When Will My Son's Voice Change?

Your son's voice will change during puberty and that's not a bad thing

Voice change is a normal part of puberty for boys.
Your son's voice will likely begin to change during the middle school years. Lynn Koenig/Moment/Getty Images

Question: My son hasn't yet entered puberty, but I am wondering when his voice will begin to change. When does voice change occur, and what does it happen?

Answer: Puberty is predictably unpredictable, for both girls and boys. You know your child will go through the stages of puberty, but you don't always know when those symptoms will present themselves. It's the not knowing that can make puberty stressful for both tweens and their parents.

Boys do experience voice change during puberty, and the change can happen anywhere between the ages of 10 and 15. Typically, voice change begins somewhere around age 12 or 13, or during the middle school years.

Why Does a Boy's Voice Change?

Voice change is a normal stage of puberty for boys, but it can be a bit of a mystery when it happens, especially. The reason your son's voice occasionally cracks or sounds squeaky is due to the growth of the voice box, or larynx. Before puberty the voice box is small. During and after puberty, the voice box is bigger and the vocal cords are thicker and longer than they were before puberty - which explains why post-pubescent boys and men have a deep voice and boys do not.

You may physically notice the growth of your son's larynx as an enlargement of his Adam's apple.

How Can I Help My Son Deal with His Voice Change?

Voice change is normal, and there's a chance your son may not even realize that his voice is deepening and lowering.

But he may be embarrassed when his voice cracks or squeaks in front of others. He should know that these cracks are only temporary, and that they will stop when his larynx is finished growing. In other words, your tween won't be going off to college with a cracking voice. 

Your son may find that clearing his throat and waiting a few seconds will help him regain control over his voice.

Mints, chewing gum, and lozenges aren't likely to help, but they may make your tween feel as though he has some control over his voice change.

Many tweens are embarrassed when their voices cracks or squeaks, especially if voice change happens in front of peers, or even worse, girls. While some tweens may be able to laugh off an embarrassing voice change moment, others may be extremely upset and self conscious. You can help your tween by first of all preparing him for the possibility that he might not always be able to control when his voice will crack, and to let him know that these occurrences are normal and experienced by just about every boy he knows. Help your tween think of cute or clever things to say if his voice cracks unexpectedly. And let him know that even adults experience awkward social moments, and that how you deal with them is more important than trying to avoid them entirely. 

The good news about puberty, for both girls and boys, is that it's a temporary transition. Before you know it, all the challenges puberty presents will be behind you, and your tween will be a confident young adult. 

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