Topical Guide 164
Stages of Life: Puberty
The McCalls’ neighbors, the Parettis, had an infant child, Frankie. Very often, when I arrived, I would find that Veronica had volunteered to give Frankie an airing. Walking side by side, very much as if we were his parents, we would push Frankie around the neighborhood in his carriage. … Now and then, Veronica, playing at our being Frankie’s parents, would nuzzle me and suggest that perhaps we should have “another baby” so that Frankie wouldn’t be lonesome. My stomach grew cold when she asked me if I thought we should give it a try. At the time, I thought that the coldness was caused only by the prospect of bringing into the world another baby like Frankie, but the truth is that the sexuality Veronica had discovered on the other side of puberty scared me to death.
Little Follies, “Take the Long Way Home”
What is puberty?
Puberty is the time when you physically become an adult. During puberty, your body goes through lots of changes. And your emotions might feel stronger and more intense. People usually start going through puberty between ages 8 and 14. Females often start puberty before males do.
Puberty doesn’t happen all at once — it comes in stages and takes many years. You might have some signs of puberty at an early age, while other changes show up years later. Bodies are unique, so puberty is different for each person. Everyone goes through puberty at their own pace.
Puberty is a normal part of life. But it’s still common to feel anxious, excited, and confused about it. Knowing what to expect can make puberty changes seem less weird or stressful. And talking to your parents or other adults you trust also helps. After all, they’ve gone through puberty too. So they probably understand how you feel, and have good advice.
More Than a Funny Word
OK, so it’s a funny word . . . but what is puberty, anyway? Puberty is the name for when your body begins to develop and change.
During puberty, your body will grow faster than any other time in your life, except for when you were an infant. Back then, your body was growing rapidly and you were learning new things — you’ll be doing these things and much more during puberty. Except this time, you won’t have diapers or a rattle and you’ll have to dress yourself!
It’s good to know about the changes that come along with puberty before they happen, and it’s really important to remember that everybody goes through it. No matter where you live, whether you’re a guy or a girl, or whether you like hip-hop or country music, you will experience the changes that happen during puberty. No two people are exactly alike. But one thing all adults have in common is they made it through puberty.
Puberty is a key stage in the transition from childhood to adulthood. It is a normal part of growing up, and each person’s experience of it is unique.
Puberty can be a challenging and confusing time. Knowing what to expect and why these changes happen can help a person feel more in control as they go through it.
This stage of life involves many physical and psychological changes, which result from shifts in hormone levels.
Puberty usually begins between the ages of 8 and 14. It tends to happen in females earlier than in males.
During puberty, the body goes through many internal and external changes. Among other things, this is the time when a person:
reaches their adult height and body proportions
develops external sex characteristics
becomes able to reproduce
The physical and psychological changes of puberty happen slowly over time. They typically begin between the ages of 8–13 in females and 9–14 in males. …
Puberty begins when an area of the brain called the hypothalamus starts signaling to the rest of the body that it is time to develop adult characteristics.
It sends these signals through hormones, which cause reproductive organs — the ovaries in females and the testes in males — to produce a range of other hormones.
[more to come on Friday, December 31, 2021]
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