Talking to your kids about puberty

Amazon: What's Going on Down There?: Answers to Questions Boys Find Hard to AskMy lovely friend Linda has this to say about her pre-pubescent son's equipment:

As unbelievable as it seems, the little winky you used to clean with a baby wipe will eventually grow big and hairy, sooner than you can ever imagine (a shocking sight for a mom when you haven't seen it in awhile!).

There are some great books that deal with not just the physical changes but all the other stuff that comes with becoming a boy with usable body parts. I like What's Going on Down There? by Karen Gravelle. It covers a lot more than just body changes–things like sexually transmitted diseases, homosexuality, rumors about who's having sex with whom, contraceptives, girls' body changes and many other topics, all done with humor and some appropriately silly drawings.

I gave this book to my curious and mature eleven year old (I read it first) and he really enjoyed how the material was presented and that he could get a lot of his questions answered without having to ask mom (or even dad) embarrassing questions. This book has also led to some frank and lively conversations by introducing the topics that then became jumping off places for further discussions.

Our boys need to be armed with information about their weapons of mass impregnation!


Books are a great way to open up the conversation about puberty for both boys and girls. Here are some more good books about puberty:

Amazon: The Care and Keeping of You (American Girl) (American Girl Library) Amazon: My Body, My Self for Girls, Revised 2nd Edition (What's Happening to My Body?) Amazon: Ready, Set, Grow!: A What's Happening to My Body? Book for Younger Girls

For girls:


Amazon: The Boy's Body Book: Everything You Need to Know for Growing Up YOU (Boys World Books) Amazon: My Body, My Self for Boys: Revised Edition (What's Happening to My Body?) Amazon: On Your Mark, Get Set, Grow!: A "What's Happening to My Body?" Book for Younger Boys

For boys:


Amazon: It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health (The Family Library) Amazon: Sex, Puberty, and All That Stuff: A Guide to Growing Up

For both:

How has the puberty conversation gone in your family?

RelatedAt what age do you stop letting your kid see you naked?

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  1. cJw says


    Great headline; even better article! [The original title of this post was “Let’s talk about penises.” — Asha]

    I agree completely with reading anything you give to your children to assure it lines up with your beliefs.

    As a former 11 year old boy, I can vouch for the importance of familiarity with ‘what’s going on down there’… ; )

  2. says

    Bravo to Asha for posting this (especially as censorware across the globe is shutting off access to even as we speak). I have a thirteen year-old boy and I would love to hear what other parents think are good resources for this stage of the learning process. (Weapons Of Mass Impregnation! Hahahahaha!!)

  3. says

    Sounds like a good one! And for the younger 4-9 set, we like It’s So Amazing, a great book about eggs, sperm, and how they get together…

  4. says

    In a semi-related note, I’ve created a t-shirt line to help people address the terms correctly. I got the idea when we had our daughter (our first child). We decided right away that we would use the correct or “anatomic” terms for her parts. So from the time she could speak, she knew “boys have a penis, girls have a vagina”.

    So, was born.

    The line is in its earliest stages, so any promotional help I could get would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks for all the hacks, and keep em comin.