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Puberty - 1st phase (10 - 12 years)

Physical Changes

The first stage of puberty results in an increased release of adrenaline, which is accompanied by the secretion of sex hormones. In boys, these are known as testosterone, in girls it is called oestrogens. At the same time, pubic hair, as well as the rest of the body hair (for example hair under the armpits), begins to grow. Girls at this stage might already get their first menstruation and their breasts start to grow.

For boys, the first physical changes during the first phase of puberty are usually a little bit later than they are in girls. However, the first signs can start already beginning age 9. Most physical changes occur with the growth of the scrotum. It changes in size, colour and texture of the skin. Also, the penis begins in the first phase of puberty but not in all boys. Also, there may be a first ejaculation, however, generally there a no sperms at this age. In this first stage the hair on the body starts to grow, usually beginning with the pubic area. Beard and other body hair, however, beginning to grow later.

In girls, the physical changes are starting a bit earlier than for boys, for some already at the age of eight years. The first noticeable symptom is usually the growth of pubic hair, followed by the beginning of the growth in height. For girls, this generally starts also earlier than for boys. It is not uncommon that girls at this age are significantly taller than boys in the same class. Already beginning at age 9 the uterus and vulva start to grow and the external sexual organs take on a more feminine form. Towards the end of the first stage of puberty (earlier in some girls, at others) the female breast start to grow, which is considered the most striking feature of the beginning puberty.

Mental changes

In this first phase of adolescents, the young person usually feels mentally insecure. He is more or less taken by surprise by all those physical changes and does not really know how to deal with them. There is an increased sense of shame and the child does not feel any longer comfortable being naked in front of his parents. Self-doubt and depressive moods are not uncommon at this stage either. However, all those feelings also have the potential, repeatedly alternating with rage.

Changes in their social behaviour

The changes in their social behaviour during this first stage of puberty are usually recognizable that the adolescent begins having secrets from their parents. He might lock himself into his bedroom or bath and no longer shares everything with his parents. As a matter of fact, he distances him more and more from the world of adults. Usually, it is in this age for the so-called celebrity cult to begin. The young person might decorate this room with posters of his idols. - Mostly to the uttermost dismay of the parents. Most parents are shocked to catch their children lying in this phase. However, that is part of puberty and its associated secrecy. Those traits should not be taken too seriously.

Next chapter: Puberty Phase 2: 13-15 years

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