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Puberty for Tweens

So what is puberty? Simply put, puberty is the term for what happens to your body when you change from child to adult.

A few of you will manage to sail right through puberty and the tween years - without doubting yourselves, your parents, or the world. You won't stumble over a million unanswered questions that lurk in the back of your mind. You'll accept the ideas and values of your parents and teachers. After high school you'll proceed directly to college or the work world, enjoying the occupation you always knew you would take up. Please notice that I said a “few” of you will enjoy such an experience.

The rest of you are restless and searching for answers. You probably go to school and church and do all the things your parents want you to do. But all the while you are asking questions - either aloud or silently. You want answers - intelligent, practical answers - to the many questions you have about growing up and what's ahead.

In order to find these answers many of you ask your friends. But most of them will likely give you some very confusing information! Others of you ask your parents. But many times moms and dads are too busy to give the time needed for helping their youngster understand what's ahead. And some parents don't care. Their parents didn't help them, so why does their kid need any help? They muddled through to adulthood OK and so can their kid! Still other moms and dads get all tongue-tied, turn red, stutter, and gag when their child asks a question about sex.

What's going on in your world? Whatever it is and wherever you are with your parents, there's always room for a little more information, a little more understanding, and a little more caring and sharing so that you won't have to enter puberty and the tween years unprepared, so that you can enter them confidently and well informed - not feeling stupid, silly, and curious.

Until now most of you have felt quite secure in your parents' love. They have protected and cared for you. They have always been on hand to hold you when you hurt yourself and to whisper a word of encouragement when things didn't go right. Your life has been filled with school during the week, play after school and on weekends, family activities, and summer vacations. Most of you haven't had to face many major problems, and life has been rosy and fun.

But you can't stay age 10 or 12 forever. Just as the baby can't remain in the mother's body forever, so you must also enter a new phase. What lies ahead for you can be either better or worse than your childhood, depending on your attitude toward puberty and how you prepare for it especially from childhood through the tween years into adulthood.

Oh, it won't happen overnight. No one grows up that quickly. At times you'll feel already grown-up – physically as well as emotionally and mentally. But at other times you'll wish you could be a child again, rather than be suspended in the tweens as you are now. Times will come when you'll feel as if you're on the ball field all by yourself - as though you're the only player and you have to win the game alone. Furthermore, in spite of your desire to win, you have no bat, no ball, and you can't pitch, catch, or even throw!

If you know ahead of time what to expect, it will make it easier for you. Just ahead of you are some of the most exciting (and scariest) moments of your life - about things that tweens worry about most, about the experiences that could prove most upsetting to you. Then you'll get better acquainted with yourself - your feelings, your attitudes, your body, and your hopes and dreams for the future.

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