By the time your son is 11-years-old, he has entered puberty and you have likely seen lots of changes in him.
One typical change is that these young boys become very quiet. They are less likely to come to you with questions about changes happening in their body. The silence tends to cause parents to hold back on teaching them important information they need to learn.
This silence on our part, in my opinion, sends a message to our sons that the talks are done. I would suggest that your goal should be to increase the frequency of your talks with your son during these important years of physical transition. He is going to be uncertain about why the changes are happening and if they are normal.
For example, spontaneous erections. Most boys experience these and it is both concerning and embarrassing to them. A simple explanation is that the inside of the penis is like a sponge. An erection happens because the brain tells the spaces in the spongy part of the penis to fill with blood. The penis becomes firm and longer. During puberty, erections can just happen without giving your son any notice. That’s why they are called spontaneous erections. This is normal, most boys experience them, and they stop within a few months after they start.
There are some great anatomical figures in my book I’m a Boy, Hormones! that show your son the inside of the penis, where the spongy part is located.
Always keep your discussions brief because they don’t like long talks. Be prepared with a key point, like describing a spontaneous erection, you want to communicate to your him and feel confident in his silence that he is listening.
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