As we change from children to young adults, we don't just grow taller. Our bodies change in many different ways. Some parts of our bodies will grow faster than other parts and boys wil grow in different wats than girls. We are often eager for these changes to arrive so we can feel more grown up. But, sometimes change surprise or embarrass us.
Despite just a few years' age difference, teenagers and young children have very different needs and roles.Sexual Maturity
The most important changes to understand have to do with our sexual maturity - becoming capable of having children. Until puberty, boys and girls can not become parents. Our sexual organs do not produce the sex cells - the sperm or the egg (ovum) that are needed for reproduction. At puberty, the hormones in the body change to begin the process of producing sex cells and to prepare the rest of the body for reproduction.
Puberty can be a bumpy ride - there will always be some thrills and some spills!Emotional Growth
While our bodies are changing, our feelings and experiences are also changing. The strains on our bodies caused by puberty and growing can make us tired, grumpy, or confused about how we feel. But we can also have a great time experiencing new things about ourselves, our friends and the possibilities that are opening up to us as young adults. It can be a roller coaster ride!
Around our early teens, most of us begin to desire more independence from our parents. It can sometimes feel like we are in a kind of prison. Before we know it, we will be out in the world, without the day-to-day support and care we once had from our parents. Should we enjoy it while it lasts or is it normal to struggle against being treated like children?
We may think we know everything about puberty from an older brother or sister or from talking about it with our family or friends or in school. Some of us do, but many of us reach sexual maturity with some mistaken ideas about what it means. Will you investigate what you think you know or take your chances?
In this blog, I will share more on both the Physical and the Emotional sides of puberty. It tells only the general story, so do not be surprised or worried if the story does not exactly "fit" you - each of our experiences is unique!