Puberty for boys
Each child is different, and there’s a lot of variation in the age of onset of puberty. Most boys begin to notice changes around 9.5 to 14 years of age. The initial change is usually the enlargement of the scrotum and testes. Penis enlargement begins usually about a year later. Then, as the scrotum and testes continue to enlarge, the penis enlarges mainly in length.
Here are some of the average ages when other changes may occur:
13.5: Pubic hair may begin to appear. The initial growth produces long, soft hair that is only in a small area around the genitals. This hair becomes darker and coarser as it continues to spread, sometimes to his thighs and up his stomach.
14: During puberty, the male body also begins producing sperm. Semen, which is composed of sperm and other bodily fluids, may be released during an erection. This is called ejaculation. Sometimes, this may happen while he is sleeping. This is called a nocturnal emission or "wet dream." This is a normal part of puberty and will stop as he gets older.
15: Your son may grow hair under his arms and on his face. His voice may change and deepen. Sometimes, the voice may "crack" during this time. This is a temporary condition and will improve over time.
As the hormones of puberty increase, your son may experience oily skin and increased sweating. He may develop acne. This is a normal part of growing. It is important to wash daily, including the face.
- Some boys may get some swelling in the area of their breasts as a result of the hormonal changes that are occurring. This is common among teenage boys and is usually a temporary condition. Consult with your adolescent's physician if this is a concern.
How much will my son grow?
Between the ages of 12 and 16, your son may grow anywhere from 4 to 12 inches and gain 15 to 65 pounds. He may grow several inches in several months followed by a period of very slow growth, then have another growth spurt. He may also notice his feet, arms, legs and hands growing "faster" than the rest of the body, which may cause him to experience a time of feeling clumsy.
What does my son understand?
The adolescent years bring many changes - not only physically, but also mentally and socially. While each teen is unique and may progress at a different rate and show a different view of the world, some behaviors you may notice include:
- thinking abstractly
- developing concerns with philosophy, politics and social issues
- thinking long-term
- setting goals
- comparing himself to his peers
Your teen’s relationships with others
As your teen begins to struggle for independence and control, he may experience some interpersonal changes. Some issues you may notice with your son during his adolescent years include:
- He wants independence from parents.
- Peer influence and acceptance is very important.
- Male-female relationships become very important.
- He may be in love.
- He may have a long-term commitment in a relationship.
To be sure, the teenaged years are rarely considered painless for most teens and their parents. But with good communication and mutual understanding, your support during this important time can help strengthen your bond with your son.