What Is Normal Behavior for a 12-Year-Old Boy?

By the age of 12, your son may become a bit rebellious.
By the age of 12, your son may become a bit rebellious.

As your boy reaches 12 years of age, you may notice many physical changes and changes in his social interactions, expression of emotions and thought patterns. Here are some of the normal changes that you should know as a parent.

Physical development

You will notice that your 12-year-old boy has changes in the timbre of his voice. As his vocal cords develop, his voice often sounds raspy, squeaky, or rough. He will also have growth of facial and pubic hair. His body will start becoming more muscular, and his shoulders will get broader.

Puberty may be in full swing for some boys, whereas others may develop sometime later. Every boy matures at his own pace. Therefore, do not worry if your son is maturing earlier or later than others.

Social and emotional development

Your son at this age will be self-conscious of his looks and body image. He will be concerned about what others think of him. He may start using deodorants, visiting the gym, or exercising in his room.

You will notice a whole range of emotions in your boy. You will see him shifting from one emotion to another in a matter of minutes or hours. He will often go back and forth from feeling confident to insecure, from happy to sad, and so on.

You may find that your son is starting to be somewhat rebellious. He will be spending more time with his peers than with you. He will be particularly interested in getting approval from them. He may experience confusion with his gender identity and body image.

Kids at this age may begin to experience stress because of challenging studies and tasks at school.

Cognitive development

Your 12-year-old boy will develop an increasing ability to use logic. He can handle more complex thinking now. His communication skills improve, which you can notice more when he communicates with others. He begins questioning things such as family values and can tell the difference between right and wrong.

What role can you play in your child's development?

You can play the following roles in your child's development.

Talk and listen: Your 12-year-old may have come to know about drinking, drugs, sexuality, and sex. Talk with them. Ask questions. Listen to what they have to say. Clear their doubts.

Praise and encourage them: Encourage him when he shows interest in a new hobby or sports. Praise him when he performs well in school.

Set your expectations and limits: Be clear about screen time. Moreover, keep a watch on the forms of social media your son is using. Make him understand how his image on social media can affect his career and future employment.

Be respectful during conflicts: Stay calm during a conflict. Do not scream, yell, or snap at your son. Have a healthy argument while also respecting his feelings and opinions.

Stay updated about his school grades and peers: Make sure you know about his schoolmates and peers. Stay updated on his scores in school. If you think that your son is lagging far behind his peers, there may be a behavioral disorder. Make a trip to the pediatrician if you suspect so.

For any additional concerns, do not hesitate to consult your child's pediatrician.


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Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Stewart, Janelle. "12- to 14-year-olds: Ages and stages of youth development." Michigan State University. MSU Extension. <https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/12_to_14_year_olds_ages_and_stages_of_youth_development>.

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Young Teens (12-14 years of age)." Feb. 22, 2021. <https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/childdevelopment/positiveparenting/adolescence.html>.

"Wellness by age: 11–12 years." Children'sHealth. <https://www.childrens.com/health-wellness/wellness-by-age-eleven-to-twelve>.