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Teens & Puberty

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-The World War II. -The [unk] me at all. -I remember I had all this like- I had the mustache going by the time I was 12 and it's great. And I had like so much more arm hair. The other people have nothing and they would just stare at me. I mean they didn't really make any nicknames for me or anything. They weren't cool, but I was definitely looked at differently. And people would ask like, "Why do you have so much hair?" -Who asked that? Okay like [unk]. -I'm Nick. I'm 18 years old and I'm a teen editor at sexect.org. -My mom didn't tell me to think about my period or sex until I actually got my period. So at that time, I was kinda like- -Go away. -"Oh. All right." Yeah, I like you feel a little late. -I'm Courtney, I'm 16 and I'm a teen editor of Sex, Etc. Magazine. -I mean I got my period a lot quicker than the other girls in my class did, but nobody knows about that. -I'm [unk] and then I'm 16, too. We're both teen editors for Sex, Etc. -Girls usually experience puberty between the ages of 7 and 13 although the average age is 10-1/2. For boys, it's- they're a little bit older. It's usually between the ages of 9 and 14, though the average age there is age 11. My name is Michelle Hainer and I am the co-author of "100% Me", a book about puberty and growing up. The first signs of puberty for girls, usually they begin to grow taller more quickly. They'll shoot right up. Their breasts start to grow. The area around their nipples gets bigger and darker. And they also- they start to grow more body hair. For boys, usually their testicles become enlarged. Their penis starts to lengthen and also their voice boxes enlarge which makes their voice deepen and also can lead to cracks in their voices. -And it was about 2 years of up and down and voice cracking and all that fun stuff. -My friends were growing. They were getting taller and I found that I was looking up at all my friends and, you know, their breasts were growing and mine weren't growing. And I'm like, "I'm the last one, you know." -I tried-- I really tried to ignore it. I tried to ignore my mom telling me, "Okay. We need to shop for bras now." I tried to like ignore the periods, but it didn't work and I ended up getting like really upset sometimes. -It can also be moody because they're so many hormone changes, definitely lends itself to moody behavior-- mood swings. By the time your child is 8 years old, they really should know about the emotional and physical changes that they're going to go through especially for girls because some girls start to menstruate as early as age 9 and you don't want their first experience with that to be one that actually happens to them. Don't wait for them to ask you especially with boys because boys are less likely to come to their parents and wanna have this conversation. So I think you need to take the initiative. -I kind of knew that puberty was coming because of what I learned in health class. So, my parents kind of used health class as the puberty talk. So instead of them having to talk to me about puberty, they are like, "Okay. She has health class in school. She'll be fine." -I would- I would feel comfortable talking with my mom. I didn't at first, but around the time I was 15- 16, we began to talk more. But it was- it was tough when I first hit puberty. It was- it was awkward. I wasn't secure with myself and I didn't wanna talk to her about it. -Another thing to talk to your children about when they're going through puberty is hygiene. -I had this one friend. In my fifth or sixth grade really, really like when everyone was kind of starting puberty, who gave a presentation in front of class and she was so nervous she started sweating. By the end of 2 minutes, her shirt was completely soaked.