As my son approaches his teenage years, I know that important discussions will arise. I did not realize just how unexpectedly they came come, but I must prepare for surprises. On our way home from baseball practice in mid-September, 2012, I reminded my son to shower when we get home. We had a very light practice, so he did not get nearly as dirty or sweaty as he normally does. He asked why he could not just simply scrub down. This opened a discussion on body changes. I gave him a very brief description of some of the changes that he can expect to happen within the next few years.
Body needs cleansing
I told my son that at the onset of adolescence, his body will need more cleansing than he is now used to. He will sweat more than usual, and his skin will get oilier, especially on his face and neck. I explained pimples and how keeping clean can reduce them. I also explained that other kids will have the same things happen to them, but they will tease each other – including him. If he wants to avoid ridicule, then he needs to bathe and shower more frequently and use deodorant often each day.
Voice changes soon
I also told him that his voice will soon change. Right now, my son has a very high-pitched voice, especially for someone so tall for his age. I explained that his voice will soon begin to crack. It will sound like he has a sore throat, but nothing is wrong. I thought of the Brady Bunch episode in which the family made a song from Peter’s voice change. After a few weeks, he will have a deeper voice, probably much like mine.
First talk about puberty
The discussion ended with a definition of puberty. I did not explain this to my son completely; I defined it as a period in which his body will undergo many changes. I explained that everyone goes through them and I can answer any questions that arise. I did not go into sexual matters just yet because I did not want him to wonder and worry. My wife and I are saving that for when he actually goes through the changes and begins asking questions. That time should come soon enough, but we obviously cannot wait too long. We will have to recognize the need to have that talk with him whether we are ready for it or not.
More talks to come
My wife and I are proud of our son and his maturity – both physical and emotional. He has much to learn, and we have much to teach him. As he progresses through adolescence, he will need our guidance and support. We can help him with the physical needs, but we will have to pray diligently for wisdom to handle the emotional and social matters. The discussions have begun, and they will continue from here on.
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Our Son Learned to Set and Work Toward a Goal
We Are Now Junior High Parents
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