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Son talk

1 reply

miloshsrb · 19/03/2024 14:05

Hi everyone!
I am a dad of 2 boys, which my amazing wife and I have adopted from Somalia 4 years ago. I'm trying to take best care of my boys and therefore I am a bit concerned. When the boys have arrived to their home, our first concern was taking good care of them and making them feel safe . Back then my wife has found the best shampoos and hairdressers that are suitable for my sons type of hair. But now, I think that is the time to do my part of the job as a father. I've noticed recently that my older son who is 13 has started having leg hair and also a mustache, that is much thicker than mine when I first had it. I want to sit and have comfortable conversation with him without invading his privacy and I don't know how to do it. The truth is I don't know how to start a conversation about it and I don't know much about African body hair type or how to take care of it. Also my sons are circumcised, which I'm not as an European men, and I don't know is there anything I should speak about with them or not. What is the best way approaching this topic without making it awkward, but also teaching them something valuable? I don't want to scare them but I am aware they need some type of education as I did before, cause for example I had a frenulum breve, which could not be resolved until I talked with my father who has later taken be to a hospital to have minor surgery. That's why I want them to feel confident about sharing something that is private if they need it, but I am not a type of person that will put my nose in their bussines if they do not want it.
Thank you so much for the responses.

OP posts:
FightingUphill · 25/03/2024 07:54

I have a family friend that was in a very similar situation (adopted outside of their race, have had the time of their life raising their child from infant to preteen, only to find themselves in a situation where being "white talking to a black preteen about things they don't believe they're qualified to speak on); understandable, totally.

From what I heared from them, they did independent research on how to handle "hair" and other puberty-related issues I guess they didn't think about until it was the time to cross that bridge. Ultimately what they shared with me is they did their own research, but most importantly didn't treat the child any differently. What I mean to say is, they didn't treat their adoptive child of a difference race any different than one of their own race.

It sounds to me like it's just time to be a "Dad", not necessarily make it a huge deal about the race-difference. Do some research, which it sounds like you already did regarding certain products made for that demographic, but as a big picture to having the puberty talk, talk to your son like you would if he was your biological son. Explain the changes to expect while going through puberty, offer advice, what you went through personally, etc. He's part of your family, not a random child you're communicating with.

I certainly cannot give you advice on how your dynamic is with him, but generally speaking, just bring it up casually. Ask questions, potentially humorous to break the awkward ice you may be feeling. Something like "boy I wish I had that mustache when I was your age!" or something along those lines to get the convo started. Then ask if he needs any assistance with how to take care of his changes, and if they noticed anything you could help with. Only if that's the dynamic you have with him. Again, these talks are very personalized and only you really know when and how to do it. But I'd suggest going in with some knowledge, but allowing him to speak most of the time and then chiming in "oh I've read about that product, do you want to see if the store has that for you so you can try it?".

In summary, our family friend just kinda put the race aside, other than asking the preteen if he wanted to go to the store and pick out his own self-care products after they did their own research on what the norm is with self care products for his race. Treat him like you'd treat your own. Puberty talk is pretty individualized and although there are resources, blogs, books, etc. only you're going to know when the time is right to bring it up. Our friends thought they were going to offend when doing so, only to find out their adoptive child had already done his own research and couldn't wait to go to the store and pick out his own products. From my understanding it wasn't awkward, but an extremely positive experience that brought them closer together.

Hopefully this helps, even in the slightest, as I'm relying on a third-party experience and not my own. Best of luck!

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