Body Hair, Deep Voices and Enlarging Testicles, Oh My!

Puberty In Boys From Mom’s Point of View

Photo by Bonnie Kittle on Unsplash

When we began our family, the decision was made (mostly by me) to have four kids spaced closely together. The vision of having them go through stages of life was my dream. One of the deciding factors was being done with potty training, naps and diapers in a short period of time.

We then became a baby making factory having four kids in five years. Most days it’s fun having the kids close in age, but it means some of the harder parts of life come at us like rapid fire. Puberty for one is not something to take lightly. We are growing adults over here for pete’s sake. The younger years seem like a walk in the park compared to the emotional and physical changes occurring now.

Body Hair, Voice Changes and Enlarging Testicles, Oh My

Conversations about these big life transitions never come up when I’m prepared to talk. Nope, they happen at random when I’m least expecting it. While tucking my nine year old into bed, he paused before I left the room and said, “Mom I have a question.”

What is puberty?

Well, that one hit me like a Mack truck, but my opportunity arrived to take my time and honor his curiosity. Not being a man myself, I recalled all my knowledge from health class and dove in.

We talked about:

  • How puberty is the transition from childhood to adulthood
  • He will begin growing hair ALL OVER his body
  • Changes in his voice will happen, making cracks then getting deeper
  • Everything on his body will get larger

Obviously, there is so much more to add; emotions, masturbation, testosterone, respecting women, and sex. At this age, he was pretty content with the information I gave to him that night.

An Ongoing Conversation

Luckily, this is not my first rodeo when discussing our changing bodies. In our house, no one really is shy. We are open about nakedness and asking questions about things happening to our bodies.

I’ve already had the growing up conversation with my oldest and it was pretty easy. As uncomfortable as it can be to talk about sex with our kids because, well… intimacy and sex. Engaging in many talks with my daughter was simpler because I’ve gone through it myself.

When my son asked me what happens, I froze. It wasn’t because I was nervous to talk to him but because it’s not second nature to me. As we approach the puberty stage with our kids, I remember thinking how hard it would to explain menstruation and how babies are made.

It’s actually harder to explain something I didn’t experience firsthand to my son then it was to my daughter. As with anything, I’ll figure it out and we will get through it with one real uncomfortable conversation and then be open from then on out. With my daughter, our interactions are fun, talking about our periods in an open forum and making inappropriate jokes.

Yes, I realize I’ve got a little Peter Pan syndrome myself. But talking about the body is HILARIOUS.

When In Doubt, Google It

As my son and I continued our bedtime chat, he kept firing questions at me as if he had been thinking about it for some time. I’m glad we have these one on one times together before bed because then he is able to express himself without anyone else around.

When he was done with his interrogation, I went downstairs. Sure, I could have called in for reinforcements but I didn’t want my son to think I was avoiding him. My husband asked me what took so long and I explained what ensued upstairs. His response was exactly what I was thinking: “you don’t know anything about penises.” Ding Ding Ding.

It’s not as if I’m totally out of the dark but know enough to come up with something. I still had questions of my own, so I did what any other mother would do: I Googled it.

My research began by looking up what changes happen for boys during puberty. Turns out I wasn’t too far off except for the first thing that came up had my husband and I and stitches for a good 15 minutes. This was something I hadn’t brought up with my son during our chat, but the mention of the enlargement of testicles is now the funniest thing ever.

When it comes to ejaculation, masturbation and wet dreams, I’m handing over the torch. I just can’t.

Change Happens To Everyone

Since I know my son is going to think he peed the bed after his first wet dream, I’m doing my due diligence so we can handle it with care. I want him to have this information come from his parents before the elusive fourth grade health day that will get all his friends talking.

The main takeaway is that everything happening to his body is completely normal. Every man has gone through this at some point in their life growing into adulthood, even his dad.

While I would love for my husband to be the one to have this talk, most of their questions come up at bedtime, which is my milieu. Like I said, though, there are some topics that I will gladly hand over to my husband when the time comes. I can read all about penises, testicles, the scrotum and the urethra but not having one of my own puts me at an unfair advantage.

With three sons, I hope this conversation because second nature, but with the curve balls they throw us, that will not be the case.

Diapers, naps and potty training are now a distant memory as we beginning tackling this next stage of life.

Put your oxygen mask on first. Self care is essential for all parents to make it through the day.

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