As little boys develop into young men, they will show signs of physical and emotional maturity. Physical signs of maturity are completely up to nature, but signs of emotional maturity can be more difficult to recognize. Watch for signs of maturity before awarding your son with more privileges and responsibilities such as keys to the car, later curfews or getting a job.
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Some males can show signs of maturing physically as early as early as 9 years old, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. This is when their testes, penis and scrotum grow. The genitals typically reach full adult size when a young man reaches his late teens. The voice deepens when the penis begins growing. Hair, such as pubic, chest and facial, often begin growing when a boy is 12 years old. Nocturnal emissions -- also referred to as wet dreams -- start between the ages of 13 and 17.
Patience and Values
Emotional changes are also a sign of maturity. A sign of maturity is making a long-term commitment and sticking to it, according to Tim Elmore, the founder and president of Growing Leaders. Young men who delay gratification show that they are sticking to their beliefs and doing what is right rather than doing what's convenient. As young men mature, they will question old values and develop values of their own. Respect for other people and developing an unselfish attitude are also signs that a young man is maturing emotionally.
When confronted with a negative circumstance, a mature young man controls his anger rather than acting out with harsh actions or words. A sign of maturity is practicing healthy methods to control anger, such as walking away, meditation or taking deep breaths. If a problem needs to be resolved, a young man needs to identify the real source of anger. When emotions are under control, a mature young man can address the issue in a calm and collected manner.
Accepting Compliments and Criticism
As young men age, they will develop their own sense of identity and independence. They will test new ideas and form a unique identity. A sign of maturity is not reacting strongly to compliments or criticism. Compliments are accepted with gratitude, but a mature young man will not let the praise get to his head. When criticism is received, a young man showing signs of maturity will not get bitter but instead take the criticism in stride.