From Teen To Adult In 4 Steps

All girls will go through puberty at some point between the ages of nine and fourteen. This is the point at which a child’s body starts to grow and get ready for adulthood. There are some big changes that occur in a girl’s body during this time, some of which can be very strange and hard to come to terms with. However, no matter what happens to your body during puberty, there is no need to stress out about it! We have all been through it before and know exactly how you are feeling. Here are five of the most common things that change in a girl during puberty.

Breasts Develop

One of the most obvious physical changes to occur in a girl’s body is that her breasts will start to develop. At first, she will develop small breast buds, which will then become more fuller and grow into breasts. Not only will girls start to see these developments, but they will also start to feel them. That’s because their nipples will become slightly tender and sore. If you do find that your nipples and breast buds become painful, this is nothing to worry about and perfectly natural.

Periods Start

One of the main changes that girls worry about is the start of their periods. Most girls start at around 12 years old, but some can be as young as eight when they get their first period. There are various signs that signal a girl is about to get her period. These include a dull ache in her belly and a white discharge from the vagina. Once your period starts, you shouldn’t feel self-conscious about it. As long as you are using tampons or towels correctly, no one will be able to notice. Be sure to maintain good personal hygiene during the period, as this can reduce the development of infections:

Notice The Opposite Sex More

During puberty, there will be some big hormonal changes in your body, and as a result, you will start to notice the opposite sex more. This means that you might start to fancy boys and could be sexually attracted to them. Even though you may feel ready to experiment sexually, you should wait until you are married. Abstinence is the best way to protect against unwanted guilt, regret, pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections:

Gain Weight

Most girls find that they gain weight during puberty. This is a result of the hormonal changes, as the body is getting ready to bear children. You will find that your hips become a lot rounder and you start to develop fuller thighs and arms. Don’t worry, though; this doesn’t mean you are getting fat! It is just your body changing from a child’s into a woman’s! There are other factors that may affect the weight gain, such as going on the contraceptive pill.

Once you are prepared for puberty, you shouldn’t find the changes that much of a shock, and will be able to be happy throughout this phase!

What It Feels Like For A Girl: The Facts On Periods

girl-w-skateboardThere’s no getting away from it puberty can be embarrassing, awkward and downright painful. By now you’ve probably experienced buying your first bra, dealing with spots that seem to have sprouted overnight as well as hair growing in all sorts of weird places. Even though you don’t want to think about it, much less talk to anyone, it’s important that you understand what’s happening to your body. That emotional rollercoaster you feel like you’re on most of the time? It’s all down to your ovaries which, in turn, kick starts your body into producing the hormone estrogen which every woman has inside her.

Elsewhere, there’s other stuff going on too. If you feel like your breasts aren’t growing much, or growing at different rates that’s normal too, breasts continue to grow until your early twenties, so it all evens out eventually. The important thing to realize is we all go through it; it doesn’t last forever, and it’s a vital part of becoming a strong, healthy woman.

That Time Of The Month

You’ll feel bloated, crampy, annoyed or sad for no reason and things just seem that little bit harder. A period, or menstruation occurs because of the eggs your ovaries release every month, they normally last between two to eight days and can be irregular at the beginning. Your period happens when the uterus lining thickens to help an egg develop, but when you aren’t pregnant, the lining is then shed, released as blood out your vagina and into a sanitary pad or tampon. Despite jokes about ‘the crimson wave,’ ‘Niagra falls’ and ‘red devil’ the amount of blood present is tiny, only one to two tablespoons even though it feels like a lot more.

Just Like A Pill

Contraceptive pills are often used as a precaution against pregnancy although they can be used to help treat conditions such as Endometriosis, to regulate periods and even to make heavy periods lighter. It’s taken by millions of women all around the world for many different reasons. The contraceptive pill is taken daily and the tablet controls ovulation, stopping eggs being released as well as making the womb lining thinner, so any egg is less likely to attach. The thinner lining is what makes period lighter, which also tends to help with severe cramping as well.

Your Body Your Choice

Despite what you may think, not everyone is ‘doing it’ and many teenagers are often pressured into losing their virginity before they’re ready. Remember, your body is awash with hormones, and it can be a confusing, even frightening time for lots of young women. Nothing is a hundred percent effective against pregnancy or guilt, so it’s better to wait until you are older. In fact, many couples wait until marriage to have sex for the first time, which is a decision you will never regret!

Tips for Dealing with Bras, Periods, and Breakouts

The Top Three Questions Girls Have About Their Changing Bodies

by Sarah Burningham, author of Girl to Girl: Honest Talk About Growing Up and Your Changing Body

GirlToGirl_BookCoverWhile I was writing my new book GIRL TO GIRL, I interviewed a ton of girls to find out what questions they had about growing up and their changing bodies. Because let’s be honest, even if you know all about the birds and the bees, you’ve still got questions on everything from how to deal with cramps to when you should (and can) start wearing make-up. This is a time of major change—both physically and emotionally—and I remember wondering if what I was going through was normal and if other girls were feeling the same way I was. Let me reassure you—they are!

Photo credit: KatieDudley

Sarah Burningham
Photo credit: KatieDudley

To help you with all these changes, I answered three of the most popular questions I got while I was writing my book, dealing with bras, periods and breakouts, and share my favorite tips for dealing with each of them!


How do I get this dang thing on, anyway?

When I started wearing my first bra, I couldn’t figure out how to get it hooked behind my back for the life of me. You can’t see anything back there and it was like a wrestling match every time I tried to put it on. Well, I’m not the only one who thinks bra-hooking should be an Olympic event. A lot of girls asked me how to do it. So, here’s my secret tip: instead of hooking your bra in the back, slide the elastic band to the front of your body and hook it around your waist where you can see it. Then spin the band around into place, slide your arms into the straps, and pull it up into place. Voila!

What if I get my period at school?

I can’t tell you how many times I got asked this one. And it’s no wonder since you can’t predict when you’ll get your period and yet you know it’s going to happen at some point. Wouldn’t it be nice if your body had an alarm that went off and told you, “Today’s the day! Expect your period around 2:00pm.” But since there’s no period alarm clock, the most you can do is just be prepared for when it does come.

One girl I interviewed told me she was worried about bleeding through her pants at school, but don’t worry—you probably won’t have that much blood at first. You will probably feel some dampness in your underwear that signals you may have started your period. Ask to go to the school bathroom to check. If you don’t have a pad, you can wrap some toilet paper around the bottom part of your underpants four or five times to soak up the blood until you can get a real pad. And if by chance you do bleed through your clothes a little, wrap a sweatshirt around your waist and go talk to the school nurse or teacher. They’ve dealt with this before and can help you get a change of clothes and underwear. And then you’ll be as good as new.

It helps to keep a period preparedness kit in your book bag or locker with a pad or panty liner, and maybe a tampon and a change of underwear. Keep all your supplies in a cute pouch or even a paper bag, so no one can see what’s inside. Just having it there in case of emergency should give you some peace of mind. And remember, every girl you know is going to deal with her period at some point so don’t worry if you need to ask a friend or the school nurse for a pad!

Why am I breaking out and how can I stop it?

Oh, acne. Why do you torture us so? Breaking out is one of the facts of life. Nearly every girl will deal with pimples, zits, blemishes—call them whatever you want. Basically, when you hit puberty, your hormones jump-start oil production in your skin and hair. It’s all fine and good until the extra oil gets too much for your skin to handle and starts clogging your pores with all the dirt and sweat from a normal day. Hello, breakouts! Wash your face daily with gentle soap or cleanser and, here’s my tip, don’t touch it. Your fingers carry a lot of bacteria that can add to acne and every time you rest your chin in your hand or pick at a spot, you are adding extra bacteria to the mix. Resist the urge to pick!

If your acne is painful or leaves scars, you may want to talk to a doctor. For serious acne, a doctor can advise on if you may want to use a special face wash or medication. But keep in mind that most acne is just something we all have to deal with so try not to focus on it. The more you think about it, the worse you’ll feel. Not to mention, they way a zit feels on your face makes it seems MUCH bigger than it usually is. Breakouts don’t last forever so try not to let them be the center of your universe. You have way too many other things going on to let a few zits get in your way!

Almost Thirteen

by Evelyn Horan

young teenDo you ever feel like an adult and a child both at the same time?  This happens to me often.  I’m almost thirteen and so many things are happening to my body, my feelings, and my relationships with my friends and family.  One day I want to do things I did when I was little, and another day I just want to crawl in a hole and cry.  One minute I’m acting normal, and the next I’m getting emotional.  All these changes are confusing.

Mom said it’s normal.  It’s called “early adolescence,” and all people my age are experiencing it.  She said it’s a wonderful period when I’m bridging the gap between childhood and adulthood.

But sometimes it seems like these changes are piling in on me all at once.  Now, I have more responsibilities at home, and I’m learning so many new things at school.  Instead of one teacher, I have more teachers and much harder homework.  In my prayers I ask the Lord to help me through this growing up situation.

And I get very impatient.  Just the other day Mom saw me get upset. I was pouring orange juice into a glass, and I accidentally spilled some on the kitchen floor.  “Silly girl!” I scolded myself. “How can you be so clumsy?”

“Alyssa,” Mom said, giving me a hug.  “Come over here and sit beside me on the couch.”

When we were settled she said, “Dear, you’re experiencing a “growth spurt.”  Your body is growing faster than at any time since you were a baby.  So, now and then, you’re probably going to be a little clumsy.”

“Well,” I complained, “I don’t like it when I’m clumsy.”

“I know, but don’t be so hard on yourself,” Mom said.

“All kinds of changes are going on in your body.  It is called puberty.  It’s when boys and girls start to become adults. Chemicals called hormones are sending messages to different parts of your body telling them how to grow.”

“Well, I wish I’d hurry up and get better coordinated,” I said. “And another thing, my best friend Emma looks a lot more like a grown-up than I do.”

“That’s because people in early adolescence don’t all change the same way at the same time,” Mom explained.

Then I thought about Jake, a boy in my math class, who’d grown so fast the past few months that he was already a head taller than the other boys.

Mom continued, “This is the only time of life when you’ll see people your age so different from one another.  Someone who begins a growth spurt early is normal; so is one whose growth spurt begins late.  Tall kids are normal; so are short ones.  Some adolescents get pimples; some don’t.  Adolescents come in all sizes and shapes.  That’s part of what makes it one of the most interesting, surprising, and sometimes frustrating times of life.”

“You’re right about that,” I said, continuing on with my complaints, “Especially the frustrating part.  For one thing, my hair never does what I want it to do, and Mom, have you noticed?  My clothes are beginning to SHRINK on me! “

“Well, then,” Mom said with a chuckle, “I think it’s about time we go shopping.”  Then she gave me another hug.

“Oh, good!” My spirits brightened. “That’s the part about growing up I really like.”

“We’ll go Saturday, dear, after your school homework is done and you’re finished cleaning your room.”

I breathed a heavy sigh.  “Right, Mom. That’s the part called being responsible and becoming an adult.”

“You do understand, don’t you, Alyssa?” Mom said, smiling.

“I sure do.” I said, smiling back.  ” Thanks Mom, for helping me understand. Now with the Lord’s help and your help I know I’ll grow up just fine.”