When kids reach puberty, they're known to break down in tears in front of the mirror and spend days shopping in stores in search of the right look.
There's usually not much parents can do other than shake their heads when appearance suddenly becomes the number-one obsession of their teenagers. Experts say this is as much a part of growing up for a child as their first kiss, and parents should let things run their natural course.
“Questions such as ‘Am I pretty?’ are part of a young person's discovery of their identity,” said Andreas Engel, a psychologist in Hof, Germany.
Often young people are looking for a style of dress that gives them the feeling they belong to a particular group. On the other hand, young teenagers want to try out different things, said Rainer Schuetz of Germany's parents' hotline.
Young people hitting puberty also have to deal with a lot of changes in their bodies. When parents notice their child is putting on weight or breaking out in pimples, they shouldn't just ignore it.
For girls in particular, body weight is a sensitive subject. Experts agree that if parents notice any eating irregularity, they should talk to a doctor or psychologist.
“Girls compare themselves constantly with other girls,” said psychologist Christiane Papastefanou. If parents notice that their daughter has developed an obsession over the thinness of her friends, they should talk with the other parents. Parents have a responsibility to talk with their children when it comes to having respect for their bodies, said Engel. (DPA)
1. puberty n.
青春期 (qing1 chun1 qi2)
例: It can be hard to control your emotions during puberty.
2. obsession n.
著迷 (zhao2 mi2)
例: I enjoy comic books, but for Larry they're an obsession.
3. identity n.
身分 (shen1 fen4)，認同 (ren4 tong2)
例: My family's history is an important part of my identity.
4. irregularity n.
不規則 (bu4 gui1 ze2)
例：Kids can be mean. They often make fun of any irregularities they notice, even though those are what make life fun.