ADHD, Puberty and “hidden rules”
I started working with “Joe” when he was in 6th grade. Joe is gregarious, has a great sense of humor and is incredibly kind and good natured. Joe is also very impulsive. He would do many things that caused his classmates to ostracize him; constantly interrupting, correcting others’ in class, not understanding others’ humor, his propensity to cry easily, etc.
Shortly before I met Joe he discovered pornography which he was not skilled at being discreet about. Joe has wonderful parents who are divorced and do an excellent job co-parenting. In addressing the pornography issue I explained to Joe’s parents that what they needed to do was to explain to Joe their values about pornography and provide him with good information that will fulfill his curiosity age-appropriately. I suggested a book I often recommend to parents which they purchased for Joe.
Joe continued to occasionally view pornography in inappropriate places which his parents found out about because his younger brother always tattled on him.
At one point Joe’s step-father walked in on him masturbating with the book I had asked his parents to purchase. Joe did not follow what he learned in my Guy Stuff program about the “hidden rules” around masturbation which can be summed up as “it’s fine if you do it, no one should know you’re doing it and never in school”. Joe’s mother took the book away from him for using it inappropriately. I explained to her that she needed to put into context that looking at illustrations in a book as a form of sexual arousal was not inappropriate, rather it was Joe’s choice to be masturbating with the door unlocked which was the problem. I asked his mother to return the book to him given that it’s a much more benign way to satisfy his curiosity then pornography and we reviewed the “hidden rules” that we discussed in the Guy Stuff program.
It should come as no surprise that some boys with a more impulsive profile of ADHD are prone to sexual impulsivity. To put this into context, Joe’s situation was rather benign and one that I’ve encountered rather frequently which is why I created ( along with my colleague Stephen, a middle school special ed teacher) created the Guy Stuff program.
Guy Stuff is a hygiene and puberty education program taught from a social learning perspective. Learn more about Guy Stuff which will be offered for the first time this spring.
Separate programs for 5th grade and Middle School:. https://ridethewavecounseling.com/guy-stuff-program/