Knowing when it’s time to go razor shopping. While teaching your child to shave may not be one of the most “greeting card moments”you’ll have with your child, helping him or her learn this rite of passage can provide some valuable bonding time.
“Adolescents are going to figure out how to shave whether you help them or not,” says Dr. Steven Matson, a pediatrician at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, in an interview with Metroparent.com. “If you can find away to be supportive and celebrate your teen getting older, it really can be a way for you to connect.” Whether you have a son or daughter, your concern is the same: Is my child old enough yet? While every child is different, it’s usually the onset of puberty that signals when it may be time to discuss shaving with your child. According to Matson, if you see your son has stubble or that you daughter has noticeable hair on her legs, it’s time to go razor shopping. If your child has already brought it up to you, you can assume he or she has started to become self-conscious of the hair on their body. When kids don’t see hair on their peers, this uncomfortable feeling becomes worse. Dr. Carrie Brown, a general pediatrician at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, Ark., suggests talking with your child to see where the desire to begin shaving is coming from (friends, TV, bullies) and make sure that she is aware it is something that needs to be done on a regular basis once you start.
As much as age is important, something else to consider is how ready your child is to shave. One of the key factors in making this decision is whether your child can shave independently. If they can’t, you may want to reconsider for another year or two. You want to foster a sense of independence in your children by allowing them to shave; it’s not something you should have to help them through every time, but show them how once or twice and then let them go. The best judge of when to let your child shave should be solely based on you and your child. Whether he or she wants to shave because they’ve hit puberty, or because their friends are doing it, or because they are being teased at school, talking about the reasons is an important first step in making this important decision.