Puberty in your house? Here’s a manual on adolescent changes in boys

Puberty can be both exciting and overwhelming
Photo credit: Puberty can be both exciting and overwhelming

What you need to know:

  • Puberty can be physical, mental, and emotional.
  • These changes will occur differently for each child, and some children experience the changes sooner than others.

Puberty in boys begins between the ages of 10 and 15 years on average, but it can happen earlier or later, depending on genetics and other factors. Besides physical changes, boys also experience emotional and mental developments.

Every teenager is different, but there are certain things that happen to most of them such as mood swings and changes in physical appearance.

For some, this could be an overly exciting time while for others it may be a little overwhelming. Outlined below is what you need to know about these changes so you and your teen can make the best out of this special time.

Physical Changes in Teenage Boys

  1. Enlargement of Scrotum and Testes - All physical and sexual changes that take place during puberty are due to hormonal changes in the body. For boys, the first physical change is the enlargement of the scrotum, penis, and testicles.
  2. Growth of pubic hair - Boys will notice the growth of pubic hair around the genitals. The hair continues to grow and spread to the thighs and sometimes to the abdomen. They will also have hair growth on the face, underarms, and legs.
  3. Increase in Body Size- Your son will have a significant increase in height. He may put on some weight on the feet, arms, and legs. His shoulders will broaden, and muscles will develop.
  4. Voice change – The voice gets lower or deeper. It may crack as they speak, which is completely normal.         
  5. Increase in sweat - When your teen’s body changes, the sweat glands become more active. This is a normal part of growing up. When sweat comes into contact with bacteria on the skin, it produces an unpleasant odour. To prevent body odour, daily hygiene will be important at this stage.

Emotional and Mental Changes that Occur during Puberty

When your son goes through puberty, he will experience a range of emotions. These feelings could make him irritable or sad, and sometimes even depressed. Your son’s sexuality can bring about many emotions, including desire, confusion, or fear.

As the hormonal changes level out by the end of adolescence, you will notice more independence in him with an interest in developing closer bonds with friends and potential romantic partners. You might see improved work habits around this age and an increase in their ability to think logically.

Social and behavioural changes

This is the age where young people work out who they are and how they fit in with their friends. Independence comes naturally during adolescence through exploring new experiences without overbearing parental supervision, discovering values, and making mistakes.

Social changes can lead to an identity crisis if one feels like they do not know what kind of person they want to be. It also plays into “individuation” which means separating from parents as they become their own unique individuals.

Academic and cognitive developments

Besides physical growth, adolescents also change intellectually as their brain matures.

Most teen boys become more interested in school and understanding the world around them. They may choose different subjects to study as their interests change.

Your child’s ability to think abstractly will also increase. Eventually, they can make plans for the future as they become more concerned about matters like politics and social issues.

Why is it important to know about these changes as parents or guardians?

Parents need to stay on top of their children’s growth, development, and personality in order to offer them guidance when needed. Research beforehand and get information from reputable sources to understand what is happening to your son.

If teenagers are not guided, they can take up self-destructive behaviours like drug use or alcohol consumption, among other risky activities.

Adolescence is a time of remarkable transformation

Puberty can be physical, mental, and emotional. It is important to know that these changes will occur differently for each child and that, some children experience the changes sooner than others.

Talk to your child about puberty and all the emotions that come with the changes to help them better understand what is happening.