What’s got into my parents? A pre–teen’s puberty guide to your changing parents

Posted on June 5, 2011


Son, you’ve been reading all those books about what to expect as you go through puberty. You’re learning about all the changes starting to take place in your body, all the weird feelings, emotions, hairy bits, odors, the whole thing. The books are way better than they were when my folks first left a copy of “A Doctor Talks to 9-12 Year Olds” for boys on the counter for me to find. I’m realizing as I write this that they also left a copy of “A Doctor Talks to 9-12 Year Olds” for girls with it. I don’t know why. I remember liking it more than the other one, though. But that’ll have to be another chapter.

It’s good to know how your body changes as you go through puberty, but you’re not the only one changing, you know.  In addition to experiencing changes in your body and mind, you’ll start noticing changes in your mom and me, too.  And none of these books say what to expect from your parents as you go through puberty. So I’ve taken the liberty of writing one for you.

Here’s my brief guide to your changing parents as you go through puberty.

What’s got into my parents? A pre-teen’s puberty guide to your changing parents.

You’ve probably already begun to notice changes in your parents.  Increased anxiety, a new interest in books about parenting, perhaps even blogging and excessive use of Twitter—these are all perfectly normal and they mean that your parents are changing as you approach puberty.

You probably have questions about these changes. That’s normal too. As you approach puberty, your parents begin to change in all kinds of ways. It can be confusing and even a little frightening, but know that those feelings are normal and a part of every changing kid’s changing parents’ life.

As you’ve been reading, when your brain signals to your testicles to start producing testosterone and other mind and body-tweaking chemicals, you begin a gradual transformation. When it is complete, you will have become a lust-filled, hairy and odorous teen-ager, yet you’ll still be a few years away from having the good judgment that allows you to use these new powers for good instead of evil. It’s an exciting time!

All these exciting changes will, in turn, trigger a series of changes in your parents. Below are 5 of the primary changes you can expect in your parents as you transition into puberty.

  • The days of sleepovers with female friends are numbered. Your parents will be putting a stop to that soon. See, right now the thought of “doing anything” grosses you out, but one of these nights that’s going to change. No parent wants it to be their closet that the neighbor remembers as the first place she played You show me yours, I’ll show you mine.
  • You’ll start seeing some changes around the house. Most notably, the liquor cabinet will get locks. Your parents will also be starting to record the car’s mileage every evening, and will install new tamper-proof smoke detectors in your room. It’s not that they don’t trust you. Well, OK it is like that.
  • Your parents will make you do your own laundry. No person should have to get anywhere near a teen boy’s dirty laundry. It really doesn’t matter that they changed your diapers and wiped your ass for years, they’re not touching your socks come middle school.
  • As your body changes, so do those of your friends. This is significant as your father will begin to get weird when your girlfriends visit the house. This is because the same hormonal changes that you’re beginning to go through now he went through a thousand years ago. He’ll have a hard time reconciling the reality that he’s attracted to your girlfriends with the knowledge that he shouldn’t be. More importantly, he’ll have to come to grips with the fact that he’s an old guy and it’s your turn to have all the fun.
  • And finally, your parents have already completed a predictive analysis of your friends and identified the likely drinkers, smokers and general troublemakers. They’ll be doing all kinds of things to steer you away from those ones and direct you to the boring but safe kids. There’s a reason they suggested you take up the clarinet and join the Chess Club. This behavior will increase until you leave for college. And you will leave for college.

There are many more changes that you’ll see in your parents as you transition into puberty. Just keep in mind that these changes, while a little freaky and somewhat frightening, are a normal part of having a son that’s growing up. Enjoy this special time in your parents’ lives.