BOYS AND PUBERTY

WHAT IS PUBERTY

Is a time when the body undergoes changes physically and emotionally. A period from being a child to a teenager and eventually into an adult. Boys usually begin puberty between the ages 9- 14.

There has been too many ugly stories going around about how boys experiencing puberty become diffcult to relate with,it shouldn’t really be so. It can actually be a time to foster deeper relationship between parents and boys.

WHAT REALLY GOES ON DURING PUBERTY

  • There are lots of emission of hormones into the body to enable growth process and this hormones are made in the brain and testicles.
  • The brain hormones travel down through the body to the testicles telling the body to produce sperms and another hormones called testosterone.
  • Testosterone is the cause of most of the changes that happens to boys during puberty.

It’s important to have conversations about puberty with your son before he enters that stage,because boys usually find this changes strange and it can be scary, confusing and exciting. So that’s why it’s important to brief him about this changes.

CHANGES THAT CAN OCCUR IN PUBERTY

  • Growth spurts in his hands and feets.
  • Loses weight if he was formerly overweight .
  • Increase in height.
  • Facial changes.
  • Voice cracks.
  • Hair growth under armpit and pubic hair
  • Sweating more and body odour.
  • Having pimples or acne.
  • Penis and testicles get bigger.
  • He begins to experience wet dreams.

All of these happens because of the hormones causing these changes and growth but note that not all boys will experience the same changes. Each boy goes through puberty differently with a separate experience particular to him.

EMOTIONAL CHANGES DURING PUBERTY

Most parent are never ready for the emotional changes their sons go through during puberty. This periods calls for understanding,patience, love and compassion to help boys navigate the emotional rollercoaster they experience; here are some emotional changes

  • Mood swings
  • Intense fustration
  • Irritability
  • Sad
  • Depression
  • Aggression
  • Sensitive
  • Angry outburst not knowing why
  • Impatience

SOCIAL CHANGE DURING PUBERTY

  • Intense quest for independence.
  • Crazy about muscle building
  • Always wanting to hangout with the boys.
  • Conscious about physical appreciate.
  • Attracted to girls.
  • Develop sexual feeling.
  • The feeling of wanting to belong and do stuff against the norms.

TIPS ON HANDLING EMOTIONAL TANTRUMS

  • Keep calm and listen and acknowledge their feelings.
  • Help them understand their moods and what they might be going through.
  • Maintain clear rules, boundaries and expectations.
  • Allow them space to process their feelings and be available when needed.
  • Support your child sort out his problem and not jump in to fix it.
  • Make most of the uptimes and frequently praise good behaviors.
  • Work together to lighten their moods and express their feelings.
  • Encourage healthy sleep routine and eating habits.

As your son experiences puberty he begins to struggle for independence and control of his life. He feels he wants to be in charge and do as he pleases. He wants to be allowed to take decision,make choices,do stuff at his time and pace and generally wants to do things to please his hood. He is under alot of pressure from other boys to prove manhood from smoking,vaping, alcohol,do drugs,partying, robbery,have sex,get a girl friend,join a secret cult,dress in a certain away,take risk and go rebellious, desires more privacy and personal space.

This is not the period to become hostile, aggressive but it’s the perfect time to be patient and assertive. Remember that puberty isn’t adulthood so they re in transition and their brain is still undergoing growth. So don’t leave them to themselves this period,they still need to be guided and guarded.

HOW TO SUPPORT YOUR SON DURING PUBERTY

  • Reassure him that you love, care for him and he means the whole world to you.
  • Explain puberty way before he begins to experience it.
  • Respect his request for space and privacy.
  • Teach your son self-care to love and nourish his body which includes good sleep,eating right and excercising.
  • Be more understanding because they do not really understand the transition.
  • Praise them for good efforts, achievement and positive behaviour.
  • Always put yourself in your child’s shoes and see him as a child entering the adult phase.
  • Be calm and patient during angry outburst from him.
  • Tolerate long periods of time spent on personal care but make him respect family timing and values.
  • Talk to your son about peer pressure and it’s negative impact.

Communication and patience is the key to help boys navigate this transition.

My son is 9 and we have been having this talk about puberty and he is so looking forward to this time.

Make this time memorable and celebrate every milestone to adulthood.

#boyslivesmatter