Today I had "the talk" with my son. His attitude and emotions are all over the place, and my wife mentioned that he's probably starting to go through puberty. So I initiated the talk by mentioning that his attitude and emotional swings are related to becoming a man, and what that means. It was way less awkward than I thought- surprisingly- and I know he will have questions as things progress. Given that he's still on the cusp and just starting this transitional phase in his life, he doesn't yet know what questions to ask, and that's perfectly fine.
I'm not sure why this idea of having "the talk" is so terrifying. I mean, I can understand the difficulty of broaching the subject to the uninitiated, but everyone has to go through it, learn what their body is getting ready for. How to instruct it as a parent in a homeschooling family, not to mention answering questions related to those things can be tricky given that the one answering the questions made the one asking the questions. Yet, it's natural, and somehow I think our soft nature regarding this is derived more from our decadent lifestyles than any truly awkward feelings regarding the passage of this information from one generation to the next. And so, my wife and I have been talking about how to approach this subject for the last year or so, knowing that our kids are rocketing toward this important event in their lives.
Being the parent, and having the knowledge in my head that I do, there is a lot that I can pass on to my kids now that my mom and dad couldn't. Neither of my parent's were really the most health conscious, nor were they really physical people. I don't blame them for that- my dad never liked sports because he is blind as a bat, and my mom is... I'll stop there. Suffice to say, they didn't understand to the degree that I do how much puberty is a boon if you know how to USE it. Had I known at 10 what I know now about how the body works, there's a chance that I could be thirty pounds heavier with arms to make Arnold jealous. Granted, I'm a lean guy, but using the rapid growth and physiological changes that puberty brings with it rather than lamenting their arrival is a powerful chunk of knowledge- especially for a parent.
And so, I get to embark on yet another adventure of being a parent. Perhaps the biggest and most important portion of that adventure yet. This is where I get to form not just a person, but a fully fledged adult. The man that leaves my house will be built by me and my wife, and depending on how well we tackle this coming transformation could dictate where he goes and what he does. Same with my daughters as they age. The things I teach and instill in my kids as they hit puberty will impact them for their entire lives. The food and knowledge and love we give them as they move from children to adults will fuel either fully formed powerful adults, or gelatinous overgrown kids.
I prefer the former over the latter. Not for me- but for them.
I'm going to post on this as I move forward in this adventure. My thoughts, my experiences. What I learned that works, and what I fail at abysmally. Check back for more.