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Word Count: 306
Up until the age of nine or ten years there is little difference in the physical appearance of a boy or a girl except the genitals Boys and girls behave differently but this is mostly as a result of socialisation or the way other people have molded the child to behave like a girl or like a boy From the age of eight years two or three years before puberty growth hormones are released within the child resulting in rapid physical growth known as a growth spurt This growth spurt occurs when a hormone is released into the blood by the pituitary gland which lies beneath the brain This hormone stimulates a boys testes and the girls ovaries to produce sex hormones During the growth spurt the child will start to look physically awkward and its common for the child to also feel awkward The childs hands and feet begin to grow followed by the hips and chest The trunk of the body increases in length and the chest deepens During this time of growth the physical sameness of childhood is taken over by obvious sex differences in body shape This is a confusing time for children as they are aware of a lot of changes to their bodies Puberty brings the challenge of an emerging sexuality and the beginning of wet dreams and menstruation Parents need to prepare their children for puberty by explaining what is likely to happen to them as they enter puberty Many parents assume this information is communicated at school The fact is that information gathered at school is often coloured by myth from other children and is not always as useful as it is assumed to be By being prepared children can avoid the obvious trauma and embarrassment these events can cause if the child is ignorant about these events
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