Preparing our sons for manhood can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to teaching them about life and sexuality.  We want to protect them from pornography, inform them about the changes they will experience in puberty, and teach them about healthy sexuality. Fathers often ask me where to find good resources to accomplish these tasks with their sons. In this article, I want to discuss three excellent resources that should be used before your son enters middle school.

  • Education on the Dangers of Pornography. Today pornographic images abound in all forms of media.  While we would like to shield our sons from this, it’s almost impossible.  However, we can teach out sons about the dangers of pornography and to come talk to us when they encounter any.  This can protect them from the harmful effects of those images.  To achieve this, I recommend the book, Good Pictures/Bad Pictures: Porn-proofing Today’s Young Kids by Kristen A. Jenson and Debbie Fox. This book is written for children ages 8 and above.  I recommend reading this book with your son just before he enters third grade.  That is the grade where many kids are first exposed to pornography.  Through reading this book with your son, and your ongoing conversations with him, you will help your son learn to reject all forms of pornography.     
  • Informing Your Son about Puberty: Adolescence is a time of great change for most boys.  There are physical, sexual, cognitive, emotional, and spiritual changes that occur during this time.  It’s important to teach your son about this so that when it happens it’s not a shock to him.  He will be ready for it!  One book I recommend that can help is Guy Stuff: The Body Book for Boys by Cara Natterson.  Surprisingly, this book is published by American Girl (the folks who make the American Girl Dolls!); however, it’s an excellent book to teach your son about puberty.  It covers all aspects of puberty, not just the physical and sexual changes.  Moreover, it pushes no political agenda (i.e. homosexuality, abortion, masturbation, birth control, etc.).  It simply presents the straight truth about puberty.  I recommend reading this with your son just before he enters fourth grade.  This may seem a little early; however, kids today are entering puberty early, and you want to educate him on this before he gets it in school or from his peers.
  • Teaching Your Son about Sexuality: All kids are curious about where babies come from.  Eventually we need to teach our sons about this.  This is probably the most anxiety-ridden conversation we will have with our sons.  Few men look forward to having “the talk” with their sons.  One book that can make this a little easier is Wonderfully Made! Babies: A Catholic Perspective on How and Why God Makes Babies by Ellen Giangiordano and Dr. Lester Ruppersberger.  This book is written for kids ages nine and older.  I recommend reading this with your son just before he enters fifth grade.  Having been through Good Pictures/Bad Pictures and Guy Stuff, your son will be ready to learn about sex.  Wonderfully Made Babies presents human sexually beautifully and from a Catholic perspective.  It is solidly based on a scientific research on human sexuality and the Catholic Church’s teaching on sexuality.  Any father can feel safe using this book to teach his son about sexuality.

With these three books, and ongoing conversations, fathers can feel confident that by the time their sons enter middle school they will be able to recognize and reject pornography, be ready for the changes of puberty, and have a healthy understanding of human sexuality.  Now, while your conversations about these topics will need to continue throughout their teen years, you and your son will have a firm foundation for those conversations, which will make them easier to have.

  

  • jeddrich

    Why recommend books written by women on such a sensitive topic? Aren’t there male authors who have a more credible (i.e., a first-person) perspective on the objective and subjective aspects of this intimate topic? Would you recommend a similar book for girls written by a man? I would think that a mother and daughter should share books authored by another female. Likewise here. No wonder why young men today are so screwed up.

    • Phil Alcoceli

      Dear Brother Jeddrich, we men are more afraid of our hearts than of anything else ever, which is why we men leave such a huge area of vulnerability totally open and today’s society suffers so much and is so vulnerable and so willing to follow evil because of that. We have to reconcile God’s warning about sin-blinded hearts being the most deceitful thing (Jeremiah 17:9) with God’s command to love Him with all our HEARTS, mind and strength (Deuteronomy 6:4-7)). Jesus did that masterfully and was not afraid to be his Most Holy Mama’s Boy (John 2:1-11) and also the most manly man EVER.

      Leaving the heart out is spiritually and socially suicidal and the Devil has taken this huge chance and has become the Biggest Impostor of the Heart, therefore taking huge control over society and the Church. Women’s heart expertise is why it is absolutely essential that we also listen to high quality women in regards to sensitive subjects such as this one and not leave the heart to Satan and his followers. Remember that in the battle for the soul, the heart almost always wins over the mind. Remember!

      Us men becoming more and more cerebral and spiritually narrow has been a total disaster and enablement of evil. Remember also that women themselves are being hyper-over-feminized. Excesssive (spiritual) estrogen causes (spiritual) cancer in BOTH genders. As in the flesh just as in the spirit. Like Andrew said in his comment right here: “Let them know that their is honor in doing what is difficult and explain that we men have a duty to protect and honor women….” That is what makes a True Man of God, even if some of the women we honor spit us on the face. Satan targeted Eve because he knew that by getting her he would get everyone.When we as men don’t break in God’s Almighty Grace, then they regain their lost female dignity and the whole world follows. It’s all about who rules the heart. Remember!

      • jeddrich

        It’s just the women have taken over so much of education and other activities (for example, no more M in YMCA, no more BOY SCOUTS), with everything becoming co-ed integrated, that there is no longer any private space for an exclusively male enclave. You would think that in this most intimate of areas regarding male development, where a man would have first-hand knowledge instead of mere cerebral book-learning that a woman could acquire from taking biology courses, that a father could use a resource for his son that was the result of another man’s labor and PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, not acquired by mere study.

      • Phil Alcoceli

        I understand your frustration as a I’m a retired licensed teacher and worked directly with the students’ parents on my own initiative. Same thing at Church, etc. etc. Long before that, it was already a concern of mine, when I was a small boy myself. I saw that everywhere we go over-hyper-feminization is a demonic plague (if you read my comments here or anywhere else for 15 years you’ll see that I’m the total opposite of a feminizer but I will never ever deny the HOLY complementarity God built between men and women). We are half the men without them and that’s not God’s purpose.

        Boiling frustration, like blind anger, are always very bad advisors and very bad counselors. WE have to look for solutions that don’t make the problem much worse which is what frustration and anger DO. You reflect that exact situation because in something like “the talk” with our boys, how is it that a book written by a quality Christian women (NOT feminist activists) takes ANYTHING away from us men having an “exclusively male enclave” moment with our boys? How? Will the information, books and pictures we share with the boys be infected with ultra-feminizing “cooties”? That makes no sense and despising the holy labor and factual studies of Christian women is not manly at all. This horrible times we live in require UNITY and mutual support of all kinds, like a Christian Army. Satan loves the opposite: divide and conquer.

        God the Almighty created the human family to be a single unit, working together as a team to forge real men and real women to worship the real God. The Feminist Disaster is based on the imaginary absolute autonomy and independence of women. Should we make the same error by declaring our own absolute male autonomy and independence? No!! Never!!

        Indeed, in places and cultures like Sparta, that very macho EXTREME allowed homosexual relations between older warriors and their young trainees. Horrible! Is that what we want? Again, extremes are Satan’s signature and they destroy God’s Holy Balance and Via Media everywhere. Real Godly Warriors stand and fall with our women, even when it’s just us in the battlefield, like in the final scene of “Braveheart” where the tortured hero sees in his mind his beloved wife and child even as he is disemboweled and torn to pieces (historically true).

      • jeddrich

        I am not generalizing. My critique concerns this special situation. It simply strikes me as a double standard here, because I cannot imagine that a woman would read with her daughter from a book about female adolescent development that was written by a male doctor! Huh? Makes no sense psychologically! Of course he could have all the biological education necessary, but only a female author would have the personal FIRST HAND experience that two other women (the mother and daughter) could share and relate to. Likewise in this case. No matter how much medical training a female author might have about male physiology, there is simply no way that she could relate to it on a personal concrete FIRST HAND level of experience in common with the father and the son. That is all I am saying. In such a sensitive area there should not be intrusion of one sex into the other’s intimate arena.

      • Phil Alcoceli

        You say: “I am not generalizing”, but that’s exactly what you are doing and you just did it again. Do you have any actual self-awareness? You say, “It simply strikes me as a double standard here, because I cannot imagine that a woman would read with her daughter from a book about female adolescent development that was written by a male doctor! Huh?”. In what world do you actually live in? Huh? High quality, Christian women do exactly that all the time and they don’t “check under the hood” to see what the gender of the author is, as far as he is a reputable, in good standing, Catholic/Christian author that provides great, positive, high quality information and insight.

        Both KNOWLEDGE and EXPERIENCE are not split into two genders like two rival universes isolated from each other. Some of the very best information and insight about male biology and being a true REAL man came to me also from both good and holy women even though they never, ever carried male genitals and never, ever pretended to be men. Women friends and my own daughters have told me the same about insight on female biology and true femininity I’ve given them even though I am not, or ever pretend to be, a woman. Truth is ONE: Jesus, and it is UNITING not DIVIDING. Anything else is from fracturing, dividing, split-minded evil.

        You also say, “That is all I am saying. In such a sensitive area there should not be intrusion of one sex into the other’s intimate arena”. Intimate? What the heck!!? Intimacy is for the parents!! You want to cancel the loving vigilance of BOTH parents that is so essential in this sinful world? That is one of the VERY MOST dangerous things I’ve ever heard and I’m quite old. You know what I hear loud and clear when I hear that?: “Divide and Conquer”, “NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association) would absolutely love something like this”.

        The family as established by God thrives on unity, faith and reason. Your ultra rigid, ultra narrow logic lacks two of those: faith and unity. Corrupters like NAMBLA, pedophiles, homosexuals, transgenders, liberals, radicals, etc. hate the UNITY and FAITH of the Christian/Catholic family because it makes their corruption a heck of a lot harder and that’s how it should be and infinitely much more!!

      • jeddrich

        Sorry, but I don’t agree. I am NOT generalizing. I am limiting my critique to the specific matter that, no matter how much abstract knowledge one gender may have about the biology of the other gained by medical study, they will NEVER know concretely from the level of PERSONAL EXPERIENCE what it is like to undergo the physiological reactions of the other gender. No matter how learned he may be, I man can NEVER experience what it is like for a woman to go through the monthly ordeal of menstruation or later menopause, and no matter how sensitive, caring, and knowledgable (in the abstract) a medically trained woman may be, she will NEVER appreciate the subjective experience of what it is like for an adolesent or older male to ejaculate. Such unique experiences are most appropriately shared by women with women (in the case of menstruation) or by men with men (in the case of ejaculation). This has nothing to do with a demonic attempt to rupture the relationships between the sexes nor has it any association with the agenda of NAMBLA because we are discussing here parents and their children and the resources they use written by authors who can appreciate on the FIRST ORDER level the intimately sensitive biological functioning of each gender. An author of the other gender simply lacks the personal experiences that they would be writing about for the opposite gender.

      • Phil Alcoceli

        What you are proposing is only a dark, narrow PERSONAL THEORY of yours and not a Truth at all as it completely disconnects from reality and reeks of deviousness. Your obssessive, maniacal, highly suspicious emphasis on experience totally fails to include that a lot of that PERSONAL EXPERIENCE these days we live in is used for deceit, corruption and evil, just like the pedophile priests in our Church that certainly claimed a “personal experience absolute pontificate” over their victims.

        Personal experience is not, has never been and will never be a holy grail of authority, knowledge, insight or holiness. Ever!! Some of the most experienced people in history have also been the very most evil and destructive when True Catholic Faith is put aside. On the other side, the good, holy Catholic priests that for 2,000 years, who are male and have not experienced marriage, etc. are still some of the most excellent at giving advice and help to those, men and women, who have actually experienced all those things. Are you trying to replace good, holy Catholic Priests with the nasty bait of “experience”? Yuck!!

        I worked in prisons and that is exactly what all CRIMINALS do, always claiming the most and greatest experience, pushing everyone else out as “stupid”, especially good and holy women who do have a natural, God-given intuition about their deception and wickedness. We never leave those women out. Never! INDEED, God ordered us to love them as we love our VERY MALE BODIES for many good and great reasons (Ephesians 5:28). Our male identities are holy-bound to women all the way down to our male genitals and male identity. We are not male but monsters without them. Satan hates nothing more than he hates holy women, especially Mary Mother of Jesus.

        You hate the context of Truth because Truth exists in CONTEXT, which is what I’m giving here. In narrow isolation, any false evil statement looks true. What you so deviously propose, even though you claim not to be a NAMBLA member or sympathiser, totally and absolutely reeks of the stench of it. We True Catholic Men are open to discussing anything but that does not mean our minds are so open that our brain falls out and then we give a big round of applause to soul-destroying, despicable sin. We strive to be holy but not naive before the “oh-so-smart” peddlers of evil.

      • jeddrich

        I resent your accusations. I am an elderly cradle Catholic with a PhD in Thomistic philosophy, and would never dream of advocating anything contrary to objective truth or the teachings of the Church in faith or morals. My sole, very restricted critique, is simply the psychological thesis that it is more appropriate for someone of the same gender to be authoring resources for the parent and child of that gender because such an author would have a connatural affinity (a very Aristotelian-Thomistic perspective) or a personal ability to identify with the various aspects of the stages of physiological development corresponding to that gender, having gone through the process themselves (respectively male or female). There should be such resources available written by a male author for father and son and a female author for mother and daughter. This is a very simple point. You are reading some sort of “darkness” into my thinking (especially references to NAMBLA), and you are thus being uncharitable.

      • Phil Alcoceli

        I find you finally playing the “offense card”, which is so popular in the Anti-Catholicism groups, so mighty interesting. To put it in military lingo, those groups always use it when they run out of deception ammunition or are shifting tactics (smoke screen). Guilt trips, even first class, have never worked with me, thanks be to God.

        It also reminds me of something a very wise Cardinal said, about him believing in the Catholic Church as the One and True Church because none other would have survived not just the outside enemies but especially the more vicious and infinitely more destructive, “holy” INSIDE enemies. I absolutely don’t care about your “holy” credentials one tiny bit, but I care about actual, real, solid, stings-and-burns-the-ego-and-feeds-the-soul CatholicTruth.

        Even the present “holy” Pope uses very “holy”, “reasonable” terminology to push a very dark agenda. I’ve seen the exact same strict division of male and female “roles” and “initiations” in some of the most Anti-Catholic evil groups (especially cults) I’ve faced and they always justify themselves with either the mentioning of very “reasonable reasons” and/or “holy” credentials, references, people, the Bible, etc. Heck! Liberal politicians use the Bible to promote homosexuality, socialism, etc.

        Splitting the God-given Holy Complementarity of men and women is not “holy” or “very reasonable”, it is an evil act against all Creation. It is exactly what Satan did in the Garden of Eden: divide and conquer, which led both of them to make “I’m offended” accusations and take no responsibility. I’m not being uncharitable, Mr. Jeddrich, just the opposite is true.

      • jeddrich

        I am not splitting any complementarity at all, just commenting on the appropriateness of using resources in a very limited context, which is what the original article was about. Nor have I run out of reasons, because I have tried many times to explain my point to the best of my ability. Instead, you have replied by attacking me personally, with accusatory references to prison inmates or members of NAMBLA or anti-Catholic groups or cults, etc. — you have resorted to quite a list that I might be pigeon-holed into, but I belong to none of them.

        It would be preferable to stick with the first order issue at hand, where my original comment and elaborations were narrowly confined to a simple point, whether you agree with it or not. If you cannot remain on that first order level without speculating about darker motives, then there is no further purpose in discussing the matter.

        Yes, I think it is uncharitable to launch into such personal attacks when you don’t even know me and when I said nothing against the teachings of the Church on faith and morals, which I have always defended. I am about as far away from Modernism as it is possible to get. My heroes are Popes Pius IX, X, XI and Leo XIII, all of whom denounced Liberalism, Modernism, Freemasonry. It would be more charitable to take that at face value and not question my sincerity, sticking with the the limited point originally made.

      • Phil Alcoceli

        You’re neither Thomistic, nor Aristotelian, nor a fan of Popes. If you were, you would not be trying to turn the Church into a cult with separate chambers for men and women, which opens the doors really wide to sin. I have for years and will continue to expose, aggressively or not, whatever stinks of Hell and you do.

        Your “limited point made” is a narrow, tight, “cattle squeeze chute” which is neither Aristotelian nor Thomistic nor Catholic. I am certainly thankful to God Almighty that the number of True Catholics that thinks like you is negligible, and that Satan is and will be frustrated because his plot to corrupt the Church through both SATANIC EXTREMES of ultra-liberal or falsely ultra-conservative techniques (the very same thing at the end) will fail as it always has for 2,000 years and counting. Glory be to Almighty God!!

    • andrew

      This website is great…I think the best way to have the talk is to walk the walk. Then have your kid read Jock Willink, Way of the Warrior Kid. Let them know that their is honor in doing what is difficult and explain that we men have a duty to protect and honor women….