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November 15, 2018

My 12-year-old son has wet dreams

Valentine,

I am in trouble. My 12-year-old son has started having wet dreams and he asked me what they are.  I am a single mother and I do not know what to tell him. Please help.

AK.

 

Well AK, there is a lot you are doing right and I know this because your son came to you with this oh-so-difficult and embarrassing question. He trusts you and he feels comfortable with you, well done mum!

Some might suggest that you should get a brother or close male friend to answer him, but I disagree. He came to you, so honour that and answer him. Wet dreams are the result of ejaculating in his sleep. This might be due to sexual arousal, or simply his body getting rid of excess sperm. They might continue for a while so he should get used to them and figure out how to clean his bedding so that he is not embarrassed in front of the maid.

This is a great opportunity to talk about sex and find out what he thinks of it and girls. You might start by highlighting the fact that he can now get a girl pregnant and ask if his friends are having sex. From here, see where the conversation goes and do not be surprised if he comes up with several more questions. Let him take the lead, as he did with this question and don’t over-think it, as I said, he trusts you.

If you are waiting for the day when you will feel totally comfortable having sex conversations with your kids, you will be waiting a long time. Take deep breaths and try to have the conversations when you are in the middle of another activity that does not involve looking your son dead in the eye. Driving to and from school is a great time, and so is cooking or washing the car etc. This non-confrontational way of talking is also a great way to pass on your personal views on sex, dating, how he will treat women and even pornography. I wouldn’t suggest that you buy him condoms just yet, but our kids are having sex earlier and earlier so it’s great that you are his source of information. Again, well done A.K.

 

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So Bruce Jenner, the current Kardashian patriarch, has become Caitlyn Jenner at the age of 65. The former Olympic swimmer is on the cover of Vanity Fair, scantily dressed as his clan is wont to do, with windblown hair and glowing skin that has me, pregnant and in my thirties, jealous. Kudos to him and what his story will achieve in terms of encouraging people to fight to carve out spaces for themselves and their self-expression. Most Africans will tell you that at 65, your life is set in stone and there isn’t much left to live for let alone fight for.  I love that this man, now woman, thinks differently and has fought for Caitlyn’s space. It facilitates the creation of space for all of us and the courage to do so is inspiring. What space do you need in your life?

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