Boys & Puberty - Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

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Published on February 23, 2016

Is Your Son a Late Bloomer?

If you've ever looked at a group photo of your child's junior high class, you'd probably be shocked at the variation in physical growth and development in boys and girls. If your son is one of the smallest in the class, don't worry.

"Most boys begin puberty between the ages of 9 and 14," says George Milonas, MD, Pediatrician. "But keep in mind everyone will develop at different times."

You may notice that the girls are taller at this age because girls start puberty sooner, but eventually boys either catch up or bypass girls in high school. However, remember genetics make a difference in height as well.

"In boys, it is difficult to know exactly when puberty is coming," says Dr. Milonas. "There are changes that occur, but they occur gradually over a period of time rather than as a single event."

An adolescent may grow several inches in over a few months followed by a period of very slow growth, and then have another growth spurt.

"There are specific stages of development that boys go through during puberty that involves the obvious physical changes, but there are mental and social changes as well," adds Dr. Milonas. "During these years, they also seek independence from their parents, which may reduce the open communication that was once previously shared. Now they put increased value on peer acceptance, and influence and frequently compare themselves with their peers."

Managing this change can be stressful to boys this age, so don't add to it by worrying about his physical development. In the meantime, don't compare him to his peers, be supportive, and encourage open communication.

If you truly are concerned about his development, talk with his physician.

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Boys & Puberty