When Should You Talk To Your Son About His Penis?
Do you have a boy? Does he have a penis? If your answer to both these questions is “yes,” then you should be talking to him now.
I don’t have a boy. I have a girl. And if you don’t talk to your boy about his penis, then – and trust me on this – he will be talking to my daughter about it. Well, not “talk” exactly, more like make exaggerated gestures toward it and snort-laugh. When they are toddlers, it’s necessary to discuss their penis if for no other reason than to improve their aim. By the time they are in pre-school, they will need guidance on when it is okay to touch it. The answer is: in private. And for the love of God, call it a penis. Not a pee-pee or a wee-wee. A penis.
My daughter got in the car after school one day and said, “Well, apparently all 4th grade boys want to talk about is their penises.” By the end of summer, those sweet little 3rd grade munchkins had come back to school as 4th grade hellions obsessed with their sexual apparatus. It is natural that as their hormones start to ramp up in early puberty, they become obsessed with their “other brain.” The problem lies in the fact that parents are not talking to their boys about their penises early enough or maybe not at all. If these boys had the language and knowledge to know what was going on with the changes in their most fascinating body part, they would be less likely to behave like monkeys who escaped from the zoo.
It would not be hilarious to point at it and tell a girl to “suck it.” They would not constantly be making hand gestures that exaggerated their size and (imagined) skill. Thankfully, my daughter is not embarrassed or bullied by these antics because she has the language and knowledge to understand what is going on. She knows boys have penises and now, ever since 4th grade, she also knows they are obsessed with them.
I love that my daughter feels comfortable telling me what was said and done on the subject of penises that day. The daily Penis Report is an important part of our afternoon debriefing on the ride home. I think it is important that I know these things so that I can arm her with the intelligence and sense of humor necessary to deal with boys and their penis obsessions for the rest of her life.
I am issuing a call to all Moms-of-Boys to join me in talking about penises with their son as much as I do with my daughter.
The world will be a better place when we can all openly talk about penises.