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Differences between preadolescent boys and girls

Differences between preadolescent boys and girls


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As your child grows, the differences between boys and girls become more noticeable both physically and mentally. The inflection point where they are most evident is with the arrival of preadolescence.

Preadolescence is a stage that arises between 9-13 years and it is characterized by numerous physical and psychological changes that affect not only your child but the rest of the family. The best solution so that the family climate and the relationship of trust that you have with your child is not so altered is to understand these changes and how they may be affecting their life. Also, if you have sons and daughters, it is convenient for you to know that preadolescence is not going to affect them equally and you have to take it into account when you are by their side.

To begin with, the duration of physical changes are different in boys and girls, in boys it can last up to four years. However, they are the ones who begin to experience the changes in their body first. The most important physical changes you will experience are:

- Growth and changes in the silhouette. Different parts of your body such as hands and feet begin to develop in size. For girls, their breasts will develop and their hips will be widened while boys will have their shoulders and will see their muscles and weight increased. However, despite the fact that both are going to increase their height, the boys will 'hit the stretch' at the end of their sexual maturity.

- Increased hair on the body and skin problems. Both will grow more hair on the armpits, legs and genitals. However, boys will also grow hair on their faces. Also, the skin will be oilier due to the hormones, which will lead to acne.

- Increase in hormones. Both will have higher levels of hormones, however, in the case of girls, it will be estrogen and progesterone and boys will be testosterone. All these hormonal changes are going to have a lot to do with your behavior and mood. In the case of some girls, the premenstrual syndrome will be able to cause them greater sadness and in the case of boys, high levels of testosterone will make it difficult for them to control aggressiveness.

- Sexual maturation. Both will begin to develop genitally. While in boys the penis and testicles increase and the first ejaculations occur, girls will begin with menstruation.

As we anticipated, all those physical and hormonal experiences that they constantly experience are going to affect them not only at the level of mood but it will be reflected in different aspects of their life.

- Increased concern for body image and problems with self-esteem. Understanding that your body is changing and accepting those changes will be decisive in building your self-esteem and the confidence you have in yourself. Despite the fact that in both cases they will be more insecure, the girls will express it more clearly.

Therefore, if you face these physical and emotional changes by yelling or making fun of them, they will not learn to express feelings or to solve conflicts that they may have in their life. The important thing in these cases is to be patient and talk a lot with them, showing them that you understand what is happening.

- Greater relationship with people of the same age and gender. The difference between the two is the way in which they will decide to relate to their friends, while the girls will prefer to talk to each other to seek advice to improve their physical appearance or the way they dress, the boys will choose to do activities more related to sports and improve your muscles.

Therefore, take the opportunity to get closer to their tastes: go shopping, practice sports during the weekend or take the opportunity to be interested in the series or movies that they like.

- Decrease in communication and family time. The search for themselves leads them to gradually distance themselves from their parents and to spend more hours with themselves. However, at this stage there is still family communication as they need to understand what is happening to them.

According to various studies, girls communicate more with both their fathers and mothers than boys. However, boys tend to relate to the parent that they see more open and available to understand them, who in many cases they say is usually the mother.

You can read more articles similar to Differences between preadolescent boys and girls, in the category of Teen Stages on site.


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