After reading “Six Ways to Keep the ‘Little’ in Your Girl” I felt pretty much like I’m “good to go” for the girls as we work our way closer and closer to some big talks, but pretty clueless about the boys. And with Liam being 9, we’re going to be on our way sooner than later. (Although his lack of stinkyness even after 2 soccer games on one day, smooth and still-round-baby face and miraculously non-oily hair are telling us he’s barely entered puberty if at all…yet). Still, I WILL be ready, and will start dropping some phrases on him from time to time to see what he’s heard and find out what he knows or doesn’t know (see post on pimples and dimples here) yet.
I started looking around our local library a little bit, and since I can’t get “Six Ways to Keep the ‘Good’ in Your Boy” from my public library because it’s “too new and will be available for request/checkout in June 2013″…I decided to see what they DO have available for checkout now. I really want to read this book and will keep trying to get my hands on it, but in the meantime I’ve been researching books that are meant for parents to get and give to their boys to read and learn about what’s going on with them during puberty.
Here’s what I’ve gotten and read so far:
This book gave a 10,000 foot birds-eye view of everything going on in life at this point in a boy’s life. The book touched on making friends, personal hygiene, puberty, sports, relationships with friends, siblings, and parents, school and grades, saying no to drugs & alcohol, even navigating a divorce. Lots of subjects were brought up, and simple explanations were given, but nothing was super in-depth. There is a lot of color on each page, illustrations, big font that is quick and easy to read, interesting facts and pop-outs, and only one uncomfortably cartoonish side-view drawing of plumbing (I’m only using this pseudonym so I don’t attract weirdos to my blog). A pretty safe very general introduction to the topic of growing up.
My Body, My Self for Boys (113 pages)
I will admit that this one took me two days to read. It is very in-depth. It is like reading a thoroughly researched condensed science book. There is a lot of information, most of it medical and scientific, but thorough. Lots of realistic drawings, sketches, and diagrams. Nothing is left out in this one! I appreciated that it even included a section called “Special Concerns for African-Americans”–none of the other books have talked about hair or skin differences between different ethnicities. There are quizzes, journals, and activities as this is meant to be a personal and interactive workbook for a boy. I guess there is an actual book that is a companion to but not necessary for going through this workbook, and the workbook states that the companion book goes into “much more detail” about each topic. I’m wondering how many pages long THAT book is!
This is an older book published in 1991 and again in 1995. There are a lot of words, so it reads more like a texbook of yore than a newfangledy picture-laden, chart-riddled, pop-pouts, quotes and quizzes interactive book that seems more popular nowadays. It kind of puts it all out there. Of the three books I have read so far this is the only one that has mentioned girls–what is going on for them during puberty and talking about a girl’s physical changes, periods, their anatomy and how pregnancy occurs. This one talks about the actual act of intercourse and introduces heterosexuality and homosexuality. The last chapter answers some FAQ’s that are pretty boldly straightforward with answers like, “And yes, a girl can get pregnant if she has sex standing up.” This one was just too much information for a “beginner” book for what I am looking for with my sons.
I’m sure there is more out there, but I started with what was available at the local library at no cost to me. I’m sure there are more resources out there.
So tell me, what have you read, used, or do you recommend as a good resource?