It might not be easy to watch your sweet little boy grow and develop into a teenager, but you can help make his transition into adolescence as smooth as possible by knowing what changes to expect. It might be a bit of a rough ride as he navigates the unavoidable bumps in the road of puberty. Your grocery bills might increase and you might feel like you are constantly updating his wardrobe as he rapidly grows.
Your son might want to kick-start his growth by lifting weights to gain muscle, but KidsHealth reports that he will not be able to build muscle until puberty starts. However, once puberty begins, his physical transformation might be dramatic. His reproductive parts will develop and grow and he will start producing hair all over, states Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center. He might grow several inches taller, gain weight and suddenly start breaking out with acne. He might be embarrassed as his voice deepens or experiences other changes, but you can reassure him it is a normal part of a boy's development, according to Healthy Children.
Even if he refuses to share his burgeoning sexual awareness with you, but your son is likely preoccupied with his reproductive body parts and hormonally driven thoughts. He might feel confused or embarrassed by sexual dreams or erections that might naturally occur throughout the night, but they are perfectly normal occurances, reports Healthy Children. It is important to keep an open dialogue as he undergoes sexual changes. Teen pregnancy or sexual diseases are not only problems for girls, so it is important to keep an open dialogue about sexual health, birth control and abstinence before and during the teen years.
Mental and Emotional
Your son might become involved in a romantic relationship and experience heightened emotions. His will develop cognitively and begin to consider potential consequences for his actions, a publication of Lee County Extension reports. Even if you have had a playful relationship in the past, refrain from joking about his growth and development, as he might be extra sensitive to his rapidly changing body, warns Healthy Children. He might verbally lash out at you or seem to find fault with all you do, but this is yet another normal part of teenage development. He still needs your love and approval -- even if he pretends he does not -- during this tumultuous time, says the Mayo Clinic.
Even though your teen might want to play video games while practically inhaling junk food, proper nutrition and exercise are important. While he might wish for a quick fix to help him grow, there is little you can do besides making sure he is active and has healthy food available. It is also important for him to get adequate sleep, as he likely needs at least nine hours of sleep per night to function well, according to the National Sleep Foundation. If his skin is prone to breakouts, you might direct him towards moisturizers, cleansers or a dermatologist, although it might be something he has to deal with until his hormones level out, MedlinePlus reports.
- KidsHealth: Boys and Puberty
- Healthy Children: Concerns Boys Have About Puberty
- MedlinePlus: Puberty in Boys
- The Mayo Clinic: Tween and Teen Health
- National Sleep Foundation: Teens and Sleep
- University of Florida: Lee County Extension: Growth and Development, Ages 13 to 17—What You Need to Know
- Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center: Puberty: Adolescent Male
- Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images