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We humans change throughout our lives. This is because we are constantly evolving. But this doesn’t just mean physical changes. Many things change in our heads as well. Because learning never stops. Again and again, we come across new, previously unknown things, which we eye with curiosity. With every learning process, we grow inwardly, while our store of knowledge continually increases.
Some people learn quickly, others need a little longer. There are people who soak up new knowledge like a sponge. Others find it quite difficult to acquire something new.
Especially in childhood there is a lot to discover every day. The big wide world is interesting and offers unimaginable challenges. However, it takes a while before you can move around in it as freely as an adult.
Despite their desire for independence and knowledge, kids want to be well cared for and loved. To develop in the best possible way, children need freedom on the one hand, and protection and support from their family on the other.
In their teens, they start to become more and more independent. They discover that parents also have their weaknesses and test their limits. In the process, the sparks may fly. Arguments, defiance and discussions are bound to happen with every pubescent child.
But what happens during this time of transition from childhood to adulthood? Why do teenagers sometimes not feel well? Why do they often feel sad? What physical changes are they facing? We would like to answer all these questions today.
What Changes In The Body
When girls reach the age of 10, they begin to change not only internally, but also externally. For boys, puberty starts a little later – from the age of 12. By the way, puberty is the transitional period from childhood to adulthood, when kids and parents don’t always have it easy with each other because so much changes all at once.
During this time, girls slowly mature into women, while boys become more and more men. Their sexual characteristics continue to develop and there are many new things to discover about their own bodies.
When exactly this developmental phase begins varies from child to child and can never be predicted exactly. In addition, everyone reacts differently to the changes. While puberty can be seen from afar in some, it passes others by almost without a trace. Many kids are irritable and quarrelsome during this time. Others remain childlike and “low maintenance” for quite a long time.
Because we are all so different, puberty can also start much earlier than normal. Kids for whom this is the case are also called “precocious” or “early starters”. They are physically more developed than their peers. In the head, however, they are sometimes still just as childlike as the others.
Girls Become Women
Girls notice the first signs of puberty in the breast area. Because then the breasts grow and gradually make the body a little more feminine.
Did you know that kids today start puberty much earlier than they did fifty years ago? The difference can sometimes be as much as three years.
In addition to breast growth, increased body hair is also noticeable in girls. There is hair under the armpits, in the pubic area and on the legs, although there was hardly any there before.
The figure of the girls becomes altogether more feminine. The pelvis becomes wider and the waist rounder. In return, the face becomes somewhat narrower because the fatty tissue there decreases. In return, additional pounds are deposited on the hips, buttocks and breasts. The thighs also become wider.
Many girls suffer from skin blemishes during puberty. The pimples and blackheads are caused by increased sebum production and the influence of hormones.
While children hardly have any body odor, girls in puberty already have to pay attention to it. This is because sweat production is now much stronger than before.
Because the body is getting ready to reproduce, the pubic area also changes in girls. This is because they are now becoming fertile. This means that the body is ready for a baby to grow inside of it. This is why the ovaries and uterus grow and allow the eggs to mature. This leads to the first menstrual period.
The intensity of these periods can vary greatly. Some girls suffer a lot from the circulatory problems that occur and are therefore sometimes unable to take part in gym class. Then they feel dizzy. In the worst case, one can become black before the eyes. Headaches, irritability and abdominal cramps are also not uncommon among pubescents with menstrual cramps. The bleeding itself can be quite intense and last for a long time. This is also completely normal, but can also be absent. Especially girls who do a lot of sports can have a very weak menstrual period.
Boys Become Men
Just as with girls, a lot also happens with boys during puberty. Especially when it comes to the body, it can happen quite quickly that boys are no longer little children.
The first fuzz on the face is proudly cherished and cared for. The first shave is finally a great experience for the boys. Because the beard growth is for them an unmistakable sign of masculinity.
Because boys are always afraid of not being manly enough anyway, they are also proud of the rest of their now sprouting body hair. Just as with the girls, hair grows in the pubic area and on the legs. However, hair can also grow more on the chest.
Boys sometimes grow a lot during puberty. They get broad shoulders and grow in height in spurts. Their muscles become stronger, while the skin of most of them is somewhat blemished. This is because the increased sebum production leads to enlarged pores and pimples in them as well.
Pubertal boys sweat more than younger children. That’s why they reach for men’s deodorants and special shower gels.
Along with the external changes, the internal, hormonal turnaround in boys becomes apparent. Because they now produce much more testosterone than before. Testosterone, by the way, is a male hormone that is responsible for many processes in the male body. For example, it also ensures that the testicles and the member grow somewhat during puberty. The larynx also grows and forms the so-called “Adam’s apple”. This marks the onset of voice change, which is not an easy hurdle for boys on their way to adulthood. The voice can then sound strangely high or squeaky until it becomes deeper than before.
Because sperm are now produced in the testicles, the first ejaculation occurs at some point during puberty.
What Changes In The Head
Puberty is not only noticeable through the changes in the body. Psychologically, too, a real confusion takes place. During this time, the psyche of children develops in such a way that they develop feelings that they did not know before.
This is also the reason why parents often find their kids “obnoxious” or “bitchy” during puberty. Girls usually do more in this respect than boys.
How Girls Change
Pubertal girls suddenly develop a certain sense of shame. They may now lock the bathroom door, although this was not an issue for them before.
They are also very sensitive and feel attacked quite quickly. That’s why they can get really petulant. Arguments with parents are then inevitable. Teenagers like to act as revolutionaries who question the adult world and its rules. They want to be different from the rest. Every teenager has the need to be special in his or her own way. Some put on a lot of makeup, extremely short skirts, or tight pants.
Because they no longer share everything with their parents, they also no longer tell everything. They now have secrets that are nobody’s business. Many girls start keeping a diary at this age at the latest, to which they can confide everything.
This also helps them to better cope with the strong emotional fluctuations. It is not easy to find one’s way in the adult world. During this time, girls have to develop their own identity. They usually have very specific role models from the celebrity, music or fashion worlds, whom they then emulate.
First infatuations occur and posters of cute boys are hung up in the room. This is because the opposite sex is suddenly no longer perceived as “dumb” but extremely interesting. Suddenly boys are “hot” or “cute” and are secretly or openly idolized by the girls.
How Boys Change
Boys who were once still shy emerge as rowdy “heroes.” They want to conform to the male role model by showing how strong they are not. As a result, they can sometimes even become aggressive or criminal.
Teenage boys usually have something to hide. Because when they are not doing something, they are bored. Besides, it is almost in their cradle to stand out among the rest. In one way or another, they want to attract the attention of the girls. This can make long-suffering class teachers despair when the boys overdo it once again.
Pubertal boys like to present themselves as macho men who are seemingly unapproachable. Like girls, they also take their cues from celebrity idols such as athletes or actors. They think it’s unmanly to show emotions or even cry in front of others. In reality, however, boys are just as vulnerable and insecure during this phase as girls are.
If they don’t have a disturbed self-esteem due to small physique, little body hair or acne on their face, they tend to have a little delusion of grandeur. Therefore, they take risks that are not really worth it. However, in order to get recognition, they do not shy away from such things. Because the fear of not being a real man is omnipresent for them.
You wouldn’t believe it, but boys are also subject to strong emotional fluctuations during this time. They don’t always let on as much as the girls, but they suffer from puberty just as much as they do.
That is why they also withdraw from their parents. Friends become more important, while family members are increasingly perceived as “uncool. Adolescent boys like to shut themselves off in their own rooms to play computer games and distance themselves from their parents.
Secretly, they smoke, drink alcohol or try illegal drugs. This also has its origin in wanting to feel like an adult. They associate this feeling with adventure and crossing boundaries.
Towards the girls, most of the boys display a distinctly macho behavior. They distance themselves from them because they feel insecure in their presence. Depending on the culture, this behavior can also be the result of excessive role-playing.
Worksheet For The Text
1) Explain the difficult words from the text.
2) How do girls and boys change psychologically during puberty? What happens? What is the same between the two sexes, what is different?
3) Why are girls and boys sometimes so bitchy during puberty?