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Educate Your Son About Puberty

Talking To Your Son About What Changes To Expect During Puberty

Could there be a more awkward time in a person's life? Let's face it, puberty is no picnic.

Boys experience a growth spurt, which can lead them to be clumsier than usual. As puberty continues, boys will experience other bodily changes, such as broadening of the shoulders, weight gain, and muscle development. Their voices also begin to change, usually starting with some "cracking" and then becoming deeper. They experience hair growth under their arms, on their legs, arms, and face, and around their genitals. They tend to sweat more and develop oily skin and pimples. Due to an increase in hormones, boys' genitals grow, and they experience erections and nocturnal emissions.

While all of these changes mean your son is growing into a man, it can be an uncomfortable and anxious transition for him.

Puberty can begin as early as 10 years of age and begin as late as 16 for boys, so it's helpful for your son to understand that there is a natural variation in development. That said, educate him about what to expect during puberty.

"Changing Bodies, Changing Lives" and "What's Happening to My Body? Book for Boys: A Growing Up Guide for Parents and Sons" are helpful books that can answer your son's questions about development and kick-start your discussions about dating and sex. If you choose to use a book, you'll want to review it first to make sure it's consistent with your values.

In addition to talking to your son about his development, you should address issues of hygiene. You may need to encourage your son to shower daily and after physical activity, as well as to use deodorant and other hygiene products. You might also want to talk to him about acne prevention and shaving, when applicable.

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