Child Development and Parenting

For Boys: The Joys and Challenges of Growing Up

COVID-19 Update

Due to COVID-19, this class has been postponed indefinitely.

In the meantime, please refer to a newly developed virtual class, The Chat, which offers similar content for a parent and child to participate in together at home.

The goal of Great Conversations’ classes is to provide developmentally appropriate and medically accurate information to support and guide communication between preteens and their families on the topics of puberty, sexuality, sexual reproduction and other important topics of growing up. We hope that being together and sharing information in a safe, inclusive environment taught by an expert adds to the foundation for more conversations at home.

Through a combination of lecture, storytelling, role-play, family engagement and question/answers, the following class content will be covered:

  • What to expect and how to care for biological male puberty: testicular growth, erections/ejaculation; growth of height, weight and muscle development; body odor, body hair, pimples
  • General information on topics of preteen health: nutrition, sleep, exercise, masturbation
  • Sexuality, attractions/crushes
  • Sexual reproduction
  • Emotions and brain development
  • Decision-making, communication skills, consent

Every family will receive the book Will Puberty Last My Whole Life?, written by the creators of Great Conversations, Julie Metzger RN, MN, and Rob Lehman, MD. The book complements the curriculum of the class and gives families an opportunity to continue the conversation on these important topics at home.

This two-part class is recommended for boys 10 to 12 years old and a parent or trusted adult. The sessions focus on what both the child and parent should expect as boys begin adolescence. There are 4 hours of content for both adult and preteen together.

Class options include:

  • A two-evening, two-hour–per-evening session – typically one week apart. We recommend this format for most families. The two-week session allows time to process information together over the week, and the two-hour class time is a match for preteens ages 10 to 12 who prefer to learn and focus for a shorter period.
  • A one-day Sunday afternoon session. This choice is ideal for families who travel from outside the area to attend class and/or who have work schedules that make coming to mid-week classes difficult. This class format is a match for the preteen that finds focusing on these topics for an entire afternoon interesting and helpful.

For questions about registration for For Boys classes, please email Great Conversations or call 206-789-2306.

Scholarships are available to class attendees. For more information, please email Great Conversations or call 206-789-2306.

Classes are offered in SeattleBellevueEverett and Federal Way in partnership with Great Conversations. Bellevue classes are also in partnership with Overlake Medical Center.

For information about classes offered in other locations in the Puget Sound area, visit or call 206-789-2306.

For a list of helpful references and websites, please view our resource guide.


  • $90 for one child and one accompanying adult; $70 per additional child

View Upcoming Classes and Register Online

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Our classes are designed for the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social developmental space of typical preteens ages 10 to 12. The content aligns with the recommendations in the Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education: Kindergarten-Grade 12, written by the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States. We adhere to other nationally recognized educational standards for this age group. Our book Will Puberty Last My Whole Life? written by Great Conversations’ co-founders, Julie Metzger RN MN, and Rob Lehman, MD includes many of the topics covered in class. Each preteen goes home with their own copy of the book at the end of the class session.

    It might be helpful to consider for your child’s temperament, attention, and focus that all classes are 4 hours of content (with short breaks), have about 100 people in attendance, and adults and preteens sit together.

    Great Conversations has been talking about puberty and sex to families for over 30 years and many thousands of families have attended our programs. Our instructors have backgrounds in education, nursing, health, community advocacy, social work, and research - most of the instructors have been teaching on these topics with families for many years.

    Please contact us if you’d like to discuss this further.

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  • The content of the curriculum, the humor, and stories are geared specifically for children ages 10 to 12. We ask that you honor the recommendation to respect the developmental space of the preteens and the camaraderie in the room as we all learn and grow together.

    We recognize that younger children often have questions about body changes and experience changes of puberty. We encourage families to begin having conversations in their homes to meet their child’s readiness. There are wonderful resources that might be helpful for you to explore together on our Resources page. We ask those with children younger than 10 to wait until they are older to come to class.

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  • The goal of our class is to promote further communication between children and their parents or trusted adult resources. We recognize the diversity of families and welcome a parent, grandparent, guardian, or other close family member of any gender to attend with your preteen.

    We encourage only one adult to accompany a preteen so that the class has close to equal numbers of preteens and adults. This encourages questions and creates a relaxed, safe environment where all can contribute. There is a fee for a second adult. Some families with two adult resources split the class so that one attends the first class and another the second - for this option, only one adult would be charged for registration.  

    Please contact us if you’d like to discuss this further.

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  • We encourage only one adult to accompany a child, as it is ideal to keep the adult-to-child ratio in the class as equal as possible to make the dynamics for an interactive session relaxed and conversant. There is a fee for an additional adult.

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  • Yes. There is an additional fee for each additional child 10 to 12 years old. Because the class offers an opportunity to learn and discuss things together, some families choose to come separately with each of their children. We invite each family to choose what works best for them.

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  • You can cancel your registration or transfer to a different class for an additional fee.

    • If you contact us more than 3 business days before the first class, there is a $10 fee.
    • If it is 3 business days or less before the first class, you can cancel or transfer for a $20 fee.

    If you miss a class you had registered for, you have up to 10 business days after the first class to reschedule or cancel. A $20 additional fee would apply.

    If 10 business days have passed since the date of the first class, you would be charged another full registration price to reschedule.

    You should check that several spots are open in a class you’d like to transfer to before letting us know, to make sure there’s an opening when we get to your request.

    If you attended the first class of a set but find you are unable to make the second, you can pick any future second class from the schedule regardless of its availability to attend. In that case, just let Registration know so we can expect your family on the rescheduled night.

    If you have questions, please visit our websiteemail us or call 206-789-2306.

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  • We invite each family to sign up individually. The class is designed to promote the parent-child relationship rather than a group experience, and we ask children and the adult they come with to sit together. We have found over the years that individual families appreciate defining their own readiness for class. When two or more families attend together, we suggest that individual families sit together during class.

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  • Yes. If you find you can’t attend the second class, you are welcome to attend any future Class Two on the schedule. For classes in the Seattle, Puget Sound area, simply review the class schedule, select the Week Two class that is best for your family, then contact us at 206-789-2306 so that we can let the instructor know to anticipate your family.

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  • If your child – for whatever reason – would find it challenging to sit in an auditorium with about 100 people for a total of 4 hours of class time (with short breaks), or you are wondering if your child is going to feel able to access the content, you are welcome to contact Registration to discuss.

    Most of our classes are in public spaces with wheelchair access – please let us know if there are special accommodations for access or seating. If you or your child needs a special listening device or sign language interpretation, we need advance notice to arrange for those services.
    •    We do not have full accommodations at all venues or at all class sessions.
    •    We do not have language interpreters available for Seattle classes currently.

    Please contact us by calling 206-789-2306. You can also send an email. and we will connect you with an instructor to discuss the special needs of you and/or your child.

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  • We often have families attend with endocrine, gender identity, and physical and cognitive differences. Some families attend that have experienced trauma or have anxiety about their bodies or growing up. We believe that every child has a unique story about growing up, and it is important for everyone to have access to accurate information on healthy relationships, sexuality, and their bodies.

    Because the experience of puberty is typically attached to specific body parts and hormones, our discussion of those experiences will be also, while recognizing a continuum of gender and sexuality. Our focus is both on what is unique and what is shared in the journey through adolescence.   

    While Great Conversations covers general puberty and sexuality, we do not include information on the specific health needs of every individual in their specific puberty journey. We encourage families to continue those conversations at home and with their primary health care provider.

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  • We believe that every child has a unique story about growing up, that gender and sexuality are varied, and that it is important for everyone to have access to accurate information on healthy relationships, sexuality, and their bodies. Gender identity and same sex relationships will be covered briefly and in alignment with the nationally recognized educational standards on these topics for preteens ages 10 to 12.

    Because the experience of puberty is typically attached to specific body parts and hormones, our discussion of those experiences will be also, while recognizing a continuum of gender and sexuality. Our focus is both on what is unique and what is shared in the journey through adolescence.

    Throughout our class, there may be topics you wish were covered at greater length, or less, or explained in the context of your family or community values. We encourage you to use the information presented in class as a launching point for further conversations at home. 

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