During this period, kids are heading in a completely new direction. These preteens become more prudish and their actions are not as innocent as they once were. However, we must talk to them about love and sex with tact, otherwise they will shut down. At that age, they don’t enjoy being teased about their love interests or discussing sexual topics with you.
“The word puberty refers to a biological maturing stage that girls and boys go through and that enables them to reproduce” explains the Sexualityandu.ca website.
Sometimes peeping Tom and other times exhibitionist, sometimes provocative and other times too shy, the preteen can be a source of worry for the adults around him. Rest assured. He is exploring his new sexuality and body with his own eyes.
The first physical changes occur around the age of 9. You will be amazed to see your son or daughter gain a couple of centimetres every year. And what about the other obvious physical changes that clearly show that your child is leaving childhood behind and slowly becoming an adult! Remember that these changes can be disturbing for the ones going through them, and are usually at the root of comments for the ones who notice them.
Try to say something positive about these changes to help your child go through the metamorphosis with as little embarrassment and discomfort as possible. Try to reinforce your child’s self-esteem by being present during these changes, for he may be made fun of at school.
The first sign of puberty for girls is without a doubt the development of breasts at around 10 ½ years old. This slight budding may be a little painful. There is nothing to worry about if both breasts don’t develop exactly in the same way or at the same time. If this is stressing and worrying your child, comfort her quickly. It is normal!
About 6 months after the breasts have started developing, when your child has an intense growth spurt, pubic and armpit hair start to appear. The first menstruations generally occur by the age of 12 or 13. “This development process lasts about 3 to 4 years, at the end of which the breasts and areolas have reached their adult size, and so does the appearance of pubic hair. Girls usually reach their adult size about two years after their first period”, explains Sexualityandu.ca.
With boys, puberty generally happens about a year after girls. The first sign of puberty is the increased size of the testicles at around the age of 11 ½ or 12.
During the following months, pubic and armpit hair will start to appear. “Puberty continues with an increase in the size of the testicles and penis, as well as the continual growth of pubic and armpit hair. The physical growth often starts with the widening of hands and feet, followed by the growth of arms, legs, torso and chest. Other changes include the breaking of the voice, a muscle mass increase and the ability to have erections and ejaculate. Breasts may develop with certain boys. The boys’ growth spurt ends about 2 or 3 years later than the girls’”, explains Sexualityandu.ca.