Author: Dr. Monica Wonnacott

Stages: 12-13 years

Early adolescence (12-13) is filled with drama. Dramatic physical changes of puberty and dramatic mood swings. Young adolescents are egocentric and intensely focused “how do I look?” They have bright minds and great ideas. The difficulty is in balancing guidance and open communication with their increasing need for privacy. Safety Substance Use and Abuse: As a parent, you gotta talk about this. It’s not unreasonable to expect your adolescent should NOT use tobacco, drugs, alcohol, inhalants, diet pills, etc. However, adolescents see through double standards. Don’t tell your adolescent not to smoke if you smoke. Show him or her a good example; stop....

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When Puberty Starts: Girls vs. Boys

Stages of puberty for girls: Typically girls show signs of puberty 2 years earlier than boys. Thelarche (breast development), adrenarche (pubic hair development), pubarche (growth), menarche (first period/menses) The average age for greatest growth/height velocity in a girl is 12.1 years old (with a range of 10.4-13.9 years). It is normal for a girl to start her period somewhere between the ages of 9 and 16. Stages of puberty for boys: Enlargement of the testes, lengthening of the penis, appearance of pubic hair, physical growth The average age for greatest growth/height velocity in a boy is 14.1 yrs old...

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Dr. Monica Wonnacott


I'm a pediatrician and a mom. PediatricAnswers.com is my blog where parents can get the straight scoop on their child's health, largely based on my experience in the office and at home. I don't diagnose on the site, so please don't ask. These are just my opinions. Use this site as a resource. And trust your parent gut.

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