Teen Development - what to expect during puberty.
Puberty is a time of great change for your child - and for you as a parent too.
Puberty is when a child’s body begins to develop and change as they start to become an adult.
The changes of puberty are physical, sexual, social and emotional. Puberty starts when changes in your child’s brain cause sex hormones to be released in the:
- ovaries for girls (usually around age 10 or 11, but can range from 8 to 13 years), or
- testes for boys (usually around age 11 to 13, but can range from 9 to 14 years).
You can’t predict how long your child will go through puberty. It may be anywhere from 18 months up to 5 years.
During puberty, most children will experience:
- oily skin (prone to pimples, acne and blackheads)
- oily hair (possibly requiring frequent washing)
- increased perspiration and body odour (frequent showering and deodorant will help)
- a growth spurt (of around 11 cm a year in girls and up to 13 cm a year in boys).
All these changes can make puberty a highly emotional time for everyone so you can help your child by arming yourself with information, being reassuring, role-modelling body acceptance and a healthy lifestyle, and respecting your child’s need for more privacy.