Boys say when they get circumcised.
Your body gives you clues.
How you think and act also change
in many wonderful and intriguing ways.
When was the first time you seriously looked at yourself in the mirror? When was the last time you checked yourself out? When you said to yourself, “Hindi na ako bata?”
That’s probably when puberty set in. Puberty is the time when your body is changing in many wonderful but often confusing ways.
If you are a boy, you probably check if you are growing taller, if your muscles are getting harder, if hair is growing under armpits, over lips, under the chin, and around your penis.
If you are a girl, you are more likely worried about your pimples and weight. You may be checking out if your breasts are growing and if your hips are showing their curves. You probably are wishing that boys too get their menstrual period.
Your body is changing because of the hormones that you have. Boys have testosterone. Girls have estrogen and progesterone. These hormones are completely responsible for the changes that you are experiencing.
Some changes are for boys only. Some are for girls only. But there are physical and emotional changes that happen to both sexes.
What’s important is that you welcome these changes and use them to your advantage. Be happy with what you have and you will learn to accept who you are.
All of us have the right to live in a place where we are loved. We have the right to be healthy, learn, express ourselves and be the best that we can be.
Sadly, not all of us are enjoying these rights. Some teenagers grow up in homes where there is no love. So they try to find love outside their homes.
Finding love and a place where you can belong sometimes brings you to dangerous situations. Many teenagers become victims of abuse and violence.
You have the right to be protected from abuse, neglect and violence. Know about your rights and be responsible for the decisions you will make.
You have the right to learn and get the information that can help save your life and set you on the right trail to a bright future. You have the right to receive services from learning institutions and health facilities.
Finally, you have the right to say what you think and feel in the most respectful way possible. When you respect others, you give them all the reasons to respect your rights as a teenager.
You face many challenges and trials as you grow up. What are the usual problems of teenagers like you?
“Nobody listens to me.” You no longer want to be treated like a child. You have become more assertive. You speak your mind. But the people around you may not be ready to hear you out.
“I have to be like my friends.” You want to have your own set of friends whom you can bond with. But sometimes, these so-called friends may do things you and your loved ones may not agree with. You may give in to the pressure of being like them.
“I don’t like the person I am seeing in the mirror.” You may not feel good about yourself. Either you are too thin or too fat. You measure up yourself against other teens and spend time finding what’s not in you. Your self-esteem may be at its lowest that it drags you down.
“There is no hope for me.” When you feel down and out, you may think that there is no bright tomorrow for you. And nothing can every cheer you up.
If you feel any of these, speak up. Tell somebody about what you are feeling and share with a trusted person what you are facing. Remember that there is a solution to every problem.