” Austin you need to put deodorant on because you are stinking up this car!” My daughter, the blunt one yells at her brother as he got in the car. I have to admit she was right but she didn’t have to be so rude about it! I gave her the evil eye before turning to my son in the backseat and said in a more gentler tone, ” Son, you do need to put deodorant on.” According to the website, Sutter Health , during puberty, boys will go through many physical changes such as growth spurt, acne, facial and underarm hair and genitalia growth just to name a few things.
I don’t about the rest of you but growing up in a Lao household, puberty was not something we discuss openly. So I didn’t have a point of reference to fall back on except my own experience with my daughter. When my daughter hit puberty, I was candid with her because my mother never talked about periods, pubic hair, or boobs! However, being a single mom, with no man in the house, I was struggling with how to tell my son about what his body was going to go through once he hits puberty. Should I be as candid? Should I just blurt out, ” Son your balls and penis will grow during this time? Your voice will squeak and yes you may grow man boobs?” Even though I prize myself for being a “modern” Lao woman and mom, I just couldn’t bring myself to say those things to my son so I consult with my teenage daughter about how I should talk to Austin about puberty. She reassured me and said, ” Mom leave this up to me. I’ll take care of it!” Little did I know that she would be so blunt about it that she verged on being crude!
I remember clear as day what Anora, my daughter’s puberty “talk” with her brother consisted of. There we were driving around looking for a place to have lunch when she turned to her brother and said, ” Austin, I just wanted to let you know that mom and I are here for you if you have any questions about puberty. You know boys your age, will probably start masturbating and stuff like that so don’t worry we will not invade your privacy if you feel the need to!” Looking back I don’t know WHY I was so shock by what she said to her brother considering how upfront she is but I was still SHOCKED!” I gave her that ” Are you on crack?” look and she responded with, ” Hello mother, you said talk to him about puberty!” I exclaimed, ” Yes, but about acne, and body hair and shit like that!” Just when my daughter and I was about to continue our heated argument, my son Austin, calmly announced, “My class was given the puberty talk last month so…” Well, that took the wind out of our sail and I responded, “Well, I’m glad they did but if you have anymore questions ask me and not your crazy sister!”
The point of the story is, just be honest with your child about puberty and do not leave them in the dark even though puberty can be an embarrassing topic to bring up!