Puberty and Your Tween Son

Your son is going to face a lot of changes

There's no getting around puberty. Boys have to be prepared for the experience, and know that whatever questions they might have, someone has the answers. If your child is bracing for the changes and transitions ahead, remember that puberty is something you and your child go through together. Prepare yourselves for the changes on the way, and know that resources are out there to help you guide your tween through the ups and downs of adolescence, and answer questions that arise along the way. If your son is approaching puberty, this step by step guide will help you begin a conversation and establish a plan of action.

Boy assisting brother in doing homework
Puberty can be challenging for boys. Hero Images/Getty Images

Puberty is all about change, and all boys go through dramatic physical and emotional changes during puberty. Boys will not only experience voice change, facial hair, and the need to stay on top of hygiene issues. They'll also develop their mucles and experience significant brain development. You may also see your tween become responsible and develop skills of independence. Teach your tween to embrace these changes and make them fun by allowing your child to sample different hygiene products, such as shave creams, soaps, etc. 

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Have you noticed your son's voice beginning to change? Does it sound froggy from time to time? Or, does it crack when he least expects it? It may be embarrassing, but voice change is perfectly normal for boys to experience during puberty. Try not to embarrass your child when his voice cracks at an inconvenient time. Make sure older siblings support your son when changes happen. And fortunately, before you know it your son's voice will be deeper and lower, without the cracks.

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Tweens should shower daily to cut down on body odor.
To cut down on body odor, allow your tween to pick out soaps, shampoos and other products. iStockphoto.com

One of the first signs of impending puberty is a change in body odor. Be sure you and our tween know how to handle body odor issues, and that you have deodorant at the ready. It's also a good idea to reinforce that a real shower requires both water and soap. Keep your child's bathroom stocked with supplies and if necessary, enforce daily showers before bedtime or in the morning. Establishing a hygiene routine will help your tween stay on top of body odor issues.

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Puberty, Boys and Understanding Wet Dreams

It's a perfectly normal experience, but wet dreams can cause a lot of anxiety during puberty. Boys should understand that, like other experiences of puberty, wet dreams are normal and temporary as their bodies adjust to adulthood.

OK, this has to be addressed. Hygiene issues take center stage during puberty. Boys should know how to put their best foot forward by taking care to present themselves in a positive way. That means daily showers, showers after excercise, and basic skin care. Oh, and be sure he knows that dirty laundry belongs in the hamper, and not on his body. Tweens who are active in sports should be especially aware of their hygiene habits.

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Puberty can be confusing, for both parents and children. But it's not all bad. Be sure your child knows about the pros of growing up, and of changing from boys to young men. As a parent, enjoy the changes you'll see happening right before your eyes. And guide your child, step by step, towards the ultimate goal of becoming the man you always hoped he'd be.

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A good book will help you and your child master all that comes with puberty development and developing sexuality. Find a book that you can read together, and don't postpone having the sex talk. Studies show that parents wait too long to pass on important information regarding sex, diseases, pregnancy and family values. Now's the time to make your point, don't let it pass you by.

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