The following is from a Q&A with Boston.com readers and Child Caring writer Barbara Meltz:
Question: How do I bring up the subject of girls to my 13-year-old son without making him feel uncomfortable? He never talks about relationships, but I'm sure he has thoughts about it. I just want him to be able to discuss this with me, but I won't force him, of course.
Barbara Meltz: Tell him, "At your age, I had lots of questions about girls, and sex...[if it feels right, you can add, but I was too embarrassed to ask my parents.] I just want you to know, if there's every anything you want to talk about, I'm available."
Alternatively, leave a note for him on his pillow some night, saying, "When I was your age, it was hard for me to talk to my parents about girls, even though I really wanted to. So if you're like I was, maybe we could have our conversations on paper...."
Either way, the best you can do is make clear that you are available, that no question is stupid...etc. And then, of course, if he does come to you, that you are open and available AT THAT MOMENT!! But you're right, of course, that this is typical behavior for boys this age.
To read more from Barbara Meltz's latest Q&A, click here. Barbara sits in again for questions on Monday, September 16 at Boston.com