Talking to children about puberty is difficult and uncomfortable for many parents. And for moms, discussing puberty with a son can feel especially daunting since you haven't experienced these particular changes first-hand. To help you tackle the conversation, we asked our Daddy Bloggers for advice on how to talk to boys about puberty. Here are some of the most helpful and practical tips they shared.
1. Start Early
"Start the conversations early. You need to be talking about these things before your son is at an age where it gets awkward. If you explain early on the changes he will experience, and answer all his questions openly from that same early age, then the foundation is laid for him to ask you further questions as they arise." -Andrew Young of Confessions of a Bemused Dad
2. Be Matter of Fact
3. Broach Physical Changes
“Let them know that physical changes are coming...Let them know they are about to grow hair all over, especially in places they wouldn't necessarily expect. Tell them how their voices are going to crack all over but will eventually deepen. Let them know that their bodies are going through transformations that will lead them into being young men. And let them know this is normal and OK. Also let them know that those icky things called girls are going to start [becoming] interesting. That's OK too. These things happen to everyone.” Glenn Craig of Parenting Family Money
4. Let Him Know Timing Varies
“Let him know that everyone goes through puberty at a different age and at a different rate. There were kids in my class that were virtually shaving before my puberty had even begun. The most important issue to me as an early teen was always “When am I going to get pubic hair like the other boys in my grade?” -Andrew Young of Confessions of a Bemused Dad
5. Talk about Aggression and Respect
“I think it’s really important that Moms (and Dads) take the time to explain to their sons that puberty ultimately leads to more muscle and more testosterone, and that these two things will not only make your son stronger but also more aggressive. As boys turn into young men they need to understand that with that new found strength comes a responsibility to treat all women gently and with courtesy and respect. And that courtesy and respect, of course, begins with the way adolescent boys should treat their Mom.” -Andrew Young of Confessions of a Bemused Dad
6. Maintain Your Composure
“Make sure you neither blush nor laugh at the questions you are asked. If your son senses A), you are uncomfortable with the conversation or B), think his questions are stupid or C), you can't answer his questions in a simple way that he can understand, then he will try to find the answers to his questions in another way. As difficult as it is, you want to create an environment where your son is comfortable asking you anything.” -Josh Wood of Life of Josh
7. Provide Other Sources for Information
"Provide him with information he can access in his own time. Find some good books or some good informative websites that provide him with the answers to any questions he may have. I guarantee you that in today’s age he’s going to be hitting Google before he asks the same question of Mom. You want him to be pre-armed with the appropriate sources (especially on the web) because otherwise he’s going to end up on the types of sites that you, as a parent, probably don’t want him visiting." -Andrew Young of Confessions of a Bemused Dad
8. Let a Man Broach Some Things...