Physical Changes: Ninth Grade

Girls
Your daughter may not have had her first period yet. Experts say you and she should not start to worry until she's 16 and still not menstruating. If she is a "late bloomer," she is probably feeling impatient and ready to develop just like her friends are; it will be difficult for her to be reassured by your advice that it will all happen "soon enough." At the same time, you should try not to mirror her impatience or concern: A happy medium, between being dismissive and hysterical, is best.

In terms of nutrition, girls 11 to 14 years old need about 2,400 calories a day. Those between 15 and 18 need only 2,100; the peak of their growth spurt is usually over by this point.

Boys
Your son's body hair, facial hair and underarm sweat glands are still developing. He will probably be particularly proud of his ability to grow a mustache - so jokes such as, "What's that on your lip?" won't be of great help to him. Also, his voice is still in the "cracking" phase, and he's developing an Adam's apple.

Teenage boys have huge appetites, and with good reason: Boys up to age 14 need 2,800 calories a day; boys between 15 and 18 need 3,000 calories a day. Your son's growth spurt will probably last until he's 16.

Development Tracker
-- Intellectual Skills
-- Social Skills
-- Emotional Changes
-- Physical Changes
-- Challenges
-- How to Help
-- Activities

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