Yet Another “Talk” You Need to Have With Sons

Posted August 14, 2012 by jimhigley

I thought I had all of the “Talks” with my sons taken care of. That is, until my oldest son recently made a shocking confession to me. I guess I need to update my “Things-You-Need-to-Talk-to-Your-Sons-About Checklist” ! 

For all you dads—and moms—who think you’ve got your bases covered with the various “Talks” you need to have with your sons, I bring bad news.

There’s a new one to add to your repertoire.

If you think the “sex” talk sounds uncomfortable, get ready. And if the “drugs and alcohol” talk makes your heart want to break, there’s another doozy waiting out there. Worried you won’t find the right words for the “treating girls with respect” talk? I promise this new one will leave you tongue-tied. And if the talk about all the bad-things-in-the-new-world like abductors and terrorism leaves you yearning for the simpler days of Sesame Street and training wheels, you’ll definitely feel your age—and your son’s—when you have this talk.

Yep, I’m referring to a discussion you need to have with your son about shaving and grooming their body hair.

You’re squirming, aren’t you?

Trust me, I never thought I’d be writing those words myself.

I have to admit, the importance of this talk caught me off guard when I was recently having one of those chats with my now-23-year-old son about all the things that unknowingly flew over my head while he was in his teen years.

It’s a talk that takes place with even the best of parents and their kids at some point in their relationship. It’s a conversation that often starts with something like:

  • “You know that time you and dad were gone for the weekend and left me home alone to watch the dogs?”
  • “Do you remember that camping trip I went on with the guys in 11th grade?”
  • “Did I ever tell you how I really caught that bad case of poison ivy when I was in 10th grade?”
  • “Tell me the truth, Dad. You knew what we were all doing in the tree house while you were mowing the lawn. Didn’t you?”

Well, my oldest son and I recently had one of those conversations. But his opening line was:

“Did I ever tell you about the time I took off all of my chest hair with a women’s leg hair removal cream when I was 15?”

Hearing those words, I knew I had failed this boy.

Sure, I knew he was abnormally hairy as a young kid. And I still feel guilty for not saying anything comforting to him when he was 11 and I realized on that hot, July summer day—when we were playing in the pool—that this little lad had more underarm hair than me. I should have put my arm around him right then and there and had a heartwarming talk about the joy—and upkeep—of body hair.

And I know I was at my lowest when he was 17 and he won the “Teenage Werewolf” award at school for obvious reasons. And I just chuckled along with him. I should have acknowledged his suffering while other kids were winning awards for “Best Smile” or “Funniest Kid.”

Yes, my son was being called out for his body hair.

I guess I thought it would all work out. I mean, come on. What’s a dad supposed to say? What kind of help could I even have offered him?

Body hair is what it is, right?

And now, here I am—ten years later—learning that my little boy took to using women’s leg hair removal cream. Alone. Probably in the bathroom with the light’s shut off. On what I’m sure was a dark day in his life.

Where was I? Golfing?

To make things worse, I’ve learned some of the details of the event over the last few days. This secret incident caused a serious chest rash for my son that lasted for several days. But he never reached out to me. His shirts hurt to wear. The typical cotton t-shirt you’d see him wearing—announcing his love for Duke—became like a gunnysack of shame. I bet he shed tears.

Fortunately, life offers do-overs.

And even more fortunate, I have friends at Norelco. Friends who, after hearing this harrowing, hairy tale of a young boy who endured unnecessary pain as he tried to manage his own body hair, sent him a complimentary Philips Norelco Bodygroom PRO shaver.

Yes, I know. It’s something his dad should have given him many years ago.

This is one nifty product. It is designed for all the hair below your chin, which I assume means chest hair, armpit hair, those nasty, stray old-man hairs that pop up on your feet and—I’m guessing all the hair in between your chest and your toes. What’s neat about the Bodygroom PRO is that it has a trimmer on each end—so it’s like two trimmers in one. One end has an adjustable trimmer for all those spots that you want to have your hair look trimmed and neat (“Goodbye Teenage Werewolf” in other words). The other end is for the smooth-as-a-baby’s-butt grooming. So no matter what your son is looking for, this tool will do the job. And you can use it in the shower or on dry land.

It does it all.

Sure, this isn’t something I grew up with. Guys didn’t trim, groom, shave or care about their body hair. But they do now. Just look at any men’s heath or workout magazine and you’ll see that it’s just a new part of being a guy.

And us parents owe it to them to plow that path (pun intended) to help them figure this stuff out.

My son’s been using the Bodygroom PRO for a few weeks, now. Truthfully, I haven’t’ asked for a show-and-tell. But he tells me he likes it. That’s good enough for me. I’ll help my son out. But I’m not about to creep on all of his grooming habits.

Best of all, he’s forgiven me for my past indiscretions.

As for me? Well, I can’t undo the past. But I can share my story with other parents so they know the importance of this topic. And fortunately for me, I have another son moving through his teenage years.

And it looks like he’s another hairy one.

But this time, I’m ready to have “The New Talk”. And I’ve got a new Philips Norelco Bodygroom PRO ready and wrapped for him.

I have to tell you, this dad job—for all it’s benefits—gets way too complicated sometimes.

Women’s leg hair removal cream? Really?

I’m dreading his next confession.

Thank you Philips Norelco for providing my son with a much needed Bodygroom PRO. Thanks to you, I won’t be listed in the “Bad Dads Hall of Fame” anymore!  Hey, if you want to learn more about some of their great products, check out their  Facebook Page – and like it! 

  • Houseonahillorg

    Omygosh!!!! I no longer have to suffer in silence. I too was not privy until I had to pay a plumber $200 to unclog his bathroom sink!!! Talk about an awkward conversation! Dude, flush those bad boys or wrap them in paper for garbage!!! Chest, pit, and “other” area hair and drains just don’t mix! I think I will check the Philips Norelco out too, THANKS!!

    • Jim Higley

      No one ever told us that parenting would be so awkward! Thanks for reading!

  • angusnelson

    I’m all for having the “conversation”. But I won’t encourage my son maintaining an unhealthy affinity towards a metro-sexual insecurity of his hairy self. :) BTW, is this a paid post sponsored by Norelco?

    • Jim Higley

      It’s a whole new world of parenting Angus! And, in answer to your question, Norelco sent the trimmer to my son. That’s payment enough!

  • tommy riles

    Oh no he didn’t… Such an awkward, important, and funny topic all at the same time.

    • Jim Higley

      Your day is coming Tommy. Mark my word!

  • http://willowsmarsh.com Karen Masullo (OPCGal)

    Priceless.  (and hairless too!)

    • Jim Higley

      The joys of parenthood, right? Thanks for your note Karen!

  • http://mommeetsblog.wordpress.com/ Mom Meets Blog

    I was afraid you were going to say that he’d tried at home waxing (yikes!)  But thanks for this tip, I’ve bookmarked this product!

    • Jim Higley

      Waxing wouldn’t have surprised me! Nothing does any more! Thanks for your note!

  • http://www.familyis.org/ Step Dad Dirk

    Right, I was thinking this guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about, there’s no “talk” that could shock me.
    But you’re right, this one’s one I wouldn’t have expected.

    Nice post:)

    • Jim Higley

      Just when we think we know it all, right!?  Thanks for the note!

  • SteveXS

    Psychological abuse or plain perversion? Teaching your son that what’s natural is embarrassing and needs to be removed is just plain fracked.