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Voice breaking

Hormones cause a boy’s voice box to grow and move lower in his throat during puberty.

Introduction

Hormones cause a boy’s voice box to grow and move lower in his throat during puberty. While this is happening their voice might be squeaky one minute and low the next. This is often referred to as someone’s voice breaking. It doesn’t hurt, but it can make a child feel self-conscious or embarrassed.

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Once your child’s voice box has settled in its new position, their voice will stabilise and be lower than before.

As your child’s voice box grows it will become more prominent and stick out from their neck. This is sometimes known as the Adam’s apple.

Some children can find this change to their voice embarrassing. This is normal. It can help to talk to your child and reassure them that the uncontrollable changes to their voice are temporary and a normal part of growing up.

Everyone is different. Some voices may start to change at the beginning of puberty while other may happen a little later. Some voices change slowly over time, whereas others might change quickly. This is OK.

If you have any concerns about your child’s voice breaking, you should speak to your doctor.

Strategies for you to try

Proactive talking

Talk to your child about the changes to their voice before it happens. Talking about changes ahead of time gives your child time to understand what is going to happen and feel more prepared for the changes when they start.

Learning from others

If possible, make time for your child to talk to a trusted male adult about their experience

Using resources

Use some of the below resources to talk to your child about the changes happening to their voice.

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Introduction to puberty for girls
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