers, they also want to stand out from the crowd, too.

With that being said, here are 20 conversations that could have gone better between parents and their tweens on the “puberty talk.” Some of these might leave you scratching your head, others will leave you laughing until you cry. Take a look below and let us know what you think!

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20 From Childhood To Adulthood

It’s without a doubt that a lot of kids have a difficult time transitioning from childhood to adulthood. That’s because they still want to play with their dolls, toys and whatever is underneath their bed, but they are also ready for the next step in their lives. Some parents have tried to use their children’s favorite things to help with ‘the talk.’ One mom named Hannah said on FB, “I tried to explain puberty by going over certain things with my daughter using her AG dolls. Let’s just say that she was left confused and refused to play with her dolls afterwards. I should have just stuck with the AG books!”

19 The Mood Swings

If there is one sign that says your pre-tween is going through one stage to the next, it’s all of the mood swings that they are probably experiencing at once. One mom named Christina explained on FB, “I tried to talk about PMS with my daughter right after she got her first period. I wanted to be up front with her about what kind of hell it can sometimes feel like and explained all of the moodiness and the symptoms that she’ll probably experience. Her response was a simple one. She told me, ‘So that explains why you’ve been acting weird every month for the last few years.’ It was a facepalm moment for me, to say the least.”

18 Dad’s Pizza Face Problems

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One dad thought that sharing his own battles with pre-teen acne would help his daughter, but unfortunately, it just made things worse. Nobody wants to hear about how being a “pizza face” might be genetically inherited. One dad named Alex recalled on FB, “I used to have horrible pimple problems as a kid. I thought that by showing my daughter photos of her dad’s old pizza face, she’d feel better about having acne. Nope. It didn’t work. She was absolutely horrified over what she saw. I should have stuck to just buying her anti-acne stuff like all the other parents do instead!”

17 Natural State

No one wants to talk about it, but someone has got to say something, right? Well, the topic came up after one parent showed his pre-teen son the hit movie Titanic for the first time. One dad named Marc recalled on FB, “So my son saw Titanic for the first time, but I failed to remember that Jack was actually a pretty graphic artist for his time. He liked to draw women in their natural state. Of course, this was more fascinating for my son than the actual ship going down. A week after the movie I saw him drawing photos of women in their natural state too, just like Jack did in the movie with all of the details you could expect.”

16 Changing Voices

This parent tried to explain how his son’s voice will change during puberty with a recorder. This person wrote on Reddit, “Before seventh grade or so, my voice sounded okay to me but REALLY high pitched on video (if someone was recording me speak). After seventh grade, it slowly got deeper and deeper on camera until I couldn’t even recognize my own voice for a while.” He also admitted that this idea didn’t go down very well with his kid after the first recording. He felt as though he was being mocked and stopped talking to his dad for at least two weeks.

15 Buying The First Bra

Buying your first bra can be an exciting experience or an "interesting" one, depending on who does it with you. For this parent, the conversation was every bit as awkward as you would guess, especially with the description that she used. One person wrote on Quora, “When I was 9, my aunt asked me why I didn’t wear sports bras. At the time, I didn’t know what she meant by that because I lived with my dad and was always behind when it came to girl stuff. My aunt explained that I was supposed to wear a bra to cover up my ‘best girlfriends'.”

14 Visit From Aunt Flo

When it comes to preparing for that all-important first visit from Aunt Flo (that’s period talk for the rest of the world), it’s best to be as prepared as you can. You definitely don’t want to leave your child in the dark or leave the job to someone else. Another person wrote on Quora, “It wouldn’t be until my 3rd period that I finally thought to tell somebody. Unfortunately, that person was my irritable cousin who was late for work and treated me like it was something I was just supposed to know. Eventually, both my dad (ew) and my aunts explained it to me.”

13 The ‘Stache

Ah, the moustache. It might be something that many boys look forward to growing, or something that they dread (especially if each strand comes in very slowly, but very surely). Either way, it’s a sign that things are finally developing as they should be…. in most cases, that is. This person wrote on FB, “By the time I was 17, I had this weird stache growing on my face. I tried shaving it off, because it seriously made me look like a peeping tom. It grew back in 3 days time. Then I miraculously started a beard, which I had to shave off at least every 2 days for work purposes.”

12 The ‘Talk’

The worst thing that can happen during “the talk” is when you get burned by your own child by not putting enough effort (or research) in what you want to say. You would be surprised by how well-informed and prepared your child might be about everything that they need to know about reproduction and the steps you take to get there. Yes, this current generation of kids definitely know much more than we did at their ages. This mom said on Reddit, “My daughter is at that age where kids start asking awkward you-know-what questions. Just the other night she said, ‘Is that the best you can do?’”

11 Google Has All The Answers

With that being said, don’t be surprised if your child doesn’t need a crash course in puberty. They might have done all of their homework before you even put some thought into it, thanks to Google and all of the available search engines on the Internet. In fact, they don’t even need to be schooled at all. This person wrote on Reddit, “My parents literally just sent my brothers and I to school. My brothers and I have learned more passively from the internet than from school.”

10 The Not-So-Comfortable Conversation

Sometimes mom and dad aren’t needed, which might be a good or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it. In fact, many parents find out that the supposed awkward conversation can turn out to be anything but awkward. Believe it or not, our kids are much cooler about this subject than most of us were at their age. Yes, that’s how much things have progressed. This dad wrote on Reddit, “He knew all about male and female anatomy. Where you know what was made and stored, he knew about eggs and cycles all before he knew about the actual physical act.”

9 Open And Honest Policy


Believe it or not, kids don’t want made up names, they don’t want the run around and they certainly don’t want you treating them like they have no idea what’s going on. Instead, they want to know the truth. They also want their parents to be as open and as honest as they can about “the talk.” The earlier you begin, the better. This teacher wrote on Reddit, “I taught science to 8th graders and high school. Kids want to know the truth. It's just biology to them. It's only weird if you make it weird. Just say it.”

8 Razor Matters

Here’s something else a lot of parents fail to talk about: hairy matters. This person wrote on Quora, “I don’t know when girls are supposed to start shaving, but I didn’t do it until I was 14. My dad was in Iraq so I lived with a distant aunt. She was shocked when I told her I didn’t shave my underarms so she bought me some razors and showed me how to use them. She told me that it wasn’t ladylike to have hair and that she didn’t care if I shaved my legs as long as I either kept my underarms shaved, or wore long-sleeve shirts to cover them.”

7 Drawing Photos

Sometimes words just aren’t enough. That’s because there are kids out there that actually prefer visuals when it comes to the “talk.” That means, parents, your best bet is to get out your colored pencils and drawing pads and hope that whatever you put on paper will do all of the talking for you. Just ask this parent, who says that a few pictures definitely went a long way in explaining everything about the birds and the bees. This mom explained on Reddit, “Both my kids asked about it at around 7. I sat down with them and explained it, drew pictures. Just used normal words, etc. No big thing.”

6 Not Too Many Details

As much as we want parents to be honest with their kids, let’s not forget that they are still kids. Not too many details, please! This person wrote on Reddit, “My mother sat me down one day when I was about 9 and double whammied me with the talk about periods, then the talk. I was an early bloomer and my mom thought it best to tell me, given that I was developing early. It was also a good thing, because lo and behold: I started getting my period when I was 10. So like I said: early bloomer. Anyways, she didn't tell me the "details". Just the basics. At first I didn't really get it, but the one thing she said that helped me understand was ‘think of a plug and an outlet in the wall.’”

5 Tweens Taking Their Dinner To Go…

Believe us, you also don’t want your tween to get up and take their dinner to go once the conversation has gone south. This person wrote on Reddit, “My mom left her ‘How to Talk to Your Children about Puberty’ book sitting next to the toilet. So I read it and knew everything they were going to do/say before they did it. They kept billing it as "the most exciting thing in the world" (as it said to do in the book) and then we went to a restaurant of my choosing to talk about the most exciting thing in the world and they had brought a picture book also to explain it and we were trying to talk about puberty in a packed restaurant with people all around. We actually attempted to move to a quieter table but it didn't really help much. I think not making quite as big of a deal about it and just treating it like a normal thing would've been a lot better and less awkward.”

4 No Big Deal, Dad

Sometimes you just have to treat ‘the talk’ like it’s really no big deal. This parent wrote on Reddit, “Well, our son is 10 now, and during the last school year, we got the heads up from school that they'd be doing a specific unit in health class. So, I knew my time stalling was up. Very awkward conversation, overall. I stuck to proper names for body parts, talked about the real deal on where babies come from, love, etc. At the end of the talk, I asked my son if he had any questions. Anything, no question was off limits here. He comes up with, ‘can I get a snack?’ Good talk, son.”

3 Don’t Be The Cool Parent

As much as you want to relate to your kid, don’t try too hard to be the “cool parent” if you know what we mean. Stick to being the parent, and let your kid be the teen and don’t try too hard to speak in his or her vocabulary or with their slang words. This person advised on Reddit, “Be precise and informative. But when giving the talk, you're not supposed to be their friend. You're supposed to be their parent and make sure they know what's right and how to protect themselves, but if you try to be all hip, they won't take you seriously.”

2 When Barbie Explains It All…

And by all means, don’t get Barbie or any of the toys in your child’s room involved. Keep them out of this! You don’t want to your child to grow up with issues because of this, for goodness sake. Stick to just the conversation and be as clear and concise as you can. This person said on Reddit, “Now, I got the talk when I was 7 because a neighbor girl had seen her parents doing the 'activity', and she showed me with my Barbie dolls, so of course I asked my parents about it that night. I feel like the biggest factor in this was that they were very anatomical about it.”

1 C-Section Thoughts

Your kids have a long time before they have to worry about this so think twice before you start talking child birth and labor. This parent said, “I accidentally took my daughter by surprise when I explained she was a c section. She was upset she had hurt me (I never said she had). I had to insist we knew she would be a c section and I chose to have her. She couldn't stand the thought that she hurt me. I wanted to tell her that she was nothing like the surgery they rushed me into a few hours after she was born.”

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