Well, The Boy and I just read through The Boys’ Guide to Growing Up by Terri Couwenhoven and I think it was a success. I didn’t prep him too much, just told him I had a book I wanted to read with him. We sat down on the couch and I showed him the cover, and we started reading. At first, he was a little uncomfortable (what 11 year old boy wouldn’t be, reading about puberty with his mom?), especially at the illustrations, but as we kept going, he seemed to absorb the information, and be more comfortable talking about it with me.
It was a lot of information all at once (it took us about 20 minutes), and I know we will have to review a few times, but we did hammer home the difference between public and private, as well as who are the people in his life who are OK to answer questions about this type of thing. These two things are the most important of all, I think, and this book does an excellent job explaining, as well as creating opening for discussion in both of these areas.
In my last post about this book, I mentioned that it doesn’t talk about sexuality, and it doesn’t. However it does talk about having a crush, or sexual feelings toward another person, and what signals that person may give if they do not feel the same way. It also talks about ways to manage these feelings, which I think is appropriate to add in a book like this. I prefaced this subject with The Boy as being further down the road, in high school, maybe.
I felt like we had a successful conversation about the changes he is or is about to go through, and I feel like both of us are more prepared, which is about all I can ask from any book of this type. I highly recommend this book as a way to start the conversation.