This article is in partnership with Old Spice but our opinions are our own.
Puberty is a super tough time for kids but it’s also tricky for parents too. Right? I know when I bring up anything to my kids about how their bodies are changing, hair in funny places or their new, less than pleasant smell, I get groans and hands immediately covering ears. Not exactly a teaching moment. There’s no way around it – puberty is awkward.
Fortunately there are resources available to help parents and kids, although they’re generally more geared towards girls. In comparison, young guys (and their parents) have less access to tools and materials that can help ease their transition into manhood. Luckily, the famous (and oh so pleasant on the eyes) Old Spice Guy, Isaiah Mustafa, is back to say “Hello, Puberty!” with a new four-part edutainment video series developed to help tackle the awkwardness of puberty for boys.
In this creatively animated intro video we meet 10-year-old Josh who is starting to go through some changes and Isaiah introduces the next 3 chapters of the series. The School of Swagger covers topics guys face from funky new smell to hair growth and oily skin.
The School of Swagger videos are a great resource to open the conversation about puberty for parents and their sons.
Kids will get a kick out of them while gaining valuable information. You might even learn something too. And speaking of that, we had the pleasure of speaking to a real life Sweat Scientist (who knew that was a thing?!). Yes, Jaime Stahl is a chemical engineer who literally is an expert on sweat! She also provided some useful information about boys, puberty and yes, sweat.
- Develop open lines of communication with your son. Let him know that everything he is experiencing is normal. A lot of boys feel that what they are going through is unique to them and they are embarrassed. You can help them realize that every boy goes through it and although some develop faster than others, it will eventually happen. They are not alone.
- Sweat doesn’t smell. Huh? Yep, it’s the bacteria that eats the sweat that smells. Might be more details than you were ready for, but the apocrine gland appears during puberty and produces the protein rich sweat that’s eaten by the bacteria. The eccrine sweat gland we all have from birth doesn’t smell. That’s why babies and little kids smell the opposite of stinky. Feels like you are back in chem class, right?
- On choosing deodorant or antiperspirant. It’s a personal choice. Take your son to the store and explain the different products, (i.e., this one just helps you smell better, whereas this one helps with sweat. This one is a clear spray, etc.). Give him autonomy to choose what type he wants to use.
- The more you scrub, the more oil is produced. So tell your tween to use a loofah and body wash but gentle massage, don’t scrub hard. Scrubbing tells the body to produce more oil which can increase likelihood of body acne. And no-one wants more of that.
- Your body has 2-5 million sweat glands. Yep, even the tips of your fingers produce sweat. So if your son wants to use an antiperspirant it’ll reduce sweat in his pits but that won’t cause any issues because he’ll still have plenty of glands elsewhere from which sweat can be released.
There’s also another great resource for you and your sons to check out – it’s Old Spice’s new eGuide “The Struggle is Real: A Wild Guide to Growing-Up for Moms & Sons.” The eGuide reveals nationwide study results about mom/son questions and provides tips from popular parenting expert Deborah Gilboa, M.D. (aka “Dr. G”) and supports Old Spice’s Wild Collection product lineup.
Since there’s no way around our boys becoming stinky creatures (moms and sons agree that the ‘funky new smell’ comes around age 11 or 12), it’s perfect that The Old Spice Wild Collection was released. It’s available in anti-perspirants (NEW Invisible Sprays), deodorants, body washes, body sprays and shampoos. The Invisible Spray is a new favorite in my house. It goes on dry and is totally invisible so no left over residue. The best part is the smell. Spray it and smell a burst of goodness. Ladies, this one isn’t just for the men. Trust me.
Your son is going to have trouble choosing which scent to get:
Krakengärd – Smells like citrus, fresh herbs, and the unspeakable power of the ancient ocean.
Wolfthorn – The sort of sophisticated wolf who wears a suit that has a suave, sweet orange scent.
Bearglove – Commands grizzly-bear-level respect with smells of apple, citrus, and spice.
Hawkridge – Outwits unsuspecting stink with its sandalwood and vanilla scent.
We also spoke to the Old Spice Guy himself who also had a few pieces of advice.
1. Start the dialogue. Have the conversation. Be confident in the conversation. Instill confidence through the conversation. If you get stuck.. then “schoolofswagger.com” is your safety net. Go there and it’ll help you out.
2. Every man was a boy at some point. It will happen. I’m hoping that they realize that every boy is going through this and they may develop faster or slower than their friends but that’s normal. And it will eventually happen. They are not alone.
3. And his words to the ModernMoms (and dads) – “Keep doing what you’re doing. You are raising some amazing men.”
We really like that last one.