When a young boy goes through puberty, so many changes will happen to his body. He is likely to experience a lot of changing to his hormones, the way his body looks, the way he talks and more.
It has been estimated that both boys and girls can go through staggering growth spurts throughout puberty but for boys it can be as much as nine centimeters a year. For girls, it’s a little less – 8cm.
Usually girls go through these changes a year or two earlier than boys. They will experience their growth spurts sooner. Growth spurts in boys are delayed because the hormones race through a few years later.
Not only experiencing a growth spurt in height, the body changes too. Puberty will bring about not only pubic hair on the genitals and armpits, but also an increased amount of hair all over the body. Boys may find they get hairier on their chests, backs and legs, and some will find they need to shave their faces too, developing bears and moustaches.
During these growth spurts in boys, the brain goes through one final spurt also, with studies suggesting some of the emotional factors on the brain do not fully develop yet until about this stage of life.
The Signs of Growth Spurts in Boys
There are a number of things you’ll notice if you are a boy growing through a growth spurt.
Your clothes won’t fit anymore. This is because you are growing in both height, weight and probably width too. Height is likely to be first giveaway. One day you’ll be shorter than your mum and the next you won’t!
Your feet will also grow and all of a sudden, you’ll need to buy new footwear more often. Usually this is another of the first common signs of growth spurts in boys.
Your limbs, bones and joints will come next. You might find that your knuckles get bigger than they were on your hands, or your legs seem disproportionately longer all of a sudden. This is just a natural side effect of a growth spurt.
As well as pubic hair, puberty will also bring about new hormones and one of the side effects of these will be a change to the way you smell. When you sweat or get stressed, you’ll start to smell like body odor or BO and you will need to wear deoderant.
You will also get moodier than you were before. This is another side effect of the hormones and in pubescent boys can lead to temper tantrums, slamming doors and a lot of sulking. Girls will also get these mood swings but again, this will be much earlier.
Boys will want to eat more – their appetite’s will increase. This is because a growing body needs more nutrition and without it, it just won’t function as well.
The hormones may also increase oil production on the skin and when this happens, spots and acne can occur. Puberty is one of the most common times of life for acne to show itself and it can cause many problems with confidence and self-esteem, especially if the problem worsens over time or doesn’t go away with correct skincare management.
Of course, you can’t talk about these growth spurts in boys without mentioning a change to the voice too. The ‘balls drop’ and during this time, your testicles come down from your body meaning you are now of an age where you could reproduce. This normally makes your voice deepen, another side effect of hormones, going from a squeaky voice to a deeper voice almost overnight. For some boys it can take a little longer than that.
Going through a growth spurt and puberty in general can be hard work and although your first instincts will be to grab your child and make sure he is okay, during this time you need to let him be. He’s going through a lot of changes, both physically and mentally, and some of them might concern or frighten him. You will need to be there for him to answer any questions but at the same time, give him the freedom to be himself and learn his new and changing body.