Quora is a great place to ask a question anonymously and gets some really fantastic answers. So when an anon mom posed the following question…

Photo Credit: Quora

…the Quoraverse came to her rescue in the form of Jo Eberhardt, a multi-talented mom!

Photo Credit: Quora/Jo-Eberhardt

Jo wrote:

Ah, puberty. It changes our sweet, wonderful little boys into sweet, eye-rolling, angsty, accidentally disrespectful, but still wonderful young proto-men.

My first son is eleven and a half right now. (I’ve been informed that the half is important.) I don’t claim to know the best way to talk to your son about this — I’m only an expert on my own children — but I can tell you what I said to my son, and you can take from it anything that you feel is helpful.

The conversation went something like this:

Eberhardt went on to describe a conversation she had with her son about how she had made a mistake. Instead of talking about how puberty changes the entire person, she had just been focused on the body.

“Well,” I said with a deep breath. “I’ve spent all this time talking to you about the way puberty changes your body, and what to expect as you go through the changes, but I completely forgot to talk to you about what’s going on in your brain right now. Puberty is the time when your brain grows and changes more than at any other time in your life — well, except for when you’re a baby, perhaps. So I really let you down by not preparing you for that. I’m so sorry.”

That simple act of acknowledgment opened the door:

My son reached out a hand and gently touched my arm. “I accept your apology, but it’s okay. We can just talk about it now.”

“Is that okay?” I asked.

He nodded, and then asked, “Why is my brain changing?”

You can read the rest at Quora, and we highly recommend it. Definitely a masterclass in how to speak to anybody, and other Quora users agreed…

Photo Credit: Quora

Jo’s example is a powerful reminder that how we start a conversation is just as important as what the conversation is about.