Growing up: All you need to know

By: Team TeenBook

Aarav, Sara and their friends are growing up. Come join them as they share their stories, experiences, confusions and questions. We promise it's fun and you will learn a lot!

Hair, height and more

Hey! My name is Aarav. I live in Ranchi and I am in Grade 8. Over the last few weeks, I have been noticing tiny hair on my chin. Papa tells me this is the first sign of Growing Up - when children begin to develop into adults. I am quite nervous but at the same time a bit excited about this!

Ammi also tells me now that I am growing up, we will have to start making our own choices. Oh that's going to be exciting...but how will I ever decide what to wear to college! It's just so much easier with the school uniform…hehe! By the way, I am Sara, from Surat. I am also in Grade 8!  

    WHAT'S GOING ON?

  • You are at a time in your life when you may be experiencing changes in your body and mind.
  • For some of you, the changes may have already started; for others they will take some more time.
  • Some of these changes will make you feel excited about yourselves and some may feel uncomfortable.
  • Remember that these changes are normal and happen to everyone, though at different times and speed.

 Why can’t they understand? 

Hi. I am Mira. You know I had a big fight with Mummy today. She asked me to spend less time with my friends and focus on my studies. Well, I do focus on my studies but I like to be with my friends. Why can’t she understand that? Why can’t parents leave us alone for a while!

It is kind of odd. These days I worry a lot. Some days I stress that I will fail my exams. Then about these pimples growing up all over my face. Then the Sports Day is coming up and I still have to finish the prep for the debating competition! It feels like there’s a lot going on. Honestly! Oh, I am Tenzin. See I even forgot to mention that!

    THE BODY AND THE MIND

  • As we grow up, many changes take place inside our bodies and minds.
  • We can broadly categorise these as  Emotional, Social, Cognitive and Physical.
  • Emotional changes relate to the changes in our feelings.
  • For example, emotions such as anger or attraction towards others.
  • Social changes refer to how we interact (or want to interact) with others. For example, wanting to spend more time with friends. 
  • Cognitive changes deal with how we think and process information.
  • For example, making more choices about our academics or sports. 
  • Physical changes have to do with the changes in the body.
  • For example, the growth of a beard, pimples, increasing height etc. 

I like it, I hate it

 

  IT'S ALL HAPPENING IN THERE!

  • As we grow up, our bodies undergo many changes to prepare us for adulthood.
  • It’s important to understand these changes and support our bodies through these changes.
  • We can support our bodies by firstly accepting the changes as healthy and normal.
  • Understand that these changes (growth of hair, pimples and breasts) are different for everyone.
  • We can also support our bodies by eating healthy and keeping fit.
  • Last but not the least, we can support our bodies by being thankful.
  • Our bodies help us live our lives - enjoy our vacations, help us prepare for an exam or fight off infections. 

Ooh it's hard!

Sometimes I feel it’s better to be a child! Abba and Ammi can just make the decisions for you.  

Yesterday Dipika was really pushing me to come for a movie at her place. All my other friends were also going. My parents said I had to decide for myself. 

I had so much homework to finish. I just couldn’t decide!

    CHOICES AND MORE

  • As we grow up, we need to also start making choices and decisions.
  • Taking decisions and making choices is an important part of being a grown-up.
  • At your age, you may need to make choices such as who to spend time with and what activities to engage in.
  • This also means that we will have to try to choose what is best and good for us.
  • Sometimes, it may not be easy to make these choices alone.
  • It’s always a good idea to seek help from someone, who is very close to us and cares about us, like our parents or another trusted adult. 

This or That?


Hi. I am Maria! Yesterday, I got my first pocket money! And I am so confused... what to do with it. I have been meaning to buy this book on art and craft for so long but then I also need new shoes. Mummy says it’s my money. So I need to decide what I want to do with it. But how!

    LET'S FIND OUT 

  • One of the most important and first steps in making a choice is to seek more and more information about the choice we need to make.
  • If we have all the information about something, it will be easier to make a choice.
  • Some information may be internal, that is, understanding our needs and prioritising them.
  • Do I want the book more or the shoes? What may I need to use first?
  • Some of the information may be external, that is, it can be gained from external sources like books, internet, other people, etc.’
  • For example, what is the cost of the book and how much do the shoes cost?
  • Maria may find that she doesn’t need to make a choice at all.
  • Once she finds out what the price of each of the items is, she may realise her pocket money can cover both.
  • Or she may realise after talking to her cousin that she has the same book and she is happy for her to borrow it. Maria can then buy the shoes.
  • Or she may realise after assessing her needs, that the book isn’t really needed until the next year  and so she can wait to buy it.
  • Having more information about any situation helps us make better decisions. 

And then it’s complicated!

Hello, I am Amit. Yesterday, after sports class, Rishi asked me to come along to the playground outside school. We often play there after school with boys from our neighbourhood. On our way to the ground, Rishi pulled a cigarette out of his bag. He said he had picked one from an uncle’s home. He asked me to try it. I couldn’t say no. It was terrible. Today all the boys are gathering at the ground again and want to try it again as a group. I am not sure what to do! Rishi is also my best friend. I don't want to get him into any trouble.

    THE SEVEN STEP LADDER  

  • Sometimes taking decisions or making choices can be really hard.
  • At such times, you can use The Seven Step Ladder to take a decision.
  • The Seven Step Ladder comprises seven steps that you need to consider one by one to arrive at a decision. 
  • These steps are: 
    ➔ Step 1: What are my options? 
    ➔ Step 2: Which option is best for me? And why? 
    ➔ Step 3: Is my preferred option safe for me? Is it healthy for me? 
    ➔ Step 4: What do I think about this option?
    ➔ Step 5: What do I feel about this option?
    ➔ Step 6: Would I suggest it to a friend or a family member? 
    ➔ Step 7: What would my parents or someone I trust say?
  • If most of the answers are a no, or a negative, it is worth not going ahead with that decision or the choice.
  • If it’s hard to decide, consider getting advice from your parents, teachers or a Trusted Adult.
  • A Trusted Adult is a grown-up who you can trust completely and is informed to help you make a decision.
  • These could be our parents, our elder siblings or cousins, our grandparents or our teachers.
  • Those we can go to for anything... anytime, without feeling shy or embarrassed or scared.
  • They always listen to us, make us comfortable and help us.
  • Take time to identify your Trusted Adults and regularly talk to them about your feelings.
  • If you don’t feel comfortable or can’t trust around an adult, think carefully if they need to be your Trusted Adult or should you talk to someone else.

Now I know


So basically growing up involves a lot of change and change is normal... it happens to everyone. 


These changes can be of a variety - physical, social, emotional and cognitive. It is important to be thankful to our bodies as it experiences these changes.


Growing up also means having to make decisions for ourselves. For that we need to seek more information, consider important aspects (The Seven Step Ladder) and speak to Trusted Adults (if we can). 

    ALL ABOUT GROWING-UP

  • It is a natural process. It involves a lot of changes in our body and mind.
  • It is important to understand and accept these changes as normal and healthy.
  • It is also about making choices and taking responsibilities.
  • It is important to make the right choices that are kind, safe and healthy.
  • It is important to gather information to be able to make good choices.
  • This information can be gained from books, trusted and verified sources on the internet, parents, teachers and trusted adults and by understanding our own needs better.
  • At times, we may not be able to make the right choice on our own.
  • At such times we should reach out to our parents, teachers  or other trusted adults for correct information that will help us make the right choice.
  • Most importantly, growing up is fun and exciting and we can handle it better when we know what to expect and how to deal with it.

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