17 answers

Puberty Questions

My son is getting ready to turn 10 years old and he has started growing pubic hair. Isn't that young? I'm freaking out a little... Also, does anyone have an opinion on when we should begin the 'talk' about the birds and the bees? I don't want to do it too early. Any suggestions anyone has for books to help with this discussion that my son can read would be helpful. Thanks!

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Wow! Thanks for all the great advice. It sounds like my son is developing at a perfectly normal rate and I need to start having some discussions with him. I appreciate everyone that responded!

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Just wanted to say I agree with those who have said it's never too early to begin the birds and the bees talk. I've started already with my son, who is three, and I intend to add more and more information as he gets older. It doesn't have to be one big talk.

1 mom found this helpful

Age ten isn't too young. Every child develops differently. As far as books to explain, the classic favorites are "What's Happening to Me?" and "Where Did I Come From?" Both books are limited on the "fluff" and explain sexuality and puberty from both the male and female views.

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Seems like these things are starting earlier and earlier...
My daughter started getting hair when 9 1/2, as well as breast development. She started her menses exactly one month to the day before her 10th birthday. I was 13! Well, I believe you should bring up th esubject long before they get into trouble. Ask what they know, what have they heard. We are very candid in our home. Kids think they know it all at this age, so, we want to make sure that she knows correctly. Her friends are just as clueless, and the info they will give is scary.He may start asking you more stuff once he figures out he will not catch on fire for asking you. Our daughter always asks us about stuff she hears. I have a medical back ground, and the things kids tell each other is amazing. Get to him first! It is never too early! We started talking to her when she was 6-ish. We watched the birthday show on discovery health..and she wanted to know how and why. Little
things can spark a great conversation. The way someone dresses, things a friend/TV show says, etc. Best of luck. I have a special needs child as well, and this will be a very difficult conversation to have with him. But he is learning already. Take care! W.

1 mom found this helpful

Just wanted to add that my stepdaughter has started wearing a bra sometimes. I understand. :)

1 mom found this helpful

Just wanted to say I agree with those who have said it's never too early to begin the birds and the bees talk. I've started already with my son, who is three, and I intend to add more and more information as he gets older. It doesn't have to be one big talk.

1 mom found this helpful

Two years ago, at 11, my son took a class offered at our church for 5th/6th graders. They used the book, Created by God: About Human Sexuality for Older Girls and Boys by Abington Press. The book discusses body changes, emotional changes as well as goes into human growth, sexual development and reproduction from a Christian perpesctive. He knew more than I did after taking the class, which was about 8 hours, with his friends. I read lots of the book with him and we continue to discuss changes as they occur. I think it is time for you to begin if his body has begun to change.

I think 10 might be a little old for the first talk, not too young. I know we're all uncomfortable with the idea, but the earlier, more comfortably, and more often you talk to your son about things like this, the more likely he is to be willing to talk to you and share your views and values.
Just try to think about it calmly and approach it calmly. If he knows you're uncomfortable, he'll be uncomfortable, too.
And, trust me, he already knows the basics.

Well in my opinion you are already late on that talk. I believe it should have started right from the beginning. But since you havn't it's going to be aquaward. BUT it does still have to be done. I would start out about how your body changes and than go on to why?

10 is definitely not too young to have "the talk". Sexuality has never been a taboo subject of discussion for us. I had the talk with my stepson when he was 10. My son is about to turn 13 and has only just begun the puberty stage, but I had the talk with him at age 10. The rule of thumb in my house is if he's old enough to ask the questions, he's old enough to get an honest answer.

I have several books, a few parenting books that cover the subject and how to discuss it; What's Happening to My Body? - one for girls, one for boys (a little outdated, but useful for kids to read on their own); and The Magic of Sex, which is much more adult (has illustrations, charts and graphs, pictures and loads of info), but covers EVERYTHING. Even though The Magic of Sex is geared toward adults, I've found it to be the most useful because it really does cover everything and I don't forget anything that needs to be discussed. I find books that are geared toward kids quite lacking on the really important subjects, like protection from pregnancy and disease.

The books are great, but only when you sit down with your child and discuss it with him as you read through together. Books cannot replace parental input, especially when it comes to the morals and values you want to instill in your child.

Don't forget to read through any book you get yourself first! If you don't, you can come out sounding like you don't already know and you're just learning as you read with your child. It really makes a big difference if you're trying to teach from the book. Don't let the nerves get to you. Once you've read it, you have the outline for discussion.

I would start now. When kids start puberty, they also start getting interested in sexual matters.

I actually told my kids a long time ago how babies are made, it has never been a secret, so there is no uncomfortable birds and bees moments. Direct honesty is the best approach, matter of fact style. I would mention about contraceptives too, but that doesn't need to be too detailed yet.

I also bought a book directed to boys aged 8 and up, it explains about changes in their bodies. Since I am a girl, I figured I needed more info, and that way my sons can also read all by themselves about the changes, when they want to know.

Sex info book I haven't looked for yet...maybe I should look for one soon, my older son is 9 now.

The kids seem to reach puberty at younger age now when the nutrition is better than it was before. I guess we parents just have to adjust to that change.

Get a book to help you get started. American Girls makes a "Care and Keeping of You" book which is about more than just puberty. My stepdaughter got that book when she was 9.5 yrs old, which was a good age for her. See if you can find something similar for boys. Also, find out what they may be teaching in Health Class (5th grade is usually the first time it's brought up and you can preview the materials. Talk to the teacher.)

"The Talk" should be a series of talks. You can give him the basics and answer some of his questions one day and then revisit it later. Sometimes it's easier to talk to kids in the car, where you don't have to face one another. Would he prefer talking to his dad or another male relative first? Would he be comfortable also talking to his pediatrician? Find out from the doc what tests (like turn your head and cough) are becoming appropriate for his age/development so he's not caught by surprise at the next visit.

Kids his age have probably heard a lot on the playground that we never did, so give him the opportunity to clarify what he's heard. It's hard to think of your little boy growing up, but it's good to open the communication on these subjects (and drugs and whatever else he might face) before he's 15 wondering what to do about his pot habit and pregnant girlfriend.

Hi, M.. I have noticed that my 9 year old daughter is starting to get pubic hair also. I too am a little freaked out. I have not had the talk with her, but need to quickly because a 12 year old in the neighborhood has already had sex and was telling all the other girls about it. I read a book called "Beyond the Birds and the Bees" by Gregory Popcak that is really good. It is more from a religious (Catholic) point of view. It basically teaches you how to talk to your children about this difficult subject. I highly recommend this book for anyone! Good luck!

i have a step daughter that is turning 11 she is in the same boat... last year at school the talked about there body and me presay, this year they was expose to talk about sex as a group of both. I think 11 or 12 is not to young I am still raiseing mine I am not ready to raiseing hers.

My son is also 10 and he has started growing pubic hair as well. Now is a good time to start talking about the birds and the bees. You can contact your local library. That have many good books that can make it easier to explain for the both of you.


The average age for young men to develop pubic hair is 12. That being said, the age range is actually 10-15 years of age. Judging simply from this, I'd say your son is an early developer but just fine. As far as teaching him about sex, it's up to you to judge what your son is ready for. However, my own experience was this...I learned from about sex and many other things from a very young age simply by riding the school bus. The world we live in continues to make light of sex as an every day thing (which is quite unfortunate). So I would say if your son hasn't heard about the birds and the bees yet, he soon will and it's best coming from parents who can teach him with a moral compass.
C. T.

LOL0 no, 10 is not too young. You really should start the beginnings of a talk now. When I was young, we started sex ed in school in 3rd grade. So if he's already had sex ed, he knows the whole deal, if not then hurry so you can be the first to discuss it.

Kids seem to mature earlier and earlier these days, but growing pubic hair is just the first sign of a process that will take him well into his teens.

I'd say you should start talking to him asap. Overall children are more mature these days, and you never know what he overhears from friends. First though, find out what your son already knows - he probably knows more than he lets on. You want his information to come from you.

Usborne has two award winning books about adolescence:
Whats Happening to Me (boy edition) - Focuses on puberty, what happens, and the feelings are commonly brought up.

Growing Up- very detailed, covers just about everything including sex and safe sex

Let us know how it goes, and hopefully you will still be on mamasource to dispense advice when I get to this stage,


My son is 10 and we bought a book called "Let's Talk About S-E-X" from Amazon.com. I read it to him while his dad was driving on a vacation road trip and we discussed it. I did skip the part about girls/menstrual cycles and stuff. But, for the most part, the book accuratly answered his questions, and then some! I told him that when he is a little older we will learn about female anatomy. He know how babies get in the belly's and what he should expect from his body. He also knows what STD's are and how you get them. I love that he is so well informed.

We also discussed that this information was for him and him only. He was not to share this with other kids and that it is their parents responsibilites to teach them about puberty and sex. If he hears incorrect information buzzing around school he should remain quiet and ask his questions to me and his dad only. And if anyone says anything to him in particular, he is to tell them to talk to their parents.

He is in 5th grade and none of this has been a problem.

Age ten isn't too young. Every child develops differently. As far as books to explain, the classic favorites are "What's Happening to Me?" and "Where Did I Come From?" Both books are limited on the "fluff" and explain sexuality and puberty from both the male and female views.

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