This last stage usually starts at age 15 and includes your teen having a body that is larger and more adult-like and adult-size. During this stage, the following occurs:
- Height growth is slowing down.
- Pubic hair being fully grown and spreading into the inner thigh area.
- Genitals and reproductive organs being fully developed and adult size.
- For many females assigned at birth:
- Breast size and body shape including hip and buttocks areas are being formed. Yet both breasts and body shape can continue to change as a person ages due to hormones and habits.
- Periods becoming regular, and occurring on a monthly schedule.
- For many males assigned at birth
- Facial hair has started growing
- Penis, testicles, and scrotum start to reach their full size.
Supporting Your Teen and YOU!
- Regarding the physical changes, continue to be supportive of healthy hygiene, eating, and sleeping habits. And, if you have concerns that your teen is still not physically developing at the rate that is expected, talk with your medical professional.
- If you have not done so already, consider discussing healthy habits for hair maintenance and/or removal with your teen. If shaving is something you are okay with, including specific body areas, make sure to go over the proper steps of shaving both verbally as well as physically modeling what to do. Shavers need to be used carefully to ensure no deep cuts/nicks occur. If other hair removal techniques are supported, discuss the pros and cons of each, including the required maintenance and cost.
- Regarding the continued mental, emotional, and social changes, as noted in an earlier stage, make sure to have established boundaries and expectations. As much as your teen may test you and their decision-making and independent skills, respectful behaviors and consequences are needed. Again, seek support when needed or wanted.
- If the discussions have not already started, talk about sexual feelings and the responsibilities that need to be considered upon acting on them with others.
Talking with Your Teen
Similar to earlier stages, your teen may seem less inclined to chat with you. Their independence has probably increased and they are attempting to make more decisions on their own. Yet, if they need something, you will most likely be told about their wants quickly. Again, continue to check-in and spark conversations with your teen. To do this consider asking your teen the following:
- What do you need to help you be in your room and our home?
- What was your high and your low today?
- How can we support all of our decision-making while also helping each other grow from mistakes?
- What household expectations are outdated?