Talking to your son about puberty
I had a funny story that I was telling to a group of other parents one day. I’ll put the story at the end of this post but it is really not the point of the entry…
Ahh, I’m being confusing now.
So I started to tell the story to the group and one of the dads in the group started going on about how we give our kids too much information, that struggling through puberty was part of the process and talking to them about what to expect is … oh… I don’t know exactly what he said but it was akin to ‘coddling’.
I was actually quite shocked at this line of thinking. It had never really occurred to me not to talk to my son about puberty any more than it would occur to me to not give my daughter a heads up about the eventuality of a menstrual cycle with her discussion of puberty. Unfortunately it didn’t really dawn on me until just now to ask him if he felt the same true of girls, that we shouldn’t tell them what to expect.
So given that at least one parent thought I was off base in my thinking, I thought I’d talk a bit about our talk.
Dervish was in full blown puberty when I decided that we needed to talk.
He had been mood swinging and raging and melting down and basically had become an emotional basket case for a few weeks and then his voice started cracking (the only indication that he wasn’t in fact 2 years old again) and it was confirmed. Puberty had struck.
After a frustrating afternoon of intense emotional outbursts and mood swings, I had two choices – have a conversation or hit myself over the head with a blunt object. I chose the conversation.
It pretty much was one sided as I described hormones and their effect on a person. I said that there would be times that he might feel angry or sad or happy or just weird. That he might feel like singing or crying or yelling all within 10 minutes and this was all because his body was turning from a boy to a man and that it would eventually level out but that it might be rough going for a while.
My thinking is that Dervish is pretty intense, emotional and anxious at the best of times. He has had mood swing behavior since he was a baby why on earth would I just let him go blindly into puberty to get tossed around on that boat without so much as a “hey… you might want to watch out for….” comment.
Anyway… he was pretty attentive during my discussion with him and I left him with reminding him that he was always able to come to me or the dad to discuss anything that concerned him and that I loved him.
I really don’t think that’s ‘coddling’.
The funny part? There are two.
He has had issues with his knees for the past couple of years stemming from growth spurts and it keeps him from playing soccer (his passion) and drives him a bit batty – so he says “Oh Wow. First my knees and now PUBERTY???”
I assured him that unlike his knees, ‘everyone’ was getting puberty.
Then, later I heard him talking to the Girl. He sneezed and she ran to get him a Kleenex (don’t ask – that’s another post) He says, it’s ok, I’m not sick – it’s just puberty.