When Will My Son's Voice Change?

Learn the Typical Timing for the Changes Puberty Will Make in a Boy's Voice

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When does voice change occur for boys going through puberty, and what does it mean? 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. Boys 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, which can make the experience a tad embarrassing for the child.

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. 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, parents, or teachers. 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. Help your tween learn to laugh off embarrassing moments by doing the same when you experience them.

A Word From Verywell

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, with a strong and non-squeaky voice

Sources:

Kliegman, RM. et. al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. Elsevier; 2016.

Neinstein LS, Katzman DK. Neinsteins Adolescent and Young Adult Health Care: a Practical Guide. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer; 2016.

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