Is your child going through ‘Puberty Blues’? Have you ever imagined what happens to him/her during their adolescence period?
Take out some time from your busy schedules and read on to know what are the changes your child goes through during this period, and how it affects them both internally and externally while life changes upside down.
Adolescence is the transforming stage of physical, mental and emotional development in teens that usually occurs during the period from puberty to adulthood. Generally, puberty occurs during the age of 10-14 in girls, and for boys, it begins a year or two later between 12-16. While girls start puberty about 1 to 2 years earlier than boys and they generally achieve it more quickly. Whereas, boys start 1-2 years later where they can see the changes in them longer than the girls. It takes almost four years to complete several types of changes in one's body, but these changes might also bring you stress and fear of losing your innocence.
Below are some of the physical changes in girls and boys that are hard to avoid during their puberty period.
Physical Changes in Girls
The first sign of puberty in girls is when their breasts begin to develop. Some girls notice the change only in one breast, while others notice the change in both the breasts equally at the same time. The later signs of puberty show their breasts growing fuller and a bit thicker.
Pubic hair starts growing which after a few years start turning coarser and curlier. Over the years the growth then doubles up and spreads to the inner thighs. Initially, some girls may also notice small hair on their legs and arms, which later starts showing rapid growth over the skin.
After 2 years of being in puberty, most girls usually get their periods. Each girl's body has a schedule that deals with different hormonal changes. It is said that most girls get their first period when they're around 12, generally between the ages of 10 to 15.
Underarm & Upper lip Hair
During puberty, girls start growing hair on underarms and the upper lips. It gives rapid growth and is more visible after completing 4 years of puberty period. While in some girls, the volume and growth of hair are more whereas some are blessed with minimal or not much visible hair on them.
Girls have more heat in their body compared to boys. And so, generally after sweating their skin becomes oily. They too have to keep dealing with it due to stress and mood swings.
Acne can come in many forms like pink/red pimples, whiteheads, blackheads, pus-filled pimples called pustules. These pimples can occur anywhere on the face or back due to stress, fast-food or spicy food, dandruff or oily scalp, less intake of water and unhealthy lifestyle.
White Vaginal Discharge
The white discharge may be normal, especially if it occurs during ovulation or just before a girl’s period. (Ovulation is the release of eggs from the ovaries which helps the egg to be fertilized by male sperm during the luteal phase). But in other instances, the white vaginal discharge could be a sign of an infection too. If the discharge is clumpy and looks similar to cottage cheese, it could be due to a yeast infection.
Girls also go through a growth spurt or increase in height. From the time of their first period, they start growing 5 to 7.5cm that is 2 to 3 inches annually and over a year or two they reach their adult height and soon stop growing taller.
Most of the girls gain weight as their body's shape changes. They develop more mass on their upper arms, thighs and upper back. While their hips grow more round and their waist gets narrower.
Physical Changes in Boys
Testicles & Penis
The first sign of puberty in boys is usually their testicles that get bigger, and the scrotum begins to turn thin and red. Over the period they also start noticing their penis and testicles grow even more and the scrotum becomes darker.
In boys, pubic hair also starts to appear at the base of the penis. They become thicker, longer and curlier while spreading to the inner thighs with time.
Usually, boys from 9 years old onward start developing underarm hair. However, even if they start getting underarm hair before this age, it is said to be normal.
Summer and playing sports make them sweat and boys too have to deal with it even more during the puberty period due to stress and mood swings.
Boys may have wet dreams. They are involuntary ejaculations of semen as they sleep. A wet dream is when semen (the fluid containing sperm) is discharged from the penis during ejaculation while a boy is asleep. Usually, this happens during dreams that have sexual images or thoughts. Sometimes guys wake up from a wet dream, but sometimes they sleep through it.
Their voice starts breaking to get a permanently deeper voice. For a while, they may find their voice going deeper one minute and higher, the very next minute.
Not many boys have to deal with acne, but yes a handful of them are the targets who develop acne-like pink/red pimples, whiteheads, blackheads, pus-filled pimples anywhere on the face or back due to stress, fast-food or spicy food, dandruff or oily scalp, less intake of water and unhealthy lifestyle.
Boys also go through a growth spurt, an increase in height and become taller by an average of 7 to 8cms, or around 3 inches a year, and more muscular by the time. However, it is also noticeable that can grow their height even after 25 years of age, just a couple of more years than the girls.
During puberty, the first facial hair to appear tends to grow at the corners of the upper lip at the age of 11-15. However, some may experience facial hair growth at the age of 18, while some may get them at 16. While some may see a proper amount of hair on their jawlines and cheeks, whereas others may find very less amount of hair on their face.
While girls start growing their hip size during puberty, boys start growing their muscles and even continue to grow even after reaching their adult height.
Mental and Emotional changes in boys and girls
Puberty can be a difficult time for the children. They not only see changes in them physically but also mentally and emotionally.
Here are some mental and emotional issues they deal with.
Unexplained mood swings
Puberty is a time when you go through a rollercoaster ride with several emotions hitting your head every minute. While some boys and girls try to deal with it, but many find it difficult to get through it. Their unexplained mood swings can make them decide and plan out their things in hustle, frustration or brainstorming for hours.
With too much pressure from family, relatives, and friends on academics, behavior and physical changes, kids start hating themselves and their body. They also get obsessed with being perfect, start thinking that they bring nothing to the table, become oversensitive, fearful, anxious and a people pleaser.
Aggression is what makes your decision worse than one could ever imagine. And with children, the use of cuss words high temperament makes it even harder for them to control their anger.
With low self-esteem and aggression comes depression. Dealing with depression is very crucial and dangerous. It is difficult for children to make their loved ones understand what trauma they go through every single minute of the day. There are several reasons like peer pressure for doing the best in their academics, getting bullied in the classroom, not many friends to talk to, relationship issues and more that makes them fall into depression. From skipping meals, seeking solitude and dark thoughts are a couple of dangerous things they deal with.