Visit and Shop my Storefront

Click Here to Shop my Favorite Nanny Essentials

Decoding Boys by Cara Natterson

Weekly Trip to the Library

Not all nannies care just for infants and toddlers. For most of my nanny jobs I helped care for older boys until they went to junior high school, high school, and then I worked as a family assistant as the eldest son went off to college.

In my past nanny jobs the tweens and teens actually came to me to discuss dating issues, rather than asking their parents. I typically just listened to them vent about relationship drama. But I was also honest when asked sensitive questions about safe sex. I always immediately texted or told the parents in-person what was discussed.

Since I am a nanny and not their parent I often have told children to speak to their parents about topics about dating, sex, or puberty. It is always good practice for nannies to tell children to talk to their parents if we aren’t sure how to discuss a sensitive topic. Just text the parents giving them a heads-up.

Most importantly, as a nanny I always tell the children that I have no secrets with their parents. I am always an employee and the parents have a right to know anything their children confide in me.

Although I’m not a parent I still read parenting books. I recently found Decoding Boys: New Science Behind the Subtle Art of Raising Sons an interesting read.

In Decoding Boys: New Science Behind the Subtle Art of Raising Sons, pediatrician Cara Natterson helps parents support their sons through the transition to puberty, which mostly begins when they’re nine- to 14-years-old. She says parents might start to notice that their once-chatty sons start to get quieter around this time. She wants parents to keep trying to engage them because they need us to keep the lines of communication open.

“Despite what they say (‘I’m fine’; cue closing door) and despite social convention (if he doesn’t want to talk about it, leave well enough alone; ‘He’s fine’), not talking to your son about his evolving physical, emotional, and social self is the biggest parent trap of them all,” says Natterson. “Because if you don’t have the conversations, someone else will: a friend who’s got it all wrong, or a family member who doesn’t exactly share your ideology, or the Internet.”

Natterson offers 10 suggestions about how to talk to boys about puberty and the changes that accompany it. First, parents should initiate the conversations because however anxious they may feel about it as a parent, it’s likely that the son feels even more embarrassed by puberty. Then, listen and ask questions so they can find out what he is thinking.

The author suggests avoiding eye contact in the beginning. She recommends finding opportunities to talk when not looking directly at each other, like at bedtime. When talking be sure the son has turned off devices so that neither parent or child are distracted.

She says parents can find teachable moments from the media or people they meet to illustrate rules and expectations and explain them without lecturing so the son can understand the reasons behind them.

Boys may need a lot of time before they break their silence or reply in more than a few words. To help with that, parents should find a surrogate — another trusted person that your son feels comfortable talking to when he doesn’t want to talk to the parents.

The author recommends pointing out the bright side, but don’t overpromise that there won’t be hard parts about puberty. She recommends parents acknowledge their missteps, apologize, and give themselves grace and another chance to try again when mistakes are made with boys.

Click the links in this review or click here to visit my storefront to purchase your own copy of “Decoding Boys: New Science Behind the Subtle Art of Raising Sons.”o

Banana Pancakes

Cooking for Kids Fluffy on the inside, crispy on the outside and delicately flavored with bananas, these are phenomenal banana pancakes. My Mom Boss found this great recipe in The Kid’s Cookbook: A Great Book for Kids Who Love to Cook! by Abigail Johnson Dodge. If you have extra ripe bananas laying around be seen […]

[Continue reading...]

Hanging Seasonal Trees

Creative Wednesdays It is spring here in the NorthEast and the trees are changing. Discuss how the trees look different in the changing seasons with the children in your care. The bare trees of winter are currently changing to have buds in the spring, which will grow leaves and fruit in the summer. As the […]

[Continue reading...]

Nannies 10 Favorite Baby Bottles

Products Nannies Love Every baby is an individual and has different likes and dislikes. This includes baby bottles. When we asked 110 nannies what their favorite baby bottle is in 2021, almost all answered that their favorite baby bottle is the bottle the baby likes. If the baby is having trouble with a bottle, try […]

[Continue reading...]

Veal Meatballs

Cooking for Kids Meatballs are a staple of my Nanny Kids diets. I usually make beef meatballs, but I often make turkey, chicken, mushroom, and these veal meatballs as well. With its rich and subtle flavor, veal is one of the traditional meats used in Italian meatballs. In this recipe from the epicurious web site […]

[Continue reading...]

Read “Waiting for Wings” and Make Coffee Filter Butterflies

Creative Wednesdays The little ones I care for absolutely love making butterflies out of coffee filters. It’s one of the best boredom busters ever as they want to do this over and over for hours of fun. Plus, it is fascinating to learn how a worm-like caterpillar turn into a delicate creature with wings reading […]

[Continue reading...]

Baked Easter Ham

Cooking for Families A baked ham is one of the easiest things to prepare for Easter or any holiday celebration. Half a ham can easily feed a dozen people. I baked an un-sliced, bone-in, half ham, from the shank end. The butt end often has more meat, but because of the shape of the bone […]

[Continue reading...]

EggMazing Easter Eggs

Products Nannies Love The Original EggMazingis a fun way to make Easter Eggs. My six-year-old Nanny Kid was literally jumping up and down with excitement anticipating making these vibrant Easter Eggs. She would have used the The Original EggMazing for hours more if we had more eggs to decorate. Simply place a hard-boiled egg in […]

[Continue reading...]

Walkie Chalk

Products Nannies Love I can’t express how excited I am to have found Walkie Chalk Stand-Up Sidewalk Chalk Holder. Working as a nanny that loves to make obstacle courses for my Nanny Kids. I’m ashamed I didn’t create and market the Walkie Chalk Stand-Up Sidewalk Chalk Holder myself! Now that the weather is warming up […]

[Continue reading...]

Braided Easter Bread

Cooking With Kids There is no better aroma than walking into the home with the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven. Making bread isn’t difficult as long as you have plenty of time to knead it, allow it to rest, rise, and braid. In preparation for Easter, I allow my Nanny Kids to […]

[Continue reading...]