It seems like only yesterday you were changing diapers and recording home movies of his first steps. Now your son is entering into a new phase, one that is threatening and difficult to navigate. He is becoming a teen, and these are the eight milestones you are going to witness along the way.

He Is Thinking More Abstractly

In the past your child’s thinking was rather juvenile and basic. Now he is starting to think less about ‘what’ and more about ‘why’. This is an example of a new level of brain development, one where he is able to think on a more abstract and theoretical level.

He Is Forming (and Expressing) His Opinions

Your son has always had opinions in the past, but those were more about which Avenger was the coolest, not what political candidates deserve to be in office. Now that your son is growing he is able to take in more details about his environment, He is forming real opinions that will help to shape who he becomes over time. And he is expressing them...loudly.

He Is Getting Irritable A Lot

Ah, the hormones and unstable emotions of youth. It seems that every little slight, inconvenience and problem is sparking huge meltdowns, and it isn’t a pleasant experience. Don’t worry, moodiness is a perfectly normal part of the teenage experience. Try to stay calm in the face of that rage and you will find them easier to deal with.

He Is Adapting To Social Groups

With a new grade at school comes a new social group, and suddenly your teen is dressing and acting differently. They have a new taste in music, think things they used to like are lame, and have spent the last week trying to convince you that peircings really aren’t a big deal anymore. This is a sign of adapting to social groups and giving into peer pressure, which is a standard part of making friends in this age bracket.

He Is Gaining Sexual Awareness

One of the more uncomfortable changes, your son is now starting to be curious and interested in sex. It is time to have a serious talk and offer some guidance, even if it is the last thing he wants. That includes a frank and honest conversation about sexual topics like respect, when to know you are ready, contraception, and hygiene.

He Is Taking More Interest In His Appearance

You used to struggle to get your son to even comb his hair. Now he is spending an hour a day in the bathroom, and he seems self conscious. This is a good sign, and you can provide some help by buying products to make sure he remains clean and confident.

He Is Asserting His Own Image

Once upon a time you had some influence over the opinions of your child. That is no longer the case, and he might be going in the opposite direction just to be different. Let him, as this is a part of asserting his own identity that is crucial in his development. Try not to get too annoyed with the often frustrating process.

He Is Growing

Not just a little..he seems to be getting bigger by the week! His voice cracks, he smells like rotten eggs, and he can’t stop eating. Congrats, you now have an official teenager cooking under your roof. Invest in an air freshener for his bedroom.

Author's Bio: 

As the content writer and outreach coordinator for HelpYourTeenNow, Tyler Jacobson joined the team after years of parenting a son with Reactive Attachment Disorder. He lends his experiences and education to other parents looking for ways to help their teens that struggle in school, social, and family circles. Topics that Tyler commonly writes on are parenting, troubled teens, education problems, behavioral disorders, and addictions. Follow Tyler on: Twitter | LinkedIn