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Growing Taller

One of the most noticeable physical changes is that your child will start to grow taller and broader.

Introduction

When children start puberty their bodies change in many different ways. One of the most noticeable physical changes is that your child will start to grow taller and broader. Both boys and girls go through periods of rapid growth during puberty.

It can be good to prepare your child for these changes to their body so that they understand this is a normal part of growing up.

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Boys can expect:

  • to grow taller
  • shoulders become broader
  • chests become broader
  • limbs become longer
  • feet and hands grow bigger

Girls can expect:

  • to grow taller
  • hips grow wider
  • feet and hands grow bigger
  • limbs become longer

During this period of growth your child may experience growing pains. This is muscular pain caused by rapid growth. The pain comes and goes and is often worse during the night. Growing pains are normal and not harmful, but can be uncomfortable for your child. Below are some ways you can help your child with growing pains:

  • giving your child lots of reassurance that the pain will go away
  • massaging the painful area
  • having your child take a warm bath or use a heat pack on the painful area

It can also be a good idea to see your doctor to ensure that there is no other cause for your child’s pain.

Conversation Starters

Look you have grown out of another pair of pants! You are getting taller. This means you’re growing up.
You can reach the top shelf in the cupboard now. You must be growing up.
Look how little you were in this photo. You are much taller now. You are growing up.

Strategies for you to try

Using photos

Show your child photos of themselves at different ages and a photo of them now. Show them how their body has grown and changed over time. Ask them to point out some of the differences from when they were a baby to how their body looks now. Explain that their body will continue to grow and change over the rest of their life.

Using older family members as examples

Use an older sibling or cousin as an example of how a person gets taller and bigger when they start puberty. You can also use photos of yourself or other family members as an example.

Craft activities

Instead of simply marking your child’s height on a wall or chart, use objects your child is interested in such as trains, lego or coloured pencils to measure their height. Repeat this activity every few months and keep a record of how many of these items were used each time. Use the chosen items to show your child their previous and current measurements. This can be used to show them how much they are growing. For example, you used to be as tall as 10 trains, but now you’re as tall as 15.

You may also wish to do a similar activity to measure your child’s feet or hands as they grow. Paint or trace your child’s hand/foot print and compare them over the following months. You may also wish to compare them to other family members’ to show your child the differences in size between their body and an adults or older sibling’s body.

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Introduction to puberty for girls
Growing Taller

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Introduction to puberty for girls
Growing Taller

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