The Single Mom: Talking To Your Son About Puberty

As a single mother, you’re facing a number of daily challenges, but one of the most daunting will be talking to your son about his impending puberty. Boys who are as young as eleven or twelve will start to experience some symptoms, so the sooner you broach the subject, the better. It’s not easy to discuss experiences that you haven’t had, but there are ways to discuss a number of issues that all come with the onset of puberty.

Broach the Topic Gently, but Frankly

Sit your son down during a quiet time of day and not when there’s a lot going on in the home.

Make sure that he feels comfortable with discussing the topic with you, and even if he feels awkward, assure him that even though you’re a woman, you can answer his questions.


Ask About What He’s Heard or Learned At School

Many times, kids learn about puberty from their more experienced friends or through sex education at school. While this might pave the way for you, finding out what he already knows will allow you to fill in the gaps and correct any misinformation he might have gotten about the process.

Remind him that he should never take any information he gets from his friends as being correct, and that he can always ask you.

Remind Him That Everybody is Different

Your son may be dismayed that he’s developing more slowly than other boys in his class. Some may already have pubic hair or their voices have already changed.

It’s important to let him know that everyone develops at his own speed, and the changes he sees in his friends will eventually happen to him as well.

Discuss Respecting Women

Now that your son is entering puberty, it’s time to talk to him about being respectful of women. As he gets older and starts to become interested in girls, it’s important that he approaches them with respect.

Let him know that what he might see in movies or hear in song lyrics has nothing to do with how women should be treated in reality. Discuss how women should be treated as equal human beings first and the opposite sex second.

Talk About Hygiene

In the past, when your little guy got dirty, you probably just plunked him down in the tub. Now that he’s entering puberty, however, he’s going to no doubt want more privacy.

Remind him that he should start showering on a daily basis and buy him deodorant and his own body wash.


Enlist Male Help

Some puberty topics may be beyond your scope of experience completely, so don’t forget to ask a trusted uncle or friend to discuss these topics with your son.

He may feel more comfortable and be more apt to ask questions. Let him know that you won’t press for details after.

Buy books or Use the Web

To help your son further understand puberty, you can buy books for him or even have him read some age-appropriate websites that will help him answer any questions he might be too embarrassed to ask.

Don’t push to discuss the resources, and chances are he will come to you first.

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