Changes during Puberty
Signs showing nearing the reproductive maturity during the puberty stage.
- Physical changes during puberty
- Emotional changes during puberty
- Social changes during puberty
- In summary
When boys and girls reach the ages of 11, 12, or 13, some changes occur in their bodies. These are changes that happen naturally because they are part of growing up. This also means that with these changes they are now moving to another stage in their lives. This is called the stage of puberty. It is the time when girls have their first onset of menstruation and boys start to have their wet dreams. These are signs that both of them are now nearing reproductive maturity.
Physical changes during puberty
During this stage, boys and girls experience changes in their body. Usually, parents and friends notice the rapid increase in their height and weight. Girls usually gain weight after their first menstruation and the boys, after the ages of 15 and 16. There are changes in different parts of the body, from the body of a child to that of a young man or woman. The nose, hands and feet begin to grow big while the shoulder and hip become broad. Usually, boys and girls begin to grow taller as their hips, thighs and legs tend to become longer while there is no change in their body built. Other physical changes include a few fine and light-colored hairs begin to grow in the armpits and in the area of the reproductive organs, which later on becomes dark in color, coarse, and thick. The skin becomes light in color. It becomes stretched thus the pores are noticeable. The tone of voices changes. Those of boys become low-pitched while that of girls become melodious. Boy’s muscles become more prominent, giving curves to their legs and shoulders. Girl’s breasts become more enlarged and the nipples begin to grow bigger. The skins becomes oily, making them prone to pimples and body odor, because the sebaceous glands producing oil and the apocrine glands producing perspiration are active.
All these changes in girls prepare them to become mothers in the future. Changes in boys prepare them to become fathers. There should never be a feeling of guilt or fear when boys and girls experience these changes. Everyone undergoes these changes when they become of age.
Emotional changes during puberty
With rapid changes some emotional changes occur. Some of these are the following.
1. Both become sensitive to what others say about them, especially their physical appearance. They tend to exhibit a wide range of emotions – feelings of fear, guilt, irritability, anger and shyness.
2. They focus their attention on their physical selves that they notice every detail in their faces and bodies when looking in front of the mirror.
3. Oftentimes, a feeling of insecurity about their bodies makes them withdraw from others or make them irritable and aggressive. Sometimes, parents and other members of the family cannot understand them. At times, they themselves are also confused about their own behavior.
Social changes during puberty
Together with physical and emotional changes, there are also changes that occur in relationship with others. These are called social changes. At this stage, boys and girls begin to widen their social circle. They begin to have more friends in schools and in the community. They also begin to widen their interest in games and sports, in dancing and singing, in going out with friends to attend parties and social gathering, in picnics or outings, in malling, seeing movies, eating out, and even going to church and school.
To summarize, the most important changes at this stage is the onset of menstruation for girls and emission of wet dreams for boys. This means that both are nearing reproductive maturity. Physical changes include the growth of hair in the armpits and around the reproductive organs, the nose, hands and feet, thighs and legs become longer, girls breasts become enlarged as well as the hips. Emotional changes include feelings of awkwardness, shyness and insecurity, exhibit a wide range of emotions, and are sensitive to others. Social changes include a widening involvement in activities outside of the home, having a peer group, and spending more time with friends than the family.