Have you talked to your child about what to expect from puberty? Okay, great, check – now, have you talked to your child about what the opposite sex should expect from puberty? Kids are not only noticing changes within themselves – so to fully clear up confusion and establish understanding of what this stage is all about, be sure to discuss with your child what peers are going through as well.

What You Need to Know

  • Puberty generally hits girls earlier than boys, between ages 8-13 (age 10, on average)
  • Puberty strikes boys between 9-14 years old (11 ½, on average)

In girls, the pubertal sequence entails:

  • Initial breast elevation
  • Beginning of growth spurt
  • Appearance of pubic hair
  • Increased size of uterus, vagina, labia, clitoris
  • Further breast development
  • Peak of growth spurt
  • Menstruation
  • Attainment of adult height (about 2 years after start of menstruation)
  • Completion of breast development
  • Completion of pubic hair growth

In boys, the pubertal sequence entails:

  • Enlargement of testes
  • Changes in texture and color of scrotum
  • Increased penis size
  • Appearance of pubic hair
  • First ejaculation
  • Peak of growth spurt, followed by more growth
  • Growth of facial hair
  • Increased size of larynx and vocal chords cause voice to deepen
  • Completion of penis growth
  • Attainment of adult height
  • Completion of pubic hair growth

How You Can Help

  • Please do not let any of these changes take your child by surprise! Make sure your child knows that all of the above are just around the bend, and – above all – normal, whether it begins sooner or later than in peers.
  • Be available for open, honest conversation to supplement Sex-Ed class and answer any questions your child may have. If your child doesn't come to you, it's up to you to broach the awkward subject – otherwise, he'll be relying on his peers to fill in any remaining blanks. Do you think they can answer your child's questions better than you can?
  • Make sure your child has every reason to feel confident about appearance as well as abilities. Compliment her best features, praise his every effort and achievement.

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