What Is Normal Behavior for a 13-Year-Old Boy?

Medically Reviewed on 7/2/2021
normal behavior for 13-year-old boy
Here is a closer look at the changes your 13-year-old son is going through in this year of early adolescence

Your 13-year-old boy is officially a teenager. During these early teenage years, he is going through huge changes physically, emotionally, and mentally, which can be challenging for both of you.

Boys at mid-adolescence are experiencing increased sexual maturity, increased complexity in group interactions, and heightened awareness in other people.

Here is a closer look at what is happening in your son at this age.

Developmental milestones for a 13-year-old boy

Physical growth and development 

  • Puberty begins for many boys at this stage of adolescence.
  • Boys may experience rapid growth in height and weight.
  • Muscles fill out and strength increases dramatically.
  • Body changes may include developing hair under the arms and groin as well as testicular growth.
  • Vocal cords grow longer, and larynxes or voice boxes grow larger. This causes deeper voice tones.

Mental and emotional development

  • Boys begin to assert more independence at this age. They may rebel, especially when parents enforce rules and limits.
  • They often have an increased need for privacy, another sign of wanting more independence and less supervision.
  • They may also require more privacy to deal with feelings of curiosity and anxiety that come with body changes and new emotions.
  • It’s common for this age group to become more self-involved. Their thoughts and feelings are centered on themselves, making them self-conscious.
  • Evaluating other people and processing emotions in others may be associated with increased attention to things that are socially important, such as physical appearance.
  • They begin to understand and use sarcasm.

Cognitive development

  • Boys at this age develop logical thought, deductive reasoning abilities, and improved memory and executive function skills.
  • They may display logical thinking, can seriate (arrange in a series) without trial and error, conserve number, mass, and volume, and demonstrate a more strategic and methodical approach to problems.
  • Young teenage boys become more egocentric and self-conscious. They may feel invincible or uniquely powerful.
  • Memory gets better at this age as they gain experience with particular skills.

Social development

  • As they desire increased independence from their parents, 13-year-old boys rely more on friendships. They confide in their peers more and want to spend more time with friends than family.
  • One of the key changes during middle adolescence involves a renegotiation of parent-child relationships. Since they are striving for more autonomy during this time, different aspects of parenting become more important to them.
  • Boys at this age become aware of their sexuality and are interested in dating and social gatherings.


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Medically Reviewed on 7/2/2021
WebMD. Your Son at 13: Milestones. https://www.webmd.com/parenting/guide/son-13-milestones#1