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7 Things Your Son Needs From You When Puberty Strikes

Having your child hit puberty is a strange new adventure. Things change fast and this whole thing called parenting seems bigger and more important than ever.

What I've learned so far . . .

We’ve only just begun this whole stage of life, but here’s what I’ve determined teenage boys need from their parents when this crazy adventure begins:


It’s like clothing a baby in the first year all over again!

Remember when you were running through complete wardrobes and sizes every 3 months? Well in the last 6 months my son’s feet have grown 4 shoe sizes and the clothes we bought for school in the fall are now ill fitting and literally ripping at the seems (the button on his pants actually popped off just the other day).  The thing that kills me at this age? That means soccer cleats, school shoes, church shoes, gym shoes . . . and they are all at grown up prices.

His buddy down the street? He’s grown 6 full inches in the last 6 months. Every time I see him he’s taller!

Food And Sleep 

Hungry? Tired? Just like babies, I can gauge his emotional state based on the amount of food he’s eaten. As I just mentioned, they are growing fast and they need LOTS of food to keep up with it.

And SLEEP! They don’t think they need it – but waking up extra early for Jr. High and Middle School after staying up late from extracurricular activities and homework can wear them down.

They’ll have emotional breakdowns for no reason and sometimes you just need to let them calm down, give them a hug, a snack, and put them to bed.


The voice changing . .  . it’s HILARIOUS . . . and you have to laugh.

My son and I were in an argument about how much time he’d spent on his iTouch and in a heated rebuttal he tried to yell at me: “I know my feelings!” In that one sentence his voice cracked at least 3 times. We both stopped. The room went silent. And then we laughed so hard we cried.

Solid Guidance

A boy needs a parent who can step in and tell him {with love} when it’s time to shave that wispy little mustache, that he has a zit that needs popping, that it’s time for deodorant, or that his face needs lotion. I’m pretty sure when I die, somewhere on my gravestone it will say “Put some Aquaphor on that!”.

Just the other day we saw a young man who desperately needed to shave his first wispy mustache. My son said “Where is his mother?!?” It’s a burden you simply must bare.

{When I let my son review this post he wanted me to be sure to point out that is personal hygiene is exceptional}

Conversations That Make Him Say “EW!”

Now more than ever they need you to keep communicating clearly with them not only about what’s physically happening to him but also what’s physically happening to the GIRLS around him.

Just the other day I had a refresher discussion with him about periods. Yep – I heard the word EW just about 10 times.  We talked about tampons and how junky periods can be.  We also talked about how embarrassing it can be for a girl to “leak” through her clothes at school or out with friends.  That might seem random, but I don’t want him to be the kid all grossed out saying “EW!” with his buddies when a girl pulls a tampon out of her backpack or someone’s had an unfortunate overflow.

You need to keep talking about uncomfortable things. Over. And Over.


I tell my husband they are all “High on T”. Literally – you can see it surging through their veins. All of the sudden they run around kicking things randomly. Wrestling with each other. Being loud and obnoxious. It reminds me a little bit of wild animals that you see in nature movies.

It’s showmanship, one-ups-manship, and a little insecurity. With boys that can come with pointless put downs {that they say to themselves and to others}. I don’t even think they know why they are saying half of the things they say to each other.

So we talk about it. We talk about social skills, identifying insecurity, FOMO {fear of missing out}, pointless put downs and different ways to handle it. As with most things, it helps to put a name to something {like FOMO} and figure out ways to deal with it.

An Apology

We’re going to mess this whole thing up every once in awhile. It’s important that they hear us admit it. It makes it easier for them to do the same.


What do you think teenage boys need the most from their moms?

Editors Note: Of course many of these things will apply to girls as well. This post was written with a lens on boys, because that’s what I’m experiencing. I’ll be back in about 18 months to report on the world of girls and puberty! Stand by!


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Comments (22)

  1. Status For Shubh Deepawali 10/18/2016 at 2:01 pm

    Awesome site.

  2. happy deepavali 09/15/2016 at 11:48 am


  3. Name 09/09/2016 at 2:12 am

    How sweet is the recipe . Thank you

  4. aariyan 08/21/2016 at 3:38 am

    We’re going to mess this whole thing up every once in awhile. It’s important that they hear us admit it. It makes it easier for them to do the same.

  5. RDawn 07/18/2016 at 9:51 am

    As a single mom with a boy just entering puberty, I found this article very helpful, just the clear way you delineated the different aspects. 🙂 I’m at a LOSS most of the time with the changing moods and the mouth and the energy….I love, love, love my son, and we have a good relationship, but there are moments when it’s head-to-head! LOL

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  8. jody 03/11/2016 at 10:11 am

    Currently I have a 13 year old son who refuses to come to my house,(he is being brain washed at his dads) and if I dont give him his way, he refuses to come and im told to give in so he wont reject me. I guess I feel differently. I miss my sweet little boy, but I dont want to be controlled by him. Any advice?

    • bmn 03/16/2016 at 11:29 pm

      Hey jody, yeah, i know how it feels. Usally I do something that he likes and I like, for example, my son LOVES canping, so do I. Look, the point im trying to say us bond over something you both like. 🙂

    • Kaya 04/10/2016 at 1:41 pm

      Lundy Bancroft has an excellent book on communicating with kids after divorce (specifically when abuse/brain washing/parental alienation is at play). Insisting on respect is actively encouraged. Yes, you will probably miss out on time with your son while he’s young and that part is going to stink. But your son will grow up and he is going to see what is happening and see how you choose to handle it. The important part is to never stop reaching out and keeping that door open.

      • Cris 08/19/2016 at 12:37 pm

        Thank you for this resource! I deal with emotional abuse and now he has turned that onto my 13 year old girl. This book sounds like what I may need. I saw a book “helping your children heal the wounds of witnessing abuse”

    • Mell 09/18/2016 at 11:24 pm

      I hope that someone can give you good advice my youngest son went and lived with his Dad 5 years ago and my son has basically nothing to do with me. I have 3 step children that I raise on a daily basis and I am so frustrated with the lack of respect children have. I do hope someone can help I feel as if I’m dieing in my own frustration.

  9. Piper 03/08/2016 at 8:18 am

    I muddled through our first son’s pre-teen years. Every day had its highs and its lows. He was and still is very strong-willed (I remind myself ALL the time that he is a natural born leader and he will be a great one!) but one thing that I realized then (and is still true now, he is 18) no matter how big he gets, no matter how grown up he seems, that little boy that used to run to his mom with weeds in those chubby little hands, saying, “Mommy, these flowers are for you” is still inside him. And even if he acts as if he doesn’t need you, he needs you now more than ever. Stay in his business even if he says stay out, give him chances to mess up, keep the lines of communication open, let him have his say (even if you are about to bite your tongue off), when he is troubled he may want you to fix it, take this golden opportunity to ask him what he thinks he should do and lead and guide him to do the right thing, no matter what. Give forgiveness and grace when he does wrong, and be sure to ask him to forgive you when you yell too loud, when you mess up, or just have a bad mom day. He is still that little boy in a grown up body, that needs you. Sometimes he will come lay in bed with me, just to talk, comes by my office just to hang out between classes, and sometimes brings me a coffee or a tea. When I look at that tall, handsome young man, for a moment I can see that little boy with those chubby hands with those weeds, and my heart smiles!

    • GL 03/09/2016 at 4:21 pm

      Thank you Piper, your post made me cry…in a kind of “good” realisation kind of way. My eldest boy just turned 8 – what a change! I’m already struggling with my first baby getting taller and older and waaaay too heavy to pick up and cuddle. I’m treasuring the ever decreasing cuddles and snuggles whilst educating him in the ways of the world to make him a great bloke, going forward…. #toughjobbeingmummy

    • Jewlz 03/14/2016 at 11:08 am

      Thank you. All good things to know and remember. They grow up so fast and you just any the absolute best for them!

  10. Jessica 03/02/2016 at 9:54 pm

    Thank you for this. As women we know what our daughters are going through. I have a 17 year old daughter and a 13 and 10 year old son. Yes babies and clothes the 13 year old great 6 inches since his birthday in July and has gone up 5 shoe sizes. He’s now 6 foot 3 and has a size 15 foot. I am constantly telling my husband and others just because he look like a man doesn’t mean he’s there yet. Loved this article and will be reposting .

  11. Evelyn 03/02/2016 at 12:26 pm

    Thanks for this! I have three boys and our oldest just turned 13. I thought I was living in a foreign country before, being the only girl in the house, but now I think I’m in outer space. Raising a teenage boy can be challenging and rewarding. My son often hears “your future partner will thank me!” I’m sure we’ll get through this…hopefully by son #3 I’ll be an expert:)

  12. Lisa 03/02/2016 at 12:41 am

    My son is almost 13 and we’re going through this. When he first started showing signs, we chatted about it in small doses. I didn’t want to overwhelm him. Still, he’ll occasionally come and ask me if I’m still proud of him, if I still love him the same, and if he’s still my #1 guy. Of course, I do everything I can to reassure and remind him of these every day, but during this time of uncertainty, I find he needs that tether of security. He needs to know that though he may have hair on his face, he’s still my boy and I’ll still cuddle him and love him more and more.

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  14. Gemane 02/29/2016 at 10:34 am

    My boy is turning 13 and I can clearly see the changes. It’s scary but at the same time exciting to see and experience it all. I have another boy aged 9 who will copy what his older brother does and how we respond so this is a learning curve for us all.

  15. Kendra 02/29/2016 at 8:49 am

    They need to be taught how to treat a girl they want to date. Especially, if the husband or ex is a huge inept goofball

    • SP 02/29/2016 at 1:27 pm

      And what to accept and not from her!