Each and every person has the experience of passing a critical moment of life called teenage. Teenage means denoting a person between 13 to 19 years of age. Teenage has some synonyms like ‘Adolescence’, ‘Juvenile’ and ‘Puberty’. The word ‘Adolescence’ is derived from a Latin word ‘Adolescere’ which means ‘To grow up’. It is the changing period of childhood into adulthood. The experience is full of changes both physical and mental (emotional) as well as some social and environmental problems faced by the teenagers.
A clear conception about the changes will help the boy or girl to adopt with the surrounding environment and facing the problems smoothly. Overcoming all the problems arising during puberty will help to build his or her personality, social position, mental ability, working skill and capability. So this turning moment of life needs well and good cooperation from parents, friends, teachers and relatives. Sir G Stanley Hall stated in 1904 that “Teenage is a new birth”. When a newborn comes into this earth we all help him and show extra care for the kid. By the same way we have to help and care the teenagers to pass this time of life smoothly with happy and joy , without anxiety and fear to be a perfect human being. And for performing this vital responsibility we all should acquire a clear knowledge about the physical, mental events of teenage life.
Causes of changes during puberty/Adolescence/teenage:
The growth and development of human body is controlled by a system known as ‘Endocrine System or Hormonal system’. Hormones are some special chemicals produced by some specific organs or glands located in our body. Hormones not only regulate growth and development but also regulate the reproductive capability of human species.
Physical and mental changes occur in puberty due to following factors:
Two genes are specifically responsible for hormone production during puberty or teenage. A single gene named KISS1 is present in our body since birth is responsible for beginning of puberty. It produces a specific type of protein named ‘Kisspeptin‘. Another gene named GPR54 remains inactive in our body…but suddenly becomes activated at the age of 11-12 years of life by the protein Kisspeptin. GPR54 send signal to an area of brain named hypothalamus which then sends another signal to a special endocrine gland of brain named Pituitary gland.
Pituitary gland produces some hormones that stimulate testis (Male reproductive organ) or ovary (Female reproductive organ) to produce sex Hormones. When these hormones begin their works the process of pubertal changes begin.
2. Hormones: During puberty the testis in male and ovaries in female become activated due to a combine mechanism of genetic influences and some stimulating hormones released from pituitary gland. Testosterone is male sex hormone produced and released from testis and causes the pubertal changes in male. By the same way ovaries are activated in female and secrets estrogen (the female sex hormone) that causes the pubertal changes in female.
Physical changes during puberty:
Puberty happens when a child becomes sexually matured and faces some physical changes occurring rapidly into his or her body. It occurs usually around the age of 11-12 years in case of girl and 11-14 years in case of boys.
# Physical changes in boys: Don’t worry boys… you are becoming a man…It’s completely natural and amazing.
- Your height and weight of the body are increased.
- Your muscles of the body become bulged and hypertrophied (Increase the size of the bulk of the muscles).
- Your chest and shoulder become broaden and their muscles become developed.
- Your Skin becomes thick, hairy, dark and oily.
- Acne (Pimple) may occur in your face, neck or back of the chest wall. Don’t worry about it.
- Your voice becomes deeper, high pitched, changed like an adult man. You may find your voice breaking. Don’t worry, you are getting commanding voice.
- Look at your mirror. Beard and moustache are started to grow. Wow … don’t feel shy.
The most obvious changes occurring in your genital organ may cause you anxious. But it’s a new experience. You are becoming sexually matured.
- Your penis becomes enlarged. Erection (Penis becomes stronger) and ejaculation ( white, milky, thick secretions come out from penis) occur more frequently while you are watching a romantic scene in your TV or mobile device.
- Wet dream may occur ( Dreaming of sexual act with a girl while sleeping leading to ejaculation)
- Your scrotum (Thick, dark bag of skin that contain testis and located at the back of the penis) becomes enlarged, increases in size, hair appears on scrotal wall.
- Hair appears at the root of your penis as a triangular pattern where the base of the triangle is upward. You also notice additional hair growing on your armpit, chest wall, forearm and legs.
It’s something new happening with you. Remember that not only your body changes its outside, but also internal organ such as brain, bones, heart, lungs and other internal organ become large in size and shape.
# Emotional and mental changes:
“I am not feeling well” –don’t think so. Adapt as soon as possible with your body changes. You are not a little boy yet. You will notice following changes in your behavior and emotions.
- Sudden angriness, sorrow, Joy, depression, euphoria.
- Feeling something nice and beautiful while you see a girl. But also you feel shy to meet her.
- You feel uncomfortable with your parents and relatives. But feeling good when you with your friends.
- You try to avoid family crowd.
- Passing time alone in your home seems amazing to you.
- You are becoming a fond of music, movies whereas previously you were a fond of cartoons.
- You start to think more about girls, sex and try to know about them from your books, internet or documentaries.
- When someone commands you to do anything you become annoyed and your mind told you not to obey him/her.
- “I am grown enough and understand everything”- It’s your mind speech that always drives you. Isn’t it?
- Your sleep suddenly becomes less.
- “Mom, Dad never understands me…oh no…” – Don’t think so. You make a distance with them.
- Everything is strange and surprising to you. You pass more time in gossiping with your friends regarding girls and sexual act.
- You are passing more times with TV, Laptop, Mobile phones; internet browsing and chatting other than study. Isn’t it?
- Sometimes you are talking more…. Sometime you are too quite.
Don’t worry. Everything happening to you is normal and favorable to you. Try to adapt with the new experience and share with your parents regarding your problems. They will help you. Don’t feel shy.
# Physical changes in girls:
Puberty starts when you are at 11-14years, it varies from person to person. Girls usually enter puberty 2 years earlier than boys.
Don’t worry dear, it’s crazy time. Your body is turning into an adult one. You will face so many problems and new experiences in your life. But soon you will be a complete beautiful women.
You will notice the following changes in your body when you enter into the puberty:
- Your height and weight increase and you will see a nice shape of your body in front of a mirror.
- Your hip becomes widens and your body becomes curvier.
- Your muscles increase in size and shape but not become strong like boys.
- Your breasts start to develop like an adult female. It’s shape is like a cone with the base on the chest wall and apex on the nipple. Your breasts continue to grow up to your 19 years. Your nipples become more thick, rough, dark and pigmented. Some of you may notice asymmetry of size and shape in your both breasts. Don’t worry. It’s completely natural.
- Your skin become thin, more fat deposition occurs below your skin and your skin is looked brighter than previous. (Not in case of black girl).
- Acne may appear in your face if your skin is oily. In case of dry skin acne occurs rarely.
- Voice changes are not so obvious like boys. Your voice deepens, becomes low pitched and sweet to hear.
The most obvious changes occur in your genital organs.
- Your vulva becomes enlarged, more fat deposits in your lower abdomen specially in pubis.
- Clitoris increases in size and labia majora and minora also become enlarged. You may notice a color change of your vulva. It may be bluish or more pink.
- Hair appears as a triangular pattern in your lower abdomen and in vulval skin. Additional hair is also seen in armpits, forearms and legs.
- Some white milky secretions come out from your vagina when you feel sexual excitement or see any romantic TV show.
- Menstruation: “Oh my God! What the hell is happened to me???”- It may be your first expression when you notice fresh blood coming out from your vagina. Don’t worry, it is the natural reproductive process started in your body and continues up to age of 45-50 years. First menstruation is called Menarche. Don’t be panic. Menstruation will occur at a regular interval of 28-32 days and it is the indicative incidence that you can give birth to a child in future. But you may have some bad experience during first menstruation like pain, excessive bleeding, body ache, headache, breast pain. Don’t worry in most of the cases it will be normal without any medications. If your pain is intolerable and bleeding is so excessive that you may develop anemia( Decreased hemoglobin in blood) then you should consult with your physician.
- Your vulva becomes enlarged, more fat deposits in your lower abdomen specially in pubis.
# Emotional changes:
“Something wrong is happening to me…”- Don’t think so. Your body becomes matured sexually. Everything will be fine…Just take your time. You may face following emotional changes in you:
- Depression, Loneliness, sudden mood elevation.
- There is no valid reason but you start to cry.
- You like to pass more time in your bedroom alone.
- You like to think about boys and when you see any romantic scene you feel excited.
- Attention to your study is decreased.
- TV show, Internet, mobile phones are taking more time from you.
- You make a distance with your parents and feel shy to face any relatives and boys.
- You feels happy when someone says-“Oh my God, You have grown enough dear”.
- You look yourself to your mirror multiple time in a day.
- You spend more time in your washroom.
- If your mom says something rudely, you start crying.
- You like to spend time with your friends and discuss about handsome boys.
- Without any reason sometimes suicidal tendency arises in your mind.
- You try to hide so many things from your parents regarding your life events.
Don’t worry. You will overcome all of these problems as soon as possible. Just keep trying to adapt with the new changes. Be Happy always dear.
#What parents should do during this time:
Your child is now grown up. He/she needs your help more than a friend or doctor. You also passed the same time in your life. So it is not unknown to you that what is happening to them. Your good and friendly behavior will build the smooth future of your child.
Reassure your kid about the physical changes occurring in his/her body is completely normal.
- Don’t act like a guide, act like a friend with them.
- Appreciate their work and emotion.
- Tell them the physical and mental problems that they will face during this time.
- Give value to their opinions. It will make them confident.
- Don’t behave rudely with them.
- Discuss about the sexual life and hygiene of their body so that they can take care of themselves.
- Help them to adapt with the new changes.
- Give time to them, Go for a weekend in a beautiful place with them.
- Don’t underestimate their emotion.
- Take mental, physical care to your kids during this critical time.
- Don’t command them.
- Just behave like a friend.. he/she will smoothly pass the critical period.
When you and your kids together face and solve all the critical events of teenage period, the future of your kid will be full of joy, happiness and success.