I have a nine year old who rather stab himself in the eye with a sharp pencil than talk about "cute girls." I am not the one to ask about him liking girls, but people do, and this is when painful awkwardness unravels. I wonder if this simply comes with his age. At nine years old, my son is oddly still my baby, but also he's not. I am well aware that he's growing up.
Next year, he'll have the school-provided "sex class" and though my husband plans to tackle the topic this year, I often do my best to hint at my openness and availability on all things sex, puberty, and anatomy. Sadly, my son wants nothing to do with me during these exchanges.
He's the type that hides behind a couch pillow if anything remotely intimate develops on TV. Sometimes I'll kiss his dad and he randomly proclaims, "stop it." Just the other day, I said a word he mistook for gay and he was up in arms about it. In the end, I found out his teacher defined the term for his entire class and that he knows next year he'll get the "puberty chat" in school.
However, to get this much out of him was like pulling teeth. I had to carefully measure each and every word. Plus, he was just oozing painful uncomfortability. Personally, I don't get why he's not more comfortable with me.
My parents were anti-communication. They were close-minded and judgey. My husband and I like to pride ourselves on being open-minded, understanding parents. We will shower acceptance all over our children, their questions, and lifestyle choices. Nevertheless, my son has a hard time being a part of any conversation he deems remotely touchy.
The other day as I poked around very subtly he seemed to get emotional when I asked if he was uncomfortable chatting about these preteen topics because of how I would see him? Fighting back tears and hiding his face he answered, "yes" then water works began! In the end, my preteen boy is somehow embarrassed that in my eyes, he'll change. Boy, do I get that.
There's no turning back on growing up. Change is tough and our parents' opinion of us or lack thereof is pretty significant during our preteen years. I assured my sweet kid that I'd never judge him or label his natural changes in any way. I just want him to know I'm here to listen, accept, and support him.
In the end, I hope my message got through and I sure as heck hope he's serious when he claims, "when the time comes, I'll be good, and I'll talk to daddy."