1. Guys can grow boobs, too! Gynecomastia (pronounced as gaini-koh-mas-tee-uh) is a benign condition where a boy’s breasts become enlarged due to the rapid growth of the glandular tissue. It is generally transient lasting a matter of months.
2. Our bodies have sweat glands all over — each person has two to four million sweat glands. We have two different types of sweat gland — eccrine glands produce odourless sweat, while the sweat from apocrine ones give off an odour (because bacteria grow in it). The apocrine glands only become active from puberty — so you are probably smelling your child more, now.
3. Was it only yesterday that your son had the voice of an angel? Suddenly, puberty hits and it’s become a low growl. Both boys’ and girls’ voices will change but boys can drop a whole octave in tone.
4. Any woman — and her husband! — knows that premenstrual syndrome is real. Hormonal surges during ovulation will make many women feel moody at times. So, give your girl a break if she barks back at you occasionally.
5. There’s a first for everything — most girls have their first vaginal discharge during their first period, while boys usually experience their first discharge in the form of a “wet dream”. Have you been having those talks with your child?
6. A girl gets her first period anytime from age 10 to 16. If your daughter’s menstruation has not started by age 16, bring her to a gynaecologist for a check-up. Conversely, if your child shows signs of puberty before age 9, consult a doctor. He/she might be suffering from precocious (early) puberty.
7. Boys can experience growth spurts, which cause sudden maladjustments in motor-coordination skills. So, pardon the clumsy or awkward phase many boys go through. But relax, this phase will pass — his dream to become the next Cristiano Ronaldo is still on track!
8. During puberty, your looks-obsessed child might panic when he or she seems to have a disproportionate body, as several body parts may grow faster than the others. Let them grow up fully, before thinking about corrective surgery…
9. If your angsty tween needs to blame something for all the changes to his or her body, blame it on their endocrine and reproductive systems. These work closely together during puberty, causing all the changes — good or bad — that your child notices.
10. Puberty is part of the longer and more complex phase called adolescence. This is when young people start to change, not just physically, but also in the way they think and behave. So, enjoy this new experience!