Bad news, moms: The wonderful gap between the toddler tantrum years and the teenage tantrum years is shrinking. We already knew that girls were reaching puberty earlier. It is with great regret that I report that now boys are reaching puberty earlier, too.
A study by the University of North Carolina found that boys were showing the key indicators of puberty (larger genitals, pubic hair, production of sperm) six months to a year sooner than usual. They examined 4,100 boys aged 6 to 16. Boys seem to be hitting the Big Change sooner, and you know what that probably means: The Hormone Tsunami hits sooner, too.
So if your young-ish tween is acting a little more temperamental lately this might be why. Hoo boy. And there's the other implication -- you may have to give the birds and bees talk sooner than you were planning to. I think parents all over are giving that talk earlier than in generations past just because kids are learning about sex from their friends and from media sooner. But still -- here's one more reason to jump on that little talk sooner.
Like with girls, researchers aren't sure why this is happening: Could be the environment, too much junk food, not enough exercise, or a combination of all of these. But while they work on that complicated question, we have to deal with the reality.
I was kind of thinking I would escape the early puberty thing because I have a son, but nope! Probably not. Of course, every kid is different. Just because this is what boys are doing nation wide on average doesn't mean your son will hit puberty early, too. I'm just saying, brace yourself just in case!
Do you think your son might be hitting puberty early?
Image via bryce _edwards/Flickr