Parenting is one stage in life that most parents dread and in some cases, most young parents are forced to go to pre-natal counseling in order to be prepared psychologically for the parenting stage. The birth of a newborn in the family brings joy and excited to the family and most parents cherish the opportunity of nursing the infant, changing diapers, feeding the baby among other baby caring activities. This stage is known as the early childhood development stage and it runs from birth to the age of about five years. The next stage that follows is the middle childhood stage that runs from five years to thirteen years. The last stages before a person enters adulthood are early and late adolescence stages which are very crucial in the growth and development and in most cases it defines the future of a person.
Purpose of the Paper
Puberty as a stage of growth and development and one that a person must go through involves both boys and girls although the two experience different physical, emotional and social changes. This essay paper will cover two different sections. The first part will be an autobiography about what I went through during this stage. The paper will cover both the physical and emotional changes that I experienced and how it has affected my life. The next part of the paper will be a biography based on the observations I made on my male friends that I grew up with. The paper will state the physical as well as the emotional changes that I observed in my male friends. Thereafter, the paper will draw a comparison between the autobiography and the biography and what can be learned about adolescence in general. More focus will be on the emotional development. In conclusion, the paper will close by giving a brief summary of the key points that were mentioned in the paper.
During the early child development stage, life was exciting as my girlfriends and I (most of who were my age mates) experimented on different aspects of life and child play. It is however on my thirteenth birthday that I was scared to death.
A Pivotal Experience: According to Hait, one of the biological experiences that all girls must experience and are scared of is the first menstrual cycle (Hait, 2003). The menstrual cycle is however preceded by physical changes like breast and hips enlargement, increase in weight and growth of hair in the armpits and the pubic area. These are the same changes that occurred to me as I entered this stage. The onset of the menstrual cycle was a scary experience but I had been counseled on what to expect and how to deal with the situation. The advice covered the dates that the periods are likely to come and the signs of approaching menstruation period. Apart from this biological experience, I experienced also emotional and more physical changes.
Emotional Changes: Entering adolescence was a very emotional stage to me as a girl and also to my age mates. During some days, I developed mood swings and I was reserved while on other days I was hyperactive and ready to socialize with people. It is during this period also that I developed strong emotional and physical attraction to members of the opposite sex. Cornforth states that these emotional changes that occur are as a result of the fluctuation of hormonal balance in the body (Cornforth, 2006).
Psychological Development: It is at this stage that I also witnessed psychological development that took me time to cope with. Identity crisis is one area that I had to deal with. I wanted my body to physically develop in a certain way and also dress in a particular manner (depending on the fashion of the day), something that attracted criticism from all quarters of life.
It is the psychological development stage of adolescence that shaped me into a responsible and mature adult that I am today, I did not, however, go through this stage alone but with great advice and guidance from counselors and parents who advised and guided me as I went through the stage.
The Boys' Biography
As I went through the physical, emotional and biological changes during adolescence, I had a chance to observe the changes that boys of my age went through during the same stage. One similarity that I noticed was the physical change in boys. Most of the boys had an increase in weight, height and the upper part of their bodies (shoulders) broadened. Some boys also developed deep masculine voices and pimples appeared. Apart from the physical changes that I witnessed, there were also emotional changes that were visible in the boys and this included the rapid change of moods and high tempers some of them became timider while others became more courageous and proud, this can be said to psychological developments. Another visible observation that I witnessed was an identity crisis, most boys changed their dressing code and general behavior.
They dressed depending on the current fashion trends and identified themselves with the celebrities of the society. This depended on the person's hobby and talent, i.e. for those who liked music; they associated themselves and imitated their favorite musicians while those who preferred sports did the same too. After carrying out research and holding talks with the boys I was close too, I came to learn about other physical changes that experienced and they included the increase of the size of their manhood and growth of pubic hair. In addition to that, most of them also experienced normal biological changes and growth and this came in form of "wet dreams". In conclusion, most boys also developed an attraction to members of the opposite sex and this was an indication that their sexual orientation was being defined in a good way.
This essay paper has given an autobiography on the changes that I went through as an adolescent, as well as a biography on the changes that I witnessed in the boys of my age, go through. It is important to note that the changes that boys and girls go through during the adolescent stage are the same irrespective of a persons' race, religion, social, economic status or geographical location. There are some similarities and differences in both cases, the main differences witnessed were in physical and biological changes that boys and girls go through. There are however some physical similarities which included the development of pimples and increase in height and weight. The notable similarity was in the emotional changes as well as the psychological development.
The issue of identity crisis is one that affected adolescents of both sexes. Another notable similarity was that in both cases there was an attraction to the opposite sex, this showed that the sexual orientation of both parties was clearly defined. In general, it is wise to state that it is the emotional and psychological changes that occur during this stage that is more important and the path that one follows will greatly influence their future social behavior.
More focus by counselors and guardians on the children going through this stage of growth and development should be to advise and guide the youth on which path to take in order to become mature and responsible members of the society. Letting the youth decide for themselves on which path to follow may be catastrophic in future but with the good guidance they an adolescent can become very productive and successful.
Summation of the Paper
As indicated in this essay paper, the adolescent is a very crucial stage in the process of human growth and development. This essay paper has analyzed the issue of adolescence from two different angles; first, the paper has given an autobiography of various aspect of adolescent, it has then looked at a biography of the same. The biography has focused on adolescence in boys. The paper has given the different changes that occur to both and girls during this stage. In conclusion of the paper, it has looked at the general physical, emotional and biological similarities and differences that girls and boys go through during this crucial stage.