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How can I cope with early puberty?

Dear Sam,

I am a twelve year old girl (finally turning thirteen this year,) and I have been coping with early puberty since around age eight when I first started periods. It was such an odd thing to experience as all my friends were playing with barbie dolls and I had all these peculiar thoughts! Since then I have pretty much 'fully developed,' many people are jealous as most boys have liked me at one point or envy my bra size, both of which I never asked for. It makes me feel very iscolated and different from my peers. Friends say that they are experiencing the exact same thing although I know it can't be true. It gets me feeling very down, I don't particuarly enjoy school anymore with all the unwanted attention. I feel as if I just want everything to stop and somehow hide in the background. It makes me stressed and the only way I can relieve the stress is to cry. It makes me feel horrible and like I want to shut everything out. I am increasingly losing relationships with family members, in particular my step father who constantly argues with me.

I need SERIOUS advice.

-From A xx
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Girls usually start puberty at around the age of 10 but some can start earlier and some later. It sounds like going through puberty has been a tough and lonely experience for you and you’ve felt different from your peers for a while.

One of the most noticeable changes that can happen to girls is when their breasts grow. This can come with all sorts of feelings and emotions.

Body image is what we think about our own body. Sometimes it can be hard not to compare ourselves to others but everyone is different. There can be lots of pressure to look a certain way for boys and girls.

Appearances shouldn’t define who we are – how we look is just one aspect that makes us up as a whole person. It might be helpful to think about who you want to be and what you like about yourself outside of your physical appearance. Improving how you feel about yourself can help to build your self-confidence.

The ChildLine message boards are a good place to find out how other young people feel about themselves and to see that you’re not alone.

It could also really help to check out our advice about:

Remember that ChildLine counsellors are here for you too.

Take care,

Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

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