If you have sons and daughters, congrats! You are going to experience the full spectrum of puberty and all it has to offer. You'll have periods and voice changes and body odor galore. Puberty is a totally normal stage of life, we all went through it. But it can also be scary and stressful and difficult, for kids and parents. If you're a mom, and you have a daughter, you're uniquely qualified to explain what she's going through and what's to come since you've been through it yourself.
If you have sons, you may feel as unprepared as they do! It can be tricky to prepare your son for puberty and help them through the changes if you aren't entirely sure what to expect. So here are some signs of puberty in boys, and some tips for talking them through this stage of life.
When do boys start puberty?
Puberty can start between the ages of 8 and 14, and every young person will develop at their own pace. For boys, the average age to begin puberty is 12, and the entire process can take up to four years. Some boys will start earlier, and some boys will start later.
What are the early signs of puberty in boys?
Like girls, the first signs of puberty in boys are physical changes. They may start to grow pubic hair. Their testicles will get bigger, and the scrotum will begin to thin and redden. They may also hit a growth spurt early in puberty, and again as they continue to develop.
What are the later signs of puberty in boys?
After about a year, your son will undergo more physical changes during puberty. Pubic hair will continue to grow and get coarser and curlier. The penis and testicles will grow, and the scrotum will get darker. Underarm hair will appear, and some boys will start to grow facial hair as well. Their voice will begin to change; as it deepens, it's normal for their voice to crack and move between octaves while speaking. Boys will start to sweat more and their body odor will become more noticeable, and some may also develop acne. Finally, boys will begin to experience "wet dreams", which are involuntary ejaculations during sleep.
How to talk to your sons about puberty.
We know it can be uncomfortable at times, but it's so important to talk about the changes your son is going through with him, and assure him that it's completely normal. If he's concerned that he has started puberty before or after his friends, reiterate that every kid will develop at a different pace, and that there is no right or wrong time. Some boys might feel uncomfortable talking about puberty with their mom, so it might help to have his dad take the lead on this one, or to enlist a trusted male friend or his doctor to help explain some of what to expect during puberty. Just make sure you're all on the same page when it comes to how to explain what he's experiencing, and what information to give him.