“The Talk” with your Tween Boy
“The Talk”…Wait seriously…you mean it’s time for “The Sex Talk?”…I think I’ll pass. I thought we were good until 16…okay at least I thought we had until 13? But my boys are almost 10 and 11 and my husband and I realized…it’s time for “The Talk.” Nope, Forget it…I’m running for cover.
I absolutely refuse to sit down and have “The Talk” with my boys. Sure we’ve used the correct names for body parts since the day all the kids were born. For example, when the boys were little and decided to play with their penises in public (why is that…why did they do that?), I told them to leave their penises alone. BUT…I told my husband from DAY 1, “The Talk” was his duty (that and teaching the kids how to drive).
First, let me throw in this disclaimer: I’ve got one boy who’s so excited about “going into puberty.” He puts it – “bring it on”. The other one is dreading it. As he explained, “what’s the point? I don’t want to deal with it.” And before I could even respond he said, “arm pit hair sounds like it’s itchy and I hate being itchy.”
Okay, since I was at a total loss as to what a Tween Boy wants to know about (truly I needed to get a baseline as to what they actually knew), we had to ask them (maybe I saved your poor tween the embarrassment). So we sat my boys down and said: You know how we, meaning Daddy, wants to have “The Talk” (insert: giggle, laughing, ughs…) just tell us what questions you have: Here’s a few of them…why do you go into puberty, when will I get hair under my arms, what is sex, when will my balls drop (I kid you not…I about died laughing…my husband said “new years eve”).
One thing that dawned on me immediately (this might be obvious for you), is that “The Talk” has to happen in stages. My husband, much to his dismay, is not going to be able make it a “one night stand” (I couldn’t resist). He’s going to have to tackle it over the next few years. There are just things the boys don’t need to cover yet. Shoot, I don’t even know what “those things” are (I’m sure, however, my friend’s with 16 year olds could tell me). But thankfully I’m SO not there yet. I’ll happily stick with: a boy has a penis and a girl has a vagina thanks!
Alright, let’s buckle down and get serious. When Todd gave “The Talk” with our boys he utilized this site: Boys and Puberty because it has several videos. While there are lots of written out instructions on how to give “The Talk,” there’s nothing quite like a video to get the conversation started (especially with our oldest who frankly didn’t want to be there in the first place). Remember, this is the “iGeneration;” they are digital. They are used to watching things. So starting with a video seemed to be right up their alley.
In Todd’s case, he chose an article from Young Men’s Health and a page from Healthy Children for his references. Since Todd’s talk, I’ve actually found several other sites that also have great information. An article was just published in May called How to Talk About Sex With Your Tween, (I think Todd wishes he had that to help him through this topic…I mean doesn’t get much better than that, right!). You can also check out my Pinterest Board for other articles. If you find something you have found helpful, PLEASE share it and I’ll add it to my board. The more resources we have, the better these talks will go. Different ways work for different people. So the more options we have for people to check out, the better off people are going to be!
So, Todd said overall he thinks the initial conversation went well. They covered the “basics,” but he realizes he has quite a bit to still go over. I think for now, both boys are content with the information they have and have no desire to know any more (I’m totally cool with that!). When I check in with the boys to see if they’d be okay asking their Dad more questions, both answered without hesitation “yes.” I’m going to take that as confirmation that Todd had a successful talk! 1 point for the parents!!
We both wish you guys the best of luck. PLEASE let us know how it goes (that’s why we are here…to share with each other).
-Hillary & Todd
Oh, one more thing…guys, your boys…they aren’t ready to joke about their penises yet, they’re not 16. If you tease them because you’re embarrassed…all that does is send them our way. And well, we send them back to you, and this creates a horrible circle effect…so let’s man up and be nice. Thanks from all the moms out there!