This should really be an easy talk for you dads as you went through puberty yourself. Relating to the body changes and mood swings your son will be going through should be fairly easy for you. I have had the pleasure of doing this twice now and it’s not as hard as you would think. I would caution though if he gets embarrassed when you try and talk about it wait 48 hours and try again and keep trying till he’s comfortable. Dad this is your job your responsibility, but if you can’t show mom this.
- First off I sat down and asked my son if he thinks he’s hit puberty, it seemed to relax him a bit because it gave him a chance to explain things that was going on with him that he wasn’t sure of and it gave me the opportunity to start asking questions and reassure him what he is going through is completely normal. By the way use anatomically correct terms when referring to things such as penis and stay away from euphemisms such as “wee wee” or whatever name you had for it when he was a boy. That may drive him away from wanting to talk to you simply because you seem not serious about it.
- Next you will want to tell him what he is going to happen, start with the easy things such as his voice will crack as it changes, his face will break out with acne, the hormones and how they can affect his emotions ie; he may all of a sudden feel rage or want to cry or is over happy. His penis and testicles will grow and with that he may have wet dreams (reassure him that wet dreams are a normal part of puberty and he is normal if he has them and not to be embarrassed and that they will pass in time). Make sure you also talk about how he will start growing pubic hair during puberty and hair will start appearing in other places he had never seen it before. Another thing to talk about is personal hygiene because as his body develops he will need to shower often and use underarm deodorant, he will also want to find a regiment for washing his face to help with the acne.
- Be prepared to answer some tough questions from your son though. Don’t look shocked or surprised he asked you, just be happy that he has that confidence in you to ask you about puberty. In other words have a poker face!
- Don’t leave your son mid conversation no matter what unless he wants to end it there for the night. There is nothing more important than him at that moment.
Having “the talk about puberty” can always be difficult as it’s hard watching our children go from being a child to becoming a young adult, all we can do as parents is love and support them the best we can with whatever they ask of us.
If you found this useful check my post on puberty for girls
Spending the right time with your son is important as they need that from you. A great way to spend time with your boy is to know his interests. It might be sports, reading, camping, riding his bike or any number of things. Even though his interests may not quite be for you it’s time well spent with him if you can find your way to engage yourself in it, but another great way is to invite him along in an activity you enjoy. They really just want your time and attention, to be able to talk to you and get to know you as they look up to their dad to show them the ways of the world. The bond between father and son is strong and all they really want from you is you!
As a dad learning how to spend quality time with your daughter is important as she looks up to you and is most probably learning from you how her future boyfriends and husband will treat her through your daily interactions with her. It is true that girls are different and it can take some time to understand them, but when you open your mind and see how they see things it opens up a beautiful father/daughter relationship. With my daughter she loves to talk and I soon came to realize that she needs me to listen and not the type where I stare at the TV, but engage her conversation with eye contact and facial expressions.
Spending time doing things that she enjoys doing is different from my boys. I have spent countless hours shoe shopping, in women’s accessory shops, clothing departments and the girls toy section in department stores while she “shopped” and the whole time she’s telling me what she likes. We have spent hours and hours talking about her shows and movies she likes. Some of my favorite time spent with her is when she decides she wants to make a story up, because some of them can get pretty wild! She has recently started soccer and because I coach her older brothers she looks forward to that time on the pitch with me. There are other ways you can also interact as I am planning on doing as she gets a little older and starts to become a little lady, like taking her for a pedicure and why not jump in beside her and get one done on myself so we can talk and enjoy each others company. As she grows older I want to keep a very close relationship with her and want her to be able to come to me with anything she needs. All it takes dads is to listen and engage with her and you will soon understand her and she will love you all the more for it!
Remember dads it doesn’t have to be just the things she enjoys doing, you may be surprised if you invite your daughter to do something you enjoy she may very well jump at the chance simply because she wants that bonding time with you. It could be golf, fishing, camping or going to the gun range. Whatever the activity no child should be left behind because of gender.
I’ve seen to many articles on things dads should teach their son and things they should teach their daughter. It occurred to me that things you teach your son you should teach your daughter and vice versa. There is nothing wrong with teaching your daughter how to use tools just like there isn’t anything wrong in teaching your son a “beauty” regiment. Think about it for a moment. Wouldn’t you want your daughter to be able to change her own tire if she needed too? And you son who may have acne he’s battling, shouldn’t you be teaching him how to care for it the best he can? There are far to many articles out there that have been written in regards to what a father should teach their son or their daughter and not enough they can be taught everything!
What we should be teaching our kids is that there are no gender specific roles when it comes to life skills. In order to do that you as a dad, that it’s not a woman’s role to wash the dishes or mop the floor or a mans role to mow the lawn or change a light switch. These are just life skills and they will be better adults knowing how to do them. Besides it’s a great way to spend quality time with them talking and getting to know them better as you work together.