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  1. Noemi Zuniga-Perez says:

    Why does my 9 yo son don’t want hugs and kisses from me anymore. He thinks there icky.

    1. Hey Noemi — Sorry for this, I know it is hard for a momma to take. Your son likely picked up on this from someone else– he is likely modeling what he has seen. It is not unusual for a boy to be less affectionate as he enters adolescence, but I do suggest you talk to him and tell him he can still give mom hugs and kisses without being a baby or “icky.” 🙂 Best approach is usually to keep it light and have fun with him and in time he’ll probably want to snuggle back up with you. try not to stress him out by putting pressure on him. Just make yourself available and a safe place and he’ll make his way back to you in time! 🙂 Blessings

  2. Nicole C Cudjoe says:

    I just want to say a HUGE thank you to your article and the comments! I was freaking out cause my 11 year old soon turning 12 years old in July is having random penis erections and it was freaking me out. My sister told me about the normal erection at morning time when he needs to use the bathroom but tonight I was telling a funny story and he had an erection and just jumped on his bed to hide it. I waited a few mins and had a discussion with him and told him it’s normal. He was feeling very uncomfortable and didn’t want me to see. Most times I try to ignore it because to be honest it freaks me out cause I wasn’t ready for this lol. I’m glad that it’s normal and not uncommon and hope he manages it better over time. Should I have his dad talk to him? I don’t want to further embarrass him. Help!

  3. Kelly - Ann Nortje says:

    I recently discovered that my 11 soon to be 12 year old son was watching porn on the internet, i had no idea…. Well i plan to keep all internet away from him, atleast untill i know how to deal with it
    Please help! How do i handle this?

  4. Jennifer L. says:

    My dear friend’s son ran into her room when he was 12 shouting, “Mom, look! I have anus fur! Let me show you!” She was covering her eyes telling him that no, she did not need to see that just now, and he pulled down his pants a bit anyway to show her the few hairs poking out. Anus fur? She realized at that time she really hadn’t gone over all the parts as thoroughly as she ought to have and had to clarify some things a bit. Pubic hair, not anus fur! Fun times!

    1. that is hilarious (even if a bit gross! :)) haha. “Out of the mouth of babes (and adolescents…”) aloha!

  5. Thank you!!! Your email @ post came at the perfect time for us! My boy is 11 and this 5th grade year has been by far the hardest so far! The moods have been crazy! At the end of the school year we got the “grow & development” talk is about to happen warning and I thought….no way! Already! Needless to say your experience and honestly in the subject are going to be a HUGE help for me. Thank you! I will use you like an encyclopedia!!
    Have fun for the rest of your days in Southern California, your in my old stomping grounds!

  6. I am looking for a bit of advice here…my oldest is 10 and a half and he is already exhibiting some of these…he stinks, moodier and basically eating everything! When would you recommend having the bigger sex talk with him? He gets really uncomfortable about anything related to his “private parts” which is the ONLY way he refers to it…and my husband feels awkward too. I don’t want him to get information anywhere but don’t want to overwhelm him either!

    1. Tania–great question. It’s not unusual for a boy to begin showing these signs at 10. It will be a process of course, but I definitely recommend you keeping things as open as you can, even if he is uncomfortable. Use a book (I linked to a few) and just say “this is what we’re doing…it’s part of our job as your parents.” Be objective and mellow, and he’ll appreciate it even if he doesn’t show it. 🙂 It doesn’t matter if you or your husband does it (or both of you) just get things out there. You could even read my post out loud to him while he is doing something quietly (face to face might be awkward.) You set the tone, mom! 🙂 keep me posted!

      1. Thank you for the advice! I think I will request that book and start with your post 😊pray for me!

  7. I love your blog! It has been invaluable in my parenting journey as I have 4 boys. One is 14 and handling the changes of puberty very well. My nearly-12 year old has begun puberty and I thInk will be a bit more of a challenge. This was a great time for me to reread this article! One thing I have found helpful is to have a male pediatrician whom my sons all really like and trust. Sometimes at this age kids need someone to talk to that’s not mom or dad- part of the normal separation process, I suppose- so I have made a point of getting my boys actively involved with the men in our church. Finding a pediatrician that we all trust gives them another resource if they ever feel they need it. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experiences and insights!!

    1. Aerin,
      Aw, thank you so much! I am honored to hear that my blog has been helpful to you. Sounds to me like you’re handling everything super well…Bringing other people into our boys’ lives at this stage is super helpful, well done! Keep in touch as you go, and have a wonderful summer! aloha-

  8. Very helpful! A couple of these things I had honestly never thought of or considered. I’m super grateful for you Monica and the advice and direction you give. Truly.

    1. Thank you so much Britt! That means so much to me. Much love and have a wonderful summer ahead.

  9. Aloha Monica from Australia.
    Absolutely great article about puberty. It brought me tears of joy.
    My son is 13th, nearly 14th, and he has been a roller coaster of mood swings. And he has been resistant to house rules. I have been learning heaps with your blogs, and I will continue reading them and putting them into practice. I believe in unconditional love with boundaries, and I hope my son will keep on growing keeping tge respect.
    Wishing you all the best. Thank you for your amazing work and for sharing with the world.
    Kind regards. Mona

    1. Mona–Thank you so much. What kind words!! I really appreciate you taking the time to comment, and so happy if this offers you a bit of support and encouragement. The moods will even out in time, (I found the earlier teen years the moods were the worst!) Keep up the great work! I hope to get to Australia before too many years go by, so fun hearing from you! 🙂 Aloha-

      1. monalisa michielin says:

        Thank you dear Monica. Keep up also with your great writings to us. Aloha! Mona

  10. I think another growth and puberty issue we parents need to be prepared for is the need for this age to ‘assert themselves’. This age is the time when me (as a female parent) get a lot more push back, smart talk, disrespectful attitude and basically, physical and verbal challenges. It has made being a mom of boys force me to be more aggressive and decisive with my responses. I even pondered on this age with my brother who was raised by my single mom and how she had to get an uncle to redirect this phase to establish a strong male presence. There are definitely different dynamics raising boys as a single mom, or a mother that doesn’t have strong male figures in their son’s life.

    1. I agree!! My sons father and I coparent well but I would still like to be able to talk with him about all of this. He’s with me mostly so I am noticing more than what his father may notice. Because he is with me majority of the time while in school, I want to make him feel comfortable coming to me about any changes he experiences at the time. (For example, if he does have a “wet dream”).

  11. Hi, Monica. Thank you for your wonderful article. The information you provide is invaluable. I wonder, is it normal for the scrotum to change color with puberty? Also, does circumcision affect penis growth?

    I hope all is well in the Grommon/Swanson household! Aloha!

    1. Thank you Shannon. Glad you found my information helpful! Yes, pretty sure color change would be normal. But no, I do not believe circumcision would affect penis growth. It only affects the skin. 🙂 Blessings to you as you navigate this season! aloha-

  12. My son is 11 and starting to go through puberty. His testicles have grown but his penis has not. Is this normal? Will everything catch up?

  13. Okay, weird question here.

    I have a son who is 6 and he has random penis erection. It is freaking him out and me also. He is too young for puppetry to hit, right?

    It will happen when he talks about the cute puppy, or pets the cat, or hugs dad or mom, or hold his baby brother. Or watches Mom and dad kiss.


    1. This is not unusual. Even babies get random erections, especially during sleep. I would suggest not making a big deal out of it. In fact, totally ignoring it. They will become less random as he grows up a bit. Then puberty will hit. 🙂 Good question, and yes, an awkward thing, but nothing to worry about!! aloha-

  14. I turned 14 on April 7th but my genitals haven’t grown but everyone on my football team has developed genitals when do you think I will go through puberty and when will my genitals grow? Please help.

  15. cassandra says:

    Thank You For Posting.

  16. Thank you so much for this post! I grew up in a family full of women, so I’m clueless!

    1. haha, I’m so glad if this helps! 😉 I grew up with only brothers, so I can’t imagine raising a house full of girls either! Aloha–

  17. Desperate mom says:

    OMG Monica, I was having such a horrible time with my 12 year old, that tonight was the first time I felt like running away until I begin reading your blogs. First of all thank you for sharing your experiences. Secondly, I am THRILLED that you are sharing it because you have lived it…. My son has been saying mean things to me like “I think you are ugly”. At first I said, “why would you say that, that is hurtful?” His response was that he did not like how I sand and danced (mind you, it was only in our home, not around his friends). Secondly, he has developed hair in his areas and the stinky order as well, but does not care sometimes about his appearance and if I bring up the smell he says I am criticizing him. Finally, he sits on the couch with his hands in his underwear (because it’s soft feeling mom), so I tell him to go to his room if he wants to touch his private). I don’t know how to handle that one at all. Please help. Thank you.

  18. Thank you, you do such a great job with these posts!

  19. Thank you! That was super helpful! ❤️

  20. Thank you so much for this article. My son is going to be 14 next month and has had typical signs of puberty and we’ve dealt with them as they’ve arrived, showering, deodorant, shaving, swollen nipples… This morning however he was sobbing in my arms convinced something was wrong with him, 45 min later and me guessing everything I could think of between sobs and catching his breath he said something has been happening to his privacy in bed and when he is going to the bathroom (bm), my heart sank as he told me he overheard someone at school talking about it, so he googled “is ejaculation bad” well lets just say that got him a whole bunch of misinformation and the poor kid thought he was going to die, weight loss, muscle fatigue, sleepiness, headache… I felt so bad, we never should have assumed he would come to us with the next stages of puberty just because he / we have been so open with everything else. I quickly tried to explain that it is normal and show him “real” websites that he could trust to read. I am going to show him this when I get home. Again, Thank you!

    1. Oh wow, Jen. Thank you for sharing your story. This just makes my heart sad too as I know the shame and pain that can come with all of this when it is misunderstood. Sounds to me like you handled it perfectly. Well done. I am sure his relief is incredible! Keep up the great parenting! aloha–

  21. I just found your website. Thanks for all of the great parenting tips especially for teenage boys. Have a 12 yr old myself. Having boys, what was your choice/thoughts on circumcision? It was a big debate for us.


    1. Hey Mattie–Thank you and I’m glad you found my site too. 😉 Circumcision? Hmmm, I guess I’d just say that is a personal decision and each family has to follow their own convictions. It does go back Biblically to being something God wanted His people to do and as a physician my husband suggests there is reason for it due to less infections and so on. But I think it is up to each family individually. Hope that helps… 🙂 Aloha-

  22. Good article, as a father of a 13 year old and once a kid in puberty myself, I’d recommend you suggest dad get more involved in their son’s puberty, after all no one will no better than the father who went through it himself. Your article sort of reads like it’s all on the mom and she should be the dominate role in your son’s puberty development. The article almost dismisses the vital role the father can play not just for his son but also the mom when her son goes through these changes.

    1. Sir, I think the purpose of the entire article is to help mothers feel encouraged about having these talks. Of course having fathers actively playing a role in their sons’ adolescence and pubertal stages is ideal but not all family dynamics are equal. 🙂

  23. Keithra Morley says:

    Totally enjoyed this article and found it quite informative. My son is currently going through puberty and am like what the heck am I to do. So glad I found this post.

    1. Haha!! Love it Keihtra! You are not alone! Hang in there and enjoy the process!

  24. Sigh…
    Where were you fifteen years ago?!?!
    Coulda use some of your info. then!!
    Only thing I could add?
    1)You say be there for your teen. Not always possible when doing a cross country move and settling in new town.. Hunting for shelter, jobs and care of total three boys plus their two boy cousins also just hitting the teen or preteen age..(and no additional adult support… We were All trying to find.
    2)Have lots of food… See above..
    Having said this.. I am showing this to my friends who have boys comin up to this age!! Hopefully her transition goes better than mine…

    1. Oh bless you Marce! I feel you and I think we all wish we could go back to one time or another…Sounds like you had some unusually challenging circumstances. 🙁 Thanks for commenting and for sharing with your friends! Much aloha to you–

  25. Thank you Monica for your series, as your insight is so valuable. I have a boy who has just turned 14 and he has definitely hit puberty. I have found that he is so quiet and isolative now. He is harder to talk to and he isn’t nearly as social and outwardly active as he used to be. School is harder for him in Grade 8 so it seems to take up most of his time and energy. I just wish I could draw him out more, help him with his confidence to try new things. Any advice welcome.

    1. Thank you Ann. Yes, there is a fine balance there. Your son probably needs a bit more quiet. He is thinking (and obviously working hard, bless his heart!) But I also encourage you to be really open and honest with him — Invite him to hang out and you lead some conversations, even if it is awkward or a bit quiet at first. If he knows that every week mom (and dad or one of you-) wants to just have ice cream or go for a walk and talk, then over time he might open up more. Maybe share a bit from your own early teen years, help him know how normal any of his feelings are, and keep it light and fun. If he knows you are there and that you are not judging his feelings or his changing self, he will likely find you a safe and comfortable place to turn to. Just keep it up and don’t give up and assume your connection has been lost! You’re doing great i have a feeling. 🙂 Aloha and keep me posted, k?

  26. Thanks so much Monica! I have recently found you and SO glad I have!! I really, really appreciate all your advice! It comes just in time too!! My just-turned-12-yr-old is starting this journey – And lately it’s been a bumpy ride!! More fun to come, but I love your style and will be looking at you for lots of tips and help during these coming days and years!! Aloha!!

    1. Thank you so much Laura. I really appreciate you taking time to comment! 🙂 much aloha and I’ll look forward to having you around! 😉

  27. You have some great tips and seem to have a wonderful relationship with your boys. I have two daughters 22 and 20. We could always laugh and talk about all of this stuff. They have thanked me for being so blunt so they didn’t feel dumb in Jr High. Now I have a 17 year old boy. I became very sick from Lupus, Sjogrens and Fibromyalgia about 4 years ago. My son is angry at me for being sick all of the time and not being the fun active mom I was with his sisters. He won’t talk to me unless he has to. He avoids me and he is ashamed of me. He won’t invite his friends over to our house. He is a good smart kid but I have no idea what’s going on in his life. It breaks me heart. When I try to make him talk to me he glares at me until I’m done and if I tell him something funny or say something funny he does everything he can not to smile. He is punishing me for something I have no control over. He is just waiting out the school year to graduate so he can leave. My girls and husband think I’m nice and just a delight to hang out with even if it’s in my room. Not the boy. He is going to punish and ignore me. It breaks my heart. I wish I knew how to fix this. He was my best buddy before I got sick.

    1. Wow Tiffanie–
      That is just heartbreaking. Both your illness, and your son’s response. Sounds to me like he needs some professional help sorting through his feelings. How does Dad handle this situation? I would hate to imagine you taking all of this on yourself without more support from your husband. Be strong and ask for what you need from others. Your son is clearly confused and struggling himself. I’m sorry it is targeted at you, but please get some help here. I’d love to hear of your relationship being renewed before too long! Much love and prayers for you all —

      1. Thank you for you quick and compassionate reply. My husband has been my best friend since we were teenagers. We just celebrated our 25 th anniversary. We always get along and enjoy each other but he will not stick up for me to the kids. He worked a lot when they were little and now that they are older he just wants to be their best friends. We have fought more about the boy this past summer than we have since we met. He will be leaving on a LDS MISSION this summer in June. He will be gone for two years and I am broken knowing he is going to leave angry at me. I can’t be out in the sun so I can’t go outside and do stuff. He is a great kid. He got his Eagle Scout when he was 13 and earned every merit badge by the time he turned 15. He is going to graduate from high school with his associates degree. But when he looks at me his beautiful brown eyes are grey stone color and he clenches his fists. I really am a layed back fun mom. I just can’t get out of bed very often. He is killing me…

        1. Sheena Carnie says:

          Thanks so much, Monica, I just found this post and had a good laugh. We got through puberty just fine with my older boy (now 17.5) and had almost no issues aside from the acne which he’s still battling. The little one is another story! 13.5 going on 18 with far too much attitude … for days you can do nothing right and then the next day in walks the gorgeous sweet boy I love so much and I remember why I don’t send him away! The other day I told him it really upsets me when we fight so much, and he says “but you fight with me anyway!” I reiterated that just because I didn’t like doing it didn’t mean I was going to stop – he has to learn to clean up, be respectful, be kind, do his homework, learn for tests, have showers etc and I WILL be fighting with him about all of that, I just bite my tongue some times in between. This parenting this is hard work, but there are fun times in between. Thanks again for all your great common sense posts.

          1. Thank you Sheena!! Yep, you’re in good company I believe–And you’re doing it well it sounds like! Much love to you and keep up the great work!

  28. This was so funny and so helpful. I laugh so hard. Thank you so much! I can’t wait to read more! I feel so much better and more prepared… This stuff is happening😊 God bless you.

  29. Thank you! This is EXACTLY what I have been looking for. Looking forward to the whole series as a Mama of 3 boys.

  30. Thank you, thank you, thank you! My son is going through the change now and is very shy, awkward, yet humorous about it….doesn’t help that he gets teased from his older sister and cousin which I will now talk to too. I will have my hubby read this too (not my son’s biological dad….. who is not in the picture). Very informative and a great read. Again…Thank you!

    1. So glad you find it helpful!! Thank you for taking time to comment. Much aloha and keep up the good work! 🙂

  31. Julie Bloom says:

    I just love, love your articles, you’re adorable personality,…I could go on. Thank you for tackling these important issues for young men. I love my boys too! (But that goes without saying).

  32. This is all right where we are at and right where we want to be headed! Thank you for speaking out about the pornography problem – a great reminder and reality check, and love what you have to say about establishing a strong relationship before puberty hits!! Bought my books at Amazon this week, can’t wait to get started! Thank you Mon!!

  33. Thank you for this, very helpful! My oldest son will 11 in October and her already eats like a monster lol. But I’m not ready for “the talk ” with him, I think I might let his dad do that part he will be more ready than me.

  34. I grew up with just my mom and am now a mom to 3 boys. Your articles have been so helpful! I was so unprepared for the changes I’m seeing in my boys, 10, 12 & 13. Thank you for sharing!!

  35. Any suggestions for single mothers? My twin boys are now 16 and this is probably too late for me.

    1. No Carmen– Never too late!! You just be confident and get in there and communicate with your boys! They always need mom, and they will listen to you. Jump in where you can and love them and pray for them, and be a parent to them. They need you still!!

      1. Thank you. you know a woman can only teach a boy so much but never to be a man just like a man can never teach a little girl to be a woman.

        1. I have a 15 yo son and im a divorced. His dad isnt around to help him through these hard adolescence years… my son is so moody and not very motivated to do much of anything but eat, sleep and play his video games. Is this normal?

          1. Joel,
            I’m so sorry for your frustration with your son. I think what you described can be normal for seasons of a teenagers life, though I do not like to think it has to be that way. I recommend not allowing unlimited video games or anything that is isolating him. He might be slow to open up, but if you can get some time with him (take a walk or a drive or anything-) perhaps he will share what is going on. If your gut says something serious is going on, you can seek counseling. I encourage parents to keep seeking relationship with their teenagers and though it may be hard usually they will connect with you in time. Pray for him and help him find some positive places to connect–a youth group or sports ,etc. Don’t give up! 🙂

  36. Thank you! This is so helpful.

  37. Another excellent post. Thank you for this information and for being so clear. We’re just heading into puberty so here’s to all the fun ahead!

    I hope you enjoy Do Hard Things. I think it is an excellent book.

  38. Thank you for these posts. Anytime I bring the subject up they seem to cover their ears. My 14 yr old had the talk with my husband which was helpful when and as all the changes have happened. But our 11 year old is a different personality. Needing a different approach. I will try the books. I remind them every day about deodorant. It is repetitious but necessary. The eldest is getting better at remembering. The youngest I think we have not found the right deodorant for his body’s chemistry. What was the name of those products from a post over the summer?

    1. Laura–Yes, they cover their ears sometimes here too, but trust me: They’re listening. 🙂
      The brand I shared a little while back was 808Dude. People have really liked it–and all natural, organic.
      Hope that helps! Aloha-

  39. Thank you Monica, this was super helpful! You are too kind to share all this information, my 11 year old is going thru about half of the points you covered already so is nice to be ready for what’s coming very soon.



  40. I’m so not prepared right now (not like I need to be THISVERYSECOND) but I’m so thankful that you just came out and said all the things. It can be so easy to dance around subjects, but I feel more confident about talking to my boys when the time comes!

    1. Thank you Heather. Yep–You’ve got a bit of time, but indeed–time flies! 🙁
      Knowing you, you’ll be beyond prepared and on your game! Enjoy these times now, and you’ll have a great time all the way through. XOXO

  41. Monica, again thank you! These posts are super helpful. As a mom to 2 boys (7,8 ) and a girl (6), I will be dealing with this soon and welcome all of your advice? We bought the good/bad pictures book and my hubby and I are reading/talking. I also love all your book suggestions to go with this! You have an anazing gift and I’m thankful you share! Your husband and boys are so lucky! Keep the info coming!!! Xo

  42. What age did you start puberty talks? My boys know the word because a middle school cousin used it. I explained in general terms, but that’s it so far.

    1. I started talking to my boy at 8, which I thought was pretty early, only to find out that the words and concepts were already coming up in his peer group and he had questions.

      1. Yes, I’m not too surprised. Crazy, right? Thanks for sharing! Great reminder to start young! aloha-

    2. We started everything pretty naturally as kids grew up. More officially we started the book series that I referred to (“God’s Design for Sex” series) when they were pretty little. (I think the first book in the series says you can begin at age 5, so it stays very basic.) It helps to follow the books because then we aren’t just bringing up a random topic and margin things all awkward.
      As far as discussing puberty specifically, it’s been different for each one. I suppose when we saw the first was getting near puberty we opened the conversation more, but the younger ones saw the older one, so the talks all began earlier, and even more naturally. Sorry if this isn’t super clear, but we’ve never the type to follow a set formula or structure.