Puberty! What Is Happening to My Child?

The Five Stages of Puberty and the Parent’s Responsibilities to Their Child





We all underwent teenage years when we were standing at the last frontiers of childhood and entering adulthood. We came to realize that we were too old for childhood games yet too young to assume mature roles. And because teenagers stand at the line between childhood and adulthood, they face a difficult yet wonderful time in discovering the world and all its wonders. Everyone calls this stage puberty.

At what age does puberty start? This varies among sexes. Girls typically start between the ages ten to fourteen, while boys start between ages twelve and sixteen. During this time, the body starts to develop and mature. Also, mood swings and the desire to belong in a group are the most common changes upon which your children typically base his/her decisions.

It’s in these times that parents should not let their children figure things out on their own. Teenagers undergo many changes, especially in the physical and emotional aspects. They are often overwhelmed by so many responsibilities and norms taught to them as they grow. To help children transition smoothly into adulthood, parents should be present in this important stage.

The most apparent changes we notice when our children hit puberty are in their physical appearance. There are five stages of puberty that our children undergo:

  • Stage 1. Around ages eight through eleven, girls’ ovaries start to increase in size. The body starts to produce hormones, but there are no physical changes yet. Boys sometimes already have a growth spurt by this time.


  • Stage 2. In this stage, which happens between the ages eight through fifteen, breast buds develop, pubic hair is present, and height and weight increase.


  • Stage 3. When girls reach the ages of nine through fifteen, their breasts further develop and discharges from their reproductive organ is present. By this time, some girls already start menstruating. For the boys, their faces start to grow mature, their shoulders broaden, their voices deepen, and they start to develop facial hair.


  • Stage 4. Girls between ages ten through sixteen will notice that their breasts have become more visible. The boys’ facial and body hair, specifically in their armpits, grow and their skin gets oily.


  • Stage 5. In this final stage of puberty, the female and male body is fully developed. Both sexes attain their full height, although men tend to grow taller past their twenties. Women are already ovulating regularly.


Teenagers do not only experience physical development; their emotions also change as well as their cognitive capabilities and how they perceive their roles in society. During these times, parents must make themselves constantly present and willing to assume the roles of the first people with whom their children can confide with their problems.

When I hit puberty, I thought I was ready to conquer the world. The truth was, I was not yet ready; but back then, I could not care less. I could not wait to get out of the house and discover the world. Out there, it was confusing, enlightening, and, at the same time, disturbing. I saw a lot, felt a lot, and wondered a lot. This is the reason why parents should build stronger relationships with their children and with each other because, believe it or not, teenagers want to spend less time with their families and more on the places they and their peers find engaging.

The problem surfaces when these young men and women have no one to guide them in this stage of exploration and experimentation. As parents, we should not make it more difficult for our children by limiting the opportunities that will contribute to their growth.


When explaining puberty to your daughter or son, you should exercise utmost patience and clarity, bearing in mind that only you have the sole responsibility for your child’s growth. In this stage, your child will have a lot of questions, even if they don’t ask them upfront. Your goal is to approach this situation in a way that your child will understand and learn by heart.

Did you learn something? Share your thoughts and learn some more helpful tips by following my Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads accounts. You can also buy my book, Train Up a Child: Timeless Strategies for Guiding a Child into Mature Adulthood, on my website at


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *