Puberty is a confusing time in anyone’s life but as parents, it is our duty to make that time as easy as possible on our children. It can be hard to know how to approach them about it as we tend to forget how we felt when we went through puberty. Not to mention that each child is different and no one method fits everyone. When approaching your child about the changes happening in their body, think about their individual needs and characters. Here we will introduce some general guidelines about how to talk with boys about puberty.
Introduce him to what puberty is
You should definitely explain to your son what puberty is and what he can expect. It is important to do it before puberty stars so that he isn’t caught off guard. Puberty in boys starts somewhere between 9 and 14 years old.
Boys should be aware that they will start growing body hair, including pubic hair and facial hair, and that their penis and testicles will start growing larger. Spontaneous erections and sperm ejaculations will become a thing and if unprepared, can startle any boy. The voice will ‘break’ and get suddenly deeper.
Explain that all of these sudden changes in his body are natural and nothing to be ashamed of. Depending on how quickly his peers reach puberty, your son might feel bad about being the first or the last one in class to feel these changes. Make sure he knows that no matter what age he is when he first starts maturing, it is completely healthy and normal.
Let him know he can rely on you
This is the most basic and the most crucial step of all. Your son needs to know that he can rely on you and ask you about anything so that he doesn’t turn to the Internet or his peers for information – that can cause him to get the wrong ideas about puberty if he doesn’t find a correct source.
That doesn’t mean you can bombard him with questions and urge him to talk to you. Many boys will be embarrassed to talk about this stuff with their parents and that’s completely natural. Just gently make sure he knows he can always turn to you if he needs to and wait for him to come to you.
Help him deal with the new body changes
Many children in puberty will struggle with increased body odor or oily skin. If you notice these changes, buy your son a deodorant for boys and instruct him on how to use it. Make sure he has healthy personal hygiene habits, such as daily washing of the whole body, especially armpits, and changing underwear every day.
It is important to do this gently and without pointing out your son’s smelly armpits or acne-covered forehead. Chances are he is already being made fun of at school so let’s not draw more attention than needed to these problems.