There is a brief window between childhood and puberty that allows parents to do some last-minute prep work before their son goes from cute and cuddly to cool and untouchable. Take advantage of this time frame to reinforce values and promote self-esteem in your son. It's also all right to make a last-ditch effort to spend some quality time with your child before you become too uncool to hang out with. This is a good time to pull out those awkward memories from puberty and use them to prepare our child. Just be sure you don't scar them before they even get a chance to live through one of the most awkward periods in life.
Step back in public. Any boy who is remotely hanging in the balance between childhood and puberty isn't going to appreciate a hovering mother. You might be able to hug him in public, but I wouldn't count on getting a kiss from your son while his peers are around. Realize that it's time to give your son his space, but file this information away for potential blackmail later. After all, you can get your son to do just about any chore if you threaten to snuggle him and call him your baby at the next event you chaperone.
Try to be helpful with the new look. When your son exchanges his cute t-shirts for something a bit more fitting for a teen boy, let him know how good he looks, but make sure he's not dressing offensively. Current trends can make parents blush, but you're still the parent. You can encourage savvy dressing while implementing values. You also need to have some patience as he enters this new world of fashion. Remember this is a new phase for him and if he doesn't love the clothes he has, they're just going to get buried in the back of the closet. My personal favorite way that my son deals with clothes he doesn't want to wear is when he throws them on the floor and they eventually migrate to the laundry basket. I just love washing a brand new shirt over and over without it ever having been actually worn.
Be prepared for him to be the one in the house with the most hygiene products. In fact, if you're smart and financially savvy, you can actually make some money off this phase by buying stock in popular hygiene products for men. Even though my son has hair that is regularly cut to be less than an inch long, he has more hair products than I even knew existed. He also has enough cologne and body spray to carry him well through his college years.
As much as you want to protect your son, try not to critique the girls he develops an interest in. Your boy isn't going to get married anytime soon and since he's just at the beginning of puberty, he isn't going to run out and get a gal pregnant either. Reserve your opinion for later years, when "going out" means more than holding hands at recess. If you start offering up your opinion now, it may not be asked for when it really matters.
Educate your son. It might be a bit soon for "the talk" but you can let your son know what he can expect. When his body starts developing a mind of its own at the most inappropriate times, he needs to know this is a normal part of growing up and might even benefit from some tips on how to deal with it. You also need to let him know that he isn't going crazy when he has emotional mood swings. He's simply having a hormone surge.
Source: Personal experience
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