Parents may be more than a little uneasy with this transitional period in their son's or daughter's life. They're not sure what to expect. How can they tell when their youngster is entering puberty? What should they tell their child about it?
"Puberty is such a nebulous term," says Sloan Beth Karver, MD, assistant clinical professor of Primary Education and Community Service at Allegheny University in Philadelphia. "It happens over such a long span of time that it's hard for a parent to know exactly when a child enters puberty. Certainly there are hormonal changes even before a parent may see any outward sign." But outward signs soon do become apparent.