My answer is start now. Whatever the age of your son, jump into that conversation. If he’s young, begin talking more about how God designed his body as a boy. If he’s knocking on the door of adolescence, you’ll need to accelerate the conversation, and explore the possibility that he has been educated (or miseducated) by his peers.
Here are three rules of engagement as you move into the conversation at any point in your son’s life.
- Talk often. Toss out the idea of a “birds and bees conversation” or “the talk.” This isn’t a one time conversation, it’s an ongoing dialogue. We want to talk all throughout his development about his growing, changing body.
- Use anatomically correct words. Avoid using “tee tee” or “wee wee.” The penis is just another part of the body, like the nose, elbow or knee. Not calling it what it is communicates the topic as taboo, and can make boys more reluctant to talk or ask questions.
- Establish yourself as the source. The more often we talk and give him an opportunity to ask questions, the more likely he is to use us as his primary source of information. The less likely we are to jump back into this conversation, the more likely he is to Google his questions or go to the internet for information.
Join us next week as we discuss talking with girls about puberty.