You CAN Tell your Parents You Have Man Boobs
You’re a teenaged guy, you’ve had man boobs for more than two years. You’ve done quite a bit of research and decided you would like to have male breast reduction surgery. You’re healthy and your family can afford the procedure.
So far, so good—but now you have to find a way to talk to your parents. We understand that for some guys, broaching the subject is far from easy. After working with many hundreds of teens with gynecomastia in New York, we are well aware of how painful and embarrassing having large breasts can be, and we also know the many reasons it can be difficult to fill your parents in.
As a first step, we would advise becoming a member of gynecomastia.org if you haven’t done so already. Talking over your feelings with other guys in the forums on the site can be invaluable! Just recently, we ran across a post by a member offering a teen some great advice. Here are the main points he made about talking to parents, plus a couple of our own.
1) They will probably empathize. The poster pointed out to the new member that the forums on gynecomastia.org are “full of guys that dreaded and put off telling their parents about their gyne, but were pleasantly surprised when they finally did tell them.” He continued that parents can relate to being embarrassed. Everyone has had that experience, and parents were once adolescents too.
2) They love you and should want to help. If the teen’s mom knew how much he was hurting due to his condition, she would want to help, maintained the senior member of gynecomastia.org. He said that if the young man could bring himself to be honest about the misery man boobs can cause, she would not want her son to go through that.
3) They can learn that surgery is a necessity for you. It’s always a good idea to give parents a few articles about gynecomastia; in fact, it can be a good way to start the conversation when a teen is feeling shy about it. The gynecomastia.org advisor suggested pointing to some posts on the site that capture other guys’ experiences. Another great option is an article covering a study on the psychological impact of man boobs on teens we referenced in one of our own blog posts. You can find it here.
4) The trade off is worth it. The experienced poster concluded his advice with some strong logic: it doesn’t make sense to face a lifetime of anguish when a procedure that takes a few hours can change everything. Similarly, it doesn’t make sense to give up the prospect of a “perfectly normal” life just to avoid broaching an embarrassing topic with loved ones.
5) They probably already know. Here’s something we have discovered in handling teen gynecomastia in New York for decades: parents often know about the moobs. If you have been wearing layers of shirts or jackets for inexplicable reasons, or if you avoid opportunities to participate in sports and other activities, your mom and dad will have noticed. But they may not know as much as you do about gynecomastia, and there’s no way they can understand your feelings unless you tell them.
We may be able to assist. Read this story about our patient John, who said that male breast reduction surgery took away “the burden, the struggle.” John was fortunate in that he did not feel that talking to his parents was an obstacle, but we have treated many adolescents with man boobs who felt the opposite way. We can work with your family in whatever way makes sense. You can all come in together, so we can take much of the burden of explaining the situation off your shoulders. Or, we can even start a conversation by email or phone.
Our goal is always to provide education and support while you’re considering your options. The final decisions are up to you and your family.