Puberty describes the period when a child begins to change into an adult and experiences significant physical, emotional and social changes. These changes usually happen between the ages of 8 and 16. It is important to start talking to your child about puberty sooner than later.

Talking to your child about puberty can start from early childhood, with information reinforced and expanded on leading up to puberty. Don’t wait for your child to ask you questions, instead start by sharing small amounts of information in a positive way, so that your child understands that it is ok to talk about the changes to their bodies. When talking to your child about puberty be brief, factual and happy to talk about it.

Our Child & Family Education team have created resources to help parents and carers talk about puberty with their child. They also deliver relationships and sexuality education (RSE) to school teachers, parents and carers so that they can work together to support children and young people to learn about their changing bodies.

What is Puberty?

Puberty is the process that changes a child’s body into an adult body that is capable of sexual reproduction. Puberty is triggered by the release of hormones from a small gland in at the base of the brain.

For girls puberty starts at around 10 years of age with a range of eight to 13 years being normal. For boys it is usually between 11 and 12 years, however the normal range can be from 9 to 14 years.

Changes for girls:

  • breast development
  • hips widen and body becomes curvier
  • grow taller
  • hair growth – hair will start to grow in pubic area, under arms and hair on the arms and legs will darken
  • vaginal discharge – may start having a clear or whitish discharge for the vagina
  • periods will start
  • pimples may appear

Changes for boys:

  • shoulders and chest becomes broader
  • grow taller
  • body becomes more muscular
  • voice gets deeper
  • penis and testicles become larger and darker in colour
  • hair growth - hair will start to grow in pubic area, under arms, chest and back and hair on the arms and legs will darken
  • during wet dreams or when masturbating, ejaculation may occur
  • pimples may appear

True’s Puberty booklet and workbook are a colourful, engaging and age-appropriate tool for children to learn about the changes that will happen to their bodies.

Developed for children aged 8-13, the booklets covers the physical, social and mental changes that happen to male and female bodies during puberty. Simple language is used so that any child can read it on their own or with a parent or carer. 

The Puberty and workbook are provided as a complimentary resource to all children that participate in True’s All School program, a relationships and sexuality education program for schools and families.

Click here to learn more about True’s All School Program which teaches children about relationships and sexuality.