7 Things Your Son Needs From You When Puberty Strikes

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

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:

Clothing

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.

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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.

Laughter

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.

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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.

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Understanding

I tell my husband they are all “High on T”. Literally – you can see the testosterone 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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