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How do kids change?
As you grow up, your body changes. The first change everyone notices is that you keep getting bigger and taller and stronger. But your body grows in other ways, too. It changes from a child's body to an adult's body. It gets ready for reproduction-for the time when you may choose to become a parent.
What is puberty?
Puberty is that time in your life when your body changes. You change from a girl or boy to an adult woman or man.
What causes puberty to start?
The changes of puberty start when a gland in your brain releases a chemical called a hormone. This hormone travels in your bloodstream to your sex organs and stimulates them to release hormones of their own. All these hormones tell your body to start changing.
Is it normal to be curious about growing up?
It is natural for boys and girls to be curious about what will happen as they grow. You may have already noticed some changes in your body, and you probably want to know what the changes mean. If you have not yet started to develop, you still probably have questions to ask. You may not want to talk and think about growing up all the time, but if you are like most kids, you wonder what it will be like.
In addition to having questions about their own bodies, boys are usually curious about girls and girls are curious about boys. This is natural, too.
Is it okay to ask about sex?
Kids hear a lot about sex on TV shows, in the news, from other kids. Often everyone else seems to know all about everything. You might feelembarrassed to say that you don't know, but inside, you might still like a better explanation.
If you do ask about sex from a good, reliable source--a parent, a relative, a teacher--you might find out that some of the things you heard weren't quite right. You might see that some of the people who seemed to know everything didn't know so much after all. You might find out that you were worrying about something that you didn't have to worry about
It is good for you to have straight, accurate information about sex. It helps you feel comfortable about yourself and your body, and it helps you make better choices about your life as you grow up.
One day Stacey's little sister saw her cousin Sam in the bathtub. She pointed to his penis and asked, "Why don't I have one of those?"
Stacey couldn't help smiling. She told her little sister that boys and girls are different. Boys have sex organs on the outside where they are easy to see. Every girl is born with her own sex organs, but they are not as easy to see as a boy's. Some are inside her body, and some are on the outside, between her legs.
The sexual parts of our bodies are designed by nature for reproduction-having babies. A man and a woman are both needed to create a baby, but each sex has a different part in the process. That is why males' and females' bodies are made differently.
Of course, not every person chooses to be a mother or a father, but all people have sex organs, and everyone has sexual thoughts and feelings. Sex is a natural part of being a person.Asking About Sex and Growing Up. Copyright © by Joanna Cole. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.