What are some of the basics of puberty?

Puberty is the developmental process of children starting to become adults through physical changes that occur as their bodies start to produce hormones. Part of these changes include the way adolescents think and feel – about themselves and about their relationships with others, including with parents, siblings, and friends.

The brain and sexual glands – testicles in boys, and ovaries in girls – start to work together to mature the sexual organs so that it becomes possible to have a baby. You can learn more about the male body and the female body in these diagrams of sexual organs. If you are a parent looking to understand which kinds of changes you can expect in your child and what they need to know about their bodies at each age, you can refer to this sexual health guide from Alberta Health Services.

Puberty starts at different times for each individual. It can start as early as eight-years-old or can be delayed until the early teen years. Puberty finishes in the mid- to late-teens. There is an overview guide on changes in puberty in both girls and boys at Sex and You. Parents may also find helpful tips about puberty at

Will my relationship to my son or daughter change?

Relationships do change as puberty starts and as the person becomes an adult. Learn more on how to navigate these changes with positive results and help your child with sexual decision-making.

How do I help my child who is transgender?

Some children identify as a gender other than their biological sex. This can be confusing for both parents and children. There are good resources to help you and your child navigate their transgender journey at Trans Care BC, such as information on support groupsevents, and tips on transgender identity, and sexual health and wellness. For children who wish to have their hormone production blocked or delayed, there is also information on puberty blockers.

How can I help my child who has different developmental or physical abilities?

For children with different abilities, there are additional resources for parents and care givers to handle this sensitive time in a child’s life.


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