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Ages 11 to 14 Years

We need to better understand adolescent developmental stages to help our preteen or teen as they mature. By becoming familiar with these stages, we will increase our competence in encouraging teens to establish their sense of identity.

Physical Changes (Puberty)

For girls, puberty begins around 10 or 11 years of age and ends about age 16. Boys enter puberty later than girls, usually around age 12 and ending at about age 17. Girls and boys usually begin puberty around the same time their mothers and fathers did. For girls, the following are physical changes that will happen in puberty, listed in the order they usually occur: body fat increases, breasts begin to enlarge, pubic hair grows, height and weight increase, first menstrual period occurs, hips widen, underarm hair grows, skin and hair become more oily and pimples may appear. The following are physical changes occurring in boys during puberty: Scrotum becomes darker, testicles grow larger, penis grows longer and fuller, pubic hair grows, breasts can get “lumps” and become tender, height and weight increase, muscles develop, wet dreams occur, voice cracks and gets deeper, skin and hair become more oily, pimples may appear and underarm and facial hair grow.

Social and Emotional Development

Tips for Parents

Probably the most important things you can do to help your teen mature is to spend time with them and take an interest in what they say, do and feel. Knowing that you are there and care is reassuring to a teen and will help them gain self-confidence and self-esteem.