I have been compensated for this post in the form of a product. All opinions are mine and mine alone. This post is sponsored by American Girl.
My daughter is not bashful at all and she was willing to openly discuss the different issues and changes involved with puberty, which made it very easy. With my son however, I dreaded having the conversations for years and was not even sure how to approach the subject. I just knew it would be extremely awkward as my son is the opposite of my daughter. He is very reserved when it comes to talking about personal things and I did not want to make a mess of the whole thing. Thankfully, American Girl had just the tool I needed to help us through this uncomfortable situation.
American Girl, headquartered in Middleton, WI, is well-known for their highly sought after dolls. They are also praised by parents and educators for their content, which has helped girls tackle the issues of adolescence for over 30 years. In 1998, the company released The Care and Keeping of You: The Body Book for Girls, a guide that helps prepare young girls for the changes that take place with puberty. American Girl realized that young boys needed the same help and advice and on August 8, 2017, they published the book: Guy Stuff: The Body Book For Boys.
Dr. Cara Natterson is the author of both books as well as others in The Care and Keep of You: The Body Book for Girls Series. A board-certified pediatrician and a mother of teenagers, Dr. Natterson realized the need to tackle the various subjects concerning puberty in an approachable manner. She created the book in a way that encourages parents and their sons to talk about the issues they are facing.
The book is split into color-coded sections to cover everything from emotional to physical changes. The sections include:
- Body Basics: Breaks down basic facts about boys’ bodies and explains the common changes of puberty (“You Will: Grow taller, sprout hair, sweat more, develop muscles, see changes in skin and hair texture, get a deeper voice, see changes to private parts, and experience new emotions.”) and discusses the importance of establishing healthy habits and having a good attitude.
- Heads Up: This chapter covers everything boys need to know to keep their heads and face in tip-top shape, including hair care, acne, sun protection, and oral hygiene.
- Reach: Explains the essentials of nail care and maintaining healthy hands, underarm hair and controlling body odor, plus breaks down the changes boys’ chests will undergo.
- Belly Zone: Acknowledges that bodies come in different shapes and sizes, and shares detailed information on healthy hydration, food, nutrition, and essential vitamins and minerals.
- Big Changes: Tackles changing hormones, private parts (including erections), moods, and voice.
- Get Going: Covers legs, height and growing pains, feet, fitness and exercise, sport safety, the importance of good sleep, and even bed-wetting.
- Your Inner You: This section delves into new feelings and emotions boys may be experiencing during puberty, including topics on peer pressure and bullying, plus letting guys know that it’s not only okay, but healthy, to express their emotions.
This book is amazing! It has the perfect combination of educational substance and humor to keep young boys interested in reading. This guide is packed with illustrations and great information to answer their questions about puberty. It not only answers questions they may have, but it also encourages them to live a healthy lifestyle and to engage in open conversations about worries and fears with parents.
My son was not aware of the book and when it arrived, I just placed it on his bed. I wanted to give him a chance to look at it without before we discussed anything. Later that evening, he brought up the book, which completely surprised me. He started telling me some of the stuff he read about and it sparked a conversation between us. Since we were talking about the book, it was not awkward at all. It seemed more like we were just having a casual conversation. He reads the book almost daily and continues to bring up topics he learned about. I am so thrilled about this book and I highly recommend it to other parents of boys. It not only makes the subject of puberty more approachable, it answers questions that some parents may not be able to answer.
You can pick up a copy for just $12.99 on the American Girl website. It is recommended for ages 8 and up.
Be sure to check out the newest American Girl BeForever Character, Nanea Mitchell. Her story takes place in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1941. The series, written by Newbery Honor Award-winning author Kirby Larson, explores what is was like growing up in the time leading up to and during World War Two. The character shows how it takes just one person to make a difference, even when faced with obstacles.
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