August 24, 2022

Puberty 101: Boys

An overview of puberty for parents and families with young sons, ages 9-14


At MVP we usually start the puberty discussion with boys at the nine or ten-year visit.  Often parents are surprised when we broach the topic, feeling it is on the early side. Puberty can start between the ages of 9-14 in boys; we feel it is important that your children learn accurate and clear information about puberty from us and their parents before they start discussing these topics with friends. 

First physical signs of puberty in boys: 

Puberty is a process that is not only physical but also involves changes in your son’s thought processes, emotions, and social life.   The first physical sign of puberty in boys is the growth of the scrotum. After that, your son may notice long, soft hair on his scrotum and above his penis.  As the scrotum continues to grow, the penis also grows. Boys will also start experiencing erections more frequently and start producing semen.  Most boys will occasionally have wet dreams and have the ability to ejaculate. 

Wow! Look who got taller this year: 

As these changes progress, your son will go through a growth spurt, sometimes growing as much as five inches per year.  The majority of growth usually occurs between the ages of 12-15.  Because of this rapid growth, he will have a significant increase in appetite.  He also may have “growing pains.”  As puberty continues he will gain more muscle mass.


Other changes in appearance for boys in puberty:

  • His skin will become more oily, causing acne in some teens.
  • Your son will start to perspire more and their body odor will change.
  • His voice will become deeper, often cracking at the beginning of puberty.
  • Some boys will have some swelling under his nipples, this is very normal and usually temporary but can be distressing for some teens.  If your son is concerned about this, please be in touch with your provider.
  • Over time your son will grow more hair in his pubic area as well as under his armpits.
  • He will start to grow facial hair and longer hair on arms, legs and chest.  


Boys’ emotions 101: 

In addition to all of these physical changes, your son will start to think more abstractly about many topics. He will start to care more about the opinions of his peers and be more invested in friendships and possibly romantic relationships. This happens at different rates for each child. As you can see, puberty is a time of major change for your child. If you have questions or concerns about puberty in your son, please feel free to contact your MVP provider, we are here to help and answer any questions.

*For older teens, if you’re seeing an increase in emotions or other emotions, check out our blog on Teen Mental Wellness & additional resources.


Check out following books helpful for discussing puberty with your sons: 

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