How to decide whether to tell your parents you’re going through puberty

Posted on September 5, 2012


She's not possessed

Well, hi there, and welcome to this week’s instalment of WTF Wednesday, where the advice is free but the cost of following it is enormous.

As many of you know, every Wednesday we take a break from the regular bloggishness and do an online advice spoof (sorry if you thought it was real all this time) called WTF Wednesday. While the advice is of questionable value (read: none at all), the questions are indeed real and are submitted by readers just like you. Feel free to submit a question via the comments section, feedback page, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, carrier pigeon, whatever.

We also can see all the search terms that people enter into sites like Google whenever they are directed to this blog, and have been getting a lot of good questions that way lately, too.

My theory is that Google has become that trusted friend we always wished we had but that only exists in the movies. You know, the one that you can tell anything to, ask anything of, and they’ll never judge you or laugh or call the authorities. The only real difference is that your imaginary friend doesn’t track your every move, record everything you type, store it in some questionably secure computer, and then offer to sell it to the highest bidder. Other than that, they’re virtually the same.

Today’s advice-seeker asked Google (who apparently thought my blog was the place to send them) this question:

Do you have to tell your parents you’re going through puberty?

Every family is different. For instance, what my son has to do depends entirely on how much of a guilt trip I lay on him if he doesn’t. But let’s be honest: if your parents can’t tell you’re going through puberty, then maybe it’s best they not know anyway.

Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of telling your parents you are going through puberty and you can decide for yourself what’s best:

Reasons to tell your parents you are going through puberty:

  1. So they won’t call an exorcist.
  2. They’ll understand why you’re a total nightmare and may punish you less when you pull all that crap you’re about to pull.
  3. They might give you less flack for hogging the bathroom.
  4. They’ll know to get another phone line.
  5. So dad can get his firearms license and purchase a gun before it’s too late.
  6. So your parents can start booking summer-long sleep-away camps, which will make you essentially not their problem.

Reasons you might not want to tell your parents you are going through puberty:

  1. There are real benefits to having your parents think you are possessed. Not the least of these is the privacy they’ll give you while you’re doing whatever it is you’re doing in your room.
  2. Telling your parents you’re going through puberty is just begging for The Talk. And if Dad can’t tell you’re going through puberty in the first place, he’s the last guy you want explaining why you get that weird feeling every time you open the Sears Catalog to the underwear section.
  3. Dad will get his firearms license and buy a gun.
  4. You can kiss sleepovers goodbye.
  5. Dad will put locks on all the closet doors and remove the one from your room.
  6. All ladders will be removed from the outside of the house and your bedroom window will be nailed shut.

They taught us in advice blogger’s school to try and let the advice-seeker answer their own questions. It was really quite liberating to know I just had to ramble on about some stuff and not actually have to give advice. It turns out that giving advice could, under certain circumstances, lead to people taking it, which is obviously a liability that no expert wants to have to face. So, you do what you think is right for you. I’ve done all I can do here.

Problem solved! You’re welcome.

Any readers have pros and cons you’d like to add? We’d love to hear ‘em!