Puberty is the medical process that every child goes through in order to physically become an adult. Hormone levels spike unpredictably and body growth accelerates. Coming hand in hand with puberty and often used as an interchangeable term, adolescence is the mental and emotional transitions and changes a teenager will deal with as their body and their mind go through the arduous process of growing up.
Typical signs of Puberty:
Often beginning up to several years before boys enter full puberty, the female body begins to develop and change rapidly. At as early as ten years of age, young girls can begin their menstrual cycle and will usually become sexually mature adults within four years to the time they begin puberty. They will grow breasts and pubic hair. Emotionally, puberty is a time where girls begin to test the limits of what they believe to be right. Often they will rebel against authority or try to experiment with drugs, sex, and other outside influences. Due to their ever fluctuating hormones, they can be volatile and overly emotional, often falling apart at what seem to adults to be insignificant slights. Puberty is also a time when teenage girls can be at higher risk factors for disorders like anorexia and bulimia because most girls going through puberty will be uncomfortable with their new body.
Beginning at an average age of twelve, puberty for boys is a more lengthy process. Generally, the body has even more extreme changes to go through, growing not only in height but often in general heft as well. Genitals will grow in size and pubic hair will begin to grow. This is also the age where facial hair begins to appear and a boy’s voice usually changes and deepens. Emotionally, boys often become more aggressive during puberty, as their testosterone levels are on the rise and will flare up occasionally. They also will usually begin to be very preoccupied with sex and experience common occurrences of masturbatory thoughts and feelings. They can become easily embarrassed in social situations and will often try to avoid them altogether.
It is important to make sure that your teen knows that the changes they are going through are completely normal. With a body that suddenly doesn’t feel like your own, it’s easy to become flustered and confused emotionally. Without the proper encouragement and communication, teens can develop serious body image or social issues that can hamper the rest of their lives. GoMentor.com offers confidential online therapy and counselling by signing up to GoMentor 24/7 where you can write unlimited with a psychologist, therapist or coach.