My name is Anna; I am 16 years old, I am the first born in our family, and I have twin siblings Jenny and Jimmy who are 12.
When she turned 12, Jenny’s body started to change faster and she looked older than her twin brother Jimmy. The changes made Jenny feel strange with her body. She came to me and explained her situation. I told her she is in a period called puberty. And everybody in her classroom will be going through the same thing. Boys are being transformed to young men and girls to young ladies. She argued that Jimmy wasn’t changing. I told her that Jimmy will change, too, but in most cases girls experience puberty earlier than boys.
A few weeks later our neighbour Benny came over to play with Jenny and Jimmy. Benny told us that he was now experiencing changes. I could see my sister was so pleased to hear that Benny was experiencing changes just like her. Together they talked about these new changes inside and outside of their bodies. They found changes they share, like getting taller and gaining weight. And completely different things, like Jenny getting her period every month and Benny experiencing wet dreams sometimes when he sleeps.
They both had lots of questions, and didn’t know how to behave during puberty. So they turned to me as an older friend and big sister. I told them, “Just be yourselves!”
I’m so glad that Jenny talked to me about her body changes and that I could help her to prepare herself for more changes to come, to enjoy her puberty, and get the correct information about her body. And now she is helping her twin brother Jimmy to prepare for his body changes!
It is completely normal to have conversations about your body changes with your peers, parents or someone who has already experienced puberty. Just find someone you feel comfortable to talk to.
Here are my tips; keep the conversation relaxed, clearly explain your questions, and make sure you listen to the other person’s advice.