“I don’t want my son to learn about sex from a pornographic website.”
This is probably one of the top concerns I hear from parents of boys. And, I agree. I don’t wish that for them either. But they are curious and unfortunately, these sites
are easy to access. There are some ways that we can prevent them from learning about sex in this way, but it is going to take a parent buy-in.
During adolescence, your son’s brain is rapidly developing. One of the outcomes is an increased interest in sex. There is not one, single place in the brain that triggers this curiosity, but rather it’s the connections that are strengthening between different parts of the brain that contribute to an increasing curiosity about sex.
I understand the challenge of getting most adolescent boys to talk about this subject, but dialogue is the best way to guide your son in a healthy direction. A good place to start is talking to him about his body and the changes that are happening to him. This will help him to understand that what he is feeling right now is normal and part of maturing. The more we can emphasize that his curiosity is normal, the more likely it is that he will have these conversations with us.
Here are some ways you can start the conversations.
- Keep the talks casual and brief. You don’t need to have “the talk” all at once. This would be overwhelming for you and for him. Plan to initiate these conversations over several months.
- Start by finding out how much your son already knows about his body. Sometimes kids learn a little bit about their reproductive system during science classes or puberty discussions in school.
- If your son is 11 years old or older, I would suggest that you give him the third book in my puberty series called I’m a Boy, Hormones!. You can use the content of this book as a great common baseline for discussion. It explains the ways that his body is changing during puberty and includes information like how erections happen, where the fluid comes from that forms semen, and how sperm are made. You can just leave the book in his room and wait for a causal time to discuss parts of it.
These suggestions are just the beginning of many more tips I will send your way to keep the dialogue going with your son. When he has a good understanding about his body, it will be time to explain how a girl’s body is different.
Whether you are the mom or the dad in the conversation, this is possibly some of the most important moments you will spend with your son as he matures through puberty.
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