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Growing Pains: Educating Adolescents with Puberty

Posted on January 4, 2016 in Uncategorized

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Aside from the emotional and psychological turmoil that comes with puberty and adolescence, physical changes also become apparent. These changes include hair growth, contours, menstruation, acne development, and deepening or cracking of voice. These things would declare that puberty has officially started. If your teen is not ready for these surprising changes, how are you going to explain these things to him?

What is puberty, anyway? Textbooks define puberty or adolescence as the “physiological process characterized by the maturation of the reproductive system of individuals.” Teach your child that reaching this stage is perfectly normal and that he should be ready for the changes to come.

Puberty among Females

With regards to the development of female, puberty begins earlier than their male counterpart. It usually begins as early as nine to 10 years old, depending on your daughter’s biological make up and environment. What happens during puberty is that the hypothalamus in the brain triggers or commands the pituitary gland to start producing hormones. These hormones include follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and somatotropin or the growth hormone. The first two hormones are responsible for the menstrual cycle, where an egg cell is released from the ovary of the female once a month.

Puberty among Males

As for your son, the FSH and LH trigger the testicles to produce sperm cells and testosterone, the male hormones. The amount of testosterone released is highly dependent on the make up of the person. It is the job of the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland to monitor and ascertain the testosterone level needed by each person.

Helping Adolescents Deal with Puberty

The onset of puberty usually would mean using brassieres for girls and razors for boys as they start developing physical changes, especially since the activities of the hormones inside the body also manifest outside. Thus, bodies of women are starting to shape up and hair in particular areas of the body start growing. Males, on the other hand, start having deeper voice and hair growth in particular areas of the body.

Because of these physical changes, adolescents tend to be shy, self-conscious. Girls usually tend to hide their growing breasts under loose shirts, while boys hardly speak up so as not to hear their pitching voice.

However, they should know that these changes are perfectly normal and that everyone goes through these things. Proper education about puberty and the changes they will undergo will make them more confident and comfortable with their bodies. Here are some ways on how you can teach them more about puberty:

  1. Remind them of the importance of “being yourself.” At this stage, they will start learning more about their body and their self.
  1. Tell them to expect a lot of changes that will happen in their body, and if there is something that they are unsure about, always be open to any questions they may have.
  1. Hitting puberty means nature is preparing them to become young adults, and this comes with added responsibilities to one’s self and to other people. Encourage them to act their age because younger children may be looking up to them.

Adolescence could be a roller coaster ride to teenagers. Make sure to always be there for them when they have questions and confusions.

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