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milestones for boys

8 Big Boy Milestones on Their Way Into Teendom

Watching your kids grow up can be both rewarding and confusing — for you and for them. As your son reaches the age of 10-14, you’ll probably notice some gradual changes, but they might be hard to put your finger on. To help you know what to expect, and to recognize those changes when they appear, we’ve written 8 important milestones your son will likely pass through as he approaches his teen years.

boys teens teendom milestones

From Boy to Teen – 8 Milestones

  1. Abstract Thinking

  2. Concrete thought is focused on the here and now. When your son begins to think abstractly, he’ll start thinking about issues instead of just things or events. He may advance his own theories about someone’s behavior, why one breed of dog is better than another, or why the coach should have made a different decision.

  3. Expression & Opinions

  4. Between ages 10-14, your son may begin to express his opinion or feelings more, signaling development in his critical thinking and evaluation skills. He will likely begin to develop and internalize his own thoughts about right and wrong.

  5. Moodiness & Emotional Sensitivity

  6. Teenagers are notorious for being moody. Their emotions are on a roller coaster a lot of the time, and it often seems like the tiniest things will set them off. When your son begins going through these emotional shifts, try to avoid reacting too quickly. If you get the silent treatment from an angry teen, don’t push. Just give him time to simmer down.

  7. Peer & Social Pressure

  8. At this age, your son’s friends will have a lot of influence on him. He may change the way he dresses, behaves, or speaks in order to fit in. To him, being accepted may be equated with being the same. Try to pick your battles. Some peer pressure is harmless, but some can be dangerous. Use your instincts.



  9. Sexual Awareness

  10. Boys usually become very aware of their sexuality between 12-14. This may prompt them to ask questions, explore, and become interested in others (see #6). Make sure your son knows you’ve been around the block a few times, and are here to help him navigate these things. Also, be aware of the dangers technology can present when it comes to sex.

  11. Personal Hygiene

  12. Your son who never cared about his hair may start using gel and carrying a comb in his pocket. Depending on how into hygiene he was before, you may actually be glad to see him take an interest in his looks. Tell him you’ve noticed by complimenting him, but make sure he knows that looks aren’t the best thing about him — or anyone else.
    boys and teens growing up quote

  13. Asserting Identity

  14. Your son might decide he wants to choose what clothes to buy, or buy them himself. He may want more of a say in how he keeps his room or what kind of music he listens to. This is his way forming his own identity that distinguishes his from his parents.

  15. Growth Spurts & Physical Development

  16. Sometimes, a significant growth spurt can lend itself to clumsiness. You may notice more sweating or body odor, and a deeper (and cracking) voice. These physical changes are all part of the plan.

As your son grows, if you feel he’s not adjusting properly or facing some difficult challenges, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor for help. It’s always better to ask for professional guidance than go it alone and unsure. Most teens are able to navigate these years successfully, so you can turn around in a few years to see how great he’s turned out.

Tyler Jacobson

Tyler Jacobson

Tyler Jacobson is a father, husband, and writer, with experience as a content writer and outreach coordinator for HelpYourTeenNow. Tyler has offered honest advice and humor to struggling parents and teens. Tyler has researched and written on education problems, disorders, the world of social media, addiction, and pressing issues with raising a teen today. Follow Tyler on:
Twitter | Linkedin | Google +

18 comments

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  • This just reminded me that my son, who is only 9.. is growing up too fast. The tween years will be upon us before we know it and I am not sure I will ever be ready. He was my first baby!

  • I need to pin this for the future. I am the mom of a four and five year old and let me tell you, these boys are growing by leaps and bounds in a blink of an eye!

  • My daughter is entering the teen years and it is all a very interesting experience! The kids definitely keep us on our toes for sure. Part of it is she has to manage her feelings and emotions, I feel like my girls bring home a lot of drama from school / friends / etc.

  • This is all great information! I have two boys, ages 7 and 6 so I am a few years away still. But I know they will grow up in a blink so knowing what is to come lets me be prepared for what they need.

  • My oldest son went through this a few years ago. He tried flexing his freedom muscles only to discover that we set consequences for things he knows that he isn’t supposed to do. He is now a hard working teenager. He makes me so proud. I still have 1 more to get through the teen years.

  • These are such big milestones for any child but I think that boys often get overlooked. So many great tips and advice for getting them through them.

  • I don’t have kids but I remember my little brother going through all of this. I think the best advice to give someone is that the ween years won’t last forever. HA!!

  • My son is a tween now and so much about this hits home. When I go to his school, the little girls are all making googly eyes at him. i’m so not ready for this

  • This is a great post for any moms out there with teenage sons. It really covers all the different areas of development a teenage boy would go through.

  • My son is four right now and I’m nervous/excited about so many milestones. My daughter is seven so I suppose she’s closer to some tween stuff.

About Author

Tyler Jacobson

Tyler Jacobson

Tyler Jacobson is a father, husband, and writer, with experience as a content writer and outreach coordinator for HelpYourTeenNow. Tyler has offered honest advice and humor to struggling parents and teens. Tyler has researched and written on education problems, disorders, the world of social media, addiction, and pressing issues with raising a teen today. Follow Tyler on:
Twitter | Linkedin | Google +