Women2Women - Spring 2017 - 47

Dr. Leaman says if children haven't asked questions by
age 9, it probably is best to discuss puberty with them.

middle school, and feeling peer pressure.
Dr. Leaman also recommends talking to
children about supporting their peers and
reaching out to adults when problems seem
unmanageable.
Dr. Leaman uses humor in her presentations
to help the girls feel more comfortable, and
she encourages parents to do the same at
home. At "All Grown Up," she shows photos
of herself in elementary school and tells
stories of her own adolescence.

At the end of her presentation, she offers
an opportunity for attendees to ask questions.
She says that parents sometimes ask questions
during the event, but most girls come up to
her privately after the presentation to ask their
questions. Reading Health System gives each
girl a booklet about puberty as well as a gift
bag with items such as lip balm, deodorant
and sanitary napkins.
But the main purpose of the program isn't
to address the information in the session.
Instead, it's to encourage open dialogue at
home, on an ongoing basis, between parents or
caregivers and children. "It's great for parents
to tell their children that the cool thing is that
they have support, they have their parents or
caregivers around to help them navigate this
time in their lives," Dr. Leaman says.

"It's great to let kids know that all of the
things that are happening as their bodies
change from a child to an adult are happening
to everyone," Dr. Leaman says. "It's a process,
and we want to be sure kids know they're
not going to go to sleep one night and wake
up as an adult the next morning."
She also tells parents that if they themselves need support or if they feel their
children need support beyond what they
can offer, that it's helpful to reach out to
the school guidance counselor, the child's
physician or professional psychologists for
additional support. "Don't be afraid to ask
for help," she says. "You can never get too
much help." n

To hold on to a child struggling with addiction,
you must finally let go.

Let us take it from here.
At Caron our comprehensive and innovative addiction treatment programs work to make families whole again. So when
you have given all you have to give, let Caron take it from here. Reach out to us, and we'll help you take the next step.
Call 855-712-4332 or go to caron.org/berks
Partners in treatment with Berks County.

CARON

ISSUE: 1704
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Women2Women - Spring 2017

Women2Women - Spring 2017 - 1
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