Every child needs to know about puberty before it hits, or they may well be blind-sided by the range of physical, mental and emotional changes that take place at this often difficult period of their lives. Girls and boys need different information, so knowing what to say to one and what to say to the other can be tricky. While many people think that girls need to know more than boys because of the start of the menstrual cycle, boys are just as much in need of some info and advice as they head towards puberty, and in boys this may strike at any point between the average ages of 9 and 15.
The important thing is that you discuss the details with confidence and without embarrassment to encourage them to feel the same. Describe puberty in language they can understand ? while one boy might want lots of detail, another will be satisfied with the simple fact that the changes that take place are caused by hormones, especially testosterone, and that these changeshappen to everyone else too!
under the arms and in the pubic area, body hair is new and nothing to worry about – has it, boys and girls alike. Boys will notice more hair elsewhere on the body too.
make sure your son knows that his body will smell differently. He might sweat more, and notice that the sweat quickly smells unpleasant. This means more showers and better hygiene will be necessary.
the body changes during puberty to grow taller and become wider at the shoulders. Muscles will develop more to give more of an adult look.
one of the most dreaded of physical signs of puberty, acne may be severe or mild but it will pass. If the need arises, ensure your son has the right products and advice to deal with the problem and if it becomes severe, he can see a doctor for medical help.
it might be hard to discuss, but preparing your son for the fact that he will experience erections and possibly wet dreams when he may ejaculate during his sleep, will make these things much easier to cope with when they happen.
it is essential that you explain the changes will extend to how he feels inside as well as how he looks and functions! During puberty, many young people feel self-conscious. He may feel gangly or awkward on his feet, he might feel like he no longer wants to do the things he once enjoyed, he might feel angry or grumpy? all these feelings are normal and caused by hormones so reassure him that you understand this.
Your son will reach puberty with or without your advice, but by preparing him and reassuring you that it is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about, he will be more likely to deal with it better and to come to you if he has a problem.