GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Heading back to school after hitting puberty over the summer can be intimidating. For parents, the idea of your children reaching that age can also be a bit scary and awkward.
We invited Jacklyn Grabow from Grand Valley Health Plan to talk with Meredith TerHaar about the changes kids go through and how parents can tackle them.
Grabow advises that body image is especially important to talk to you teen about. With social media- Instagram, snapchat what is ideal as far as body image is concerned is constantly shoved down young people's throats.
She encourages parents to talk about eating to be healthy rather than eating to be skinny. Sports and physical activity require more energy, and more food to keep kids going.
Young people watch their parents and take cues from what they eat as well. This means adults have to be mindful of what options they are giving their kids for healthy food.
Mental health and changes are another big part of puberty.
Grabow says teens experience a lot of mental growth, and often sadness, or anger is chalked up to "mood swings" and "being a teenager". This could mask a more deep seated issue for the teen and it is important to note the changes in your child.
If the moods seem overly dark or sad, it could be a sign of another problem and parents and teens are encouraged to seek out a doctor's opinion.
You can check out the Grand Valley Health Plan's website here.
© 2017 WZZM-TV