Do you ever wish you could change something about your body? Do you wish you were taller? Or smaller? Do you wish you had a different shape? More muscles? Or more curves? Do you wish you looked older?

Kids' bodies change as they go through puberty. But puberty doesn't happen at the same time for every kid. Some kids develop early. They may feel awkward at first. They might feel proud too. Other kids develop much later. They may wish they would hurry up and grow. They feel excited to become an older kid.

But there's no way to rush it along. A young girl won't grow breasts until her body is going through puberty. And a young boy won't develop big muscles like teen guys and adult men have. Not even if he lifts weights. It's hard to be patient.

As your body changes, the way you feel about it might change too.

What Things Can Help?

If you want to feel better about your body, here are some tips:

  • Don't expect your body to be perfect. No body is. It's good to accept and like the body you have. It's all yours, so show it some kindness.
  • Think of things you like about your looks. Do you have long legs? Broad shoulders? A great smile? A friendly face? Try to see the good things others see when they look at you.
  • Think of things your body can do. Are you a fast runner? Are you strong? Can you dribble ball? Ride a bike or a skateboard? Kick a ball down the field? Hike up a hill? Swim a lap? Do a cartwheel? Balance in tree pose? Take a moment to be glad for what your body can do.
  • Eat good foods. Feed your body healthy foods. Eating a healthy diet helps you look and feel your best. It gives you energy and keeps your body working well.
  • Get to bed on time. Your body needs plenty of sleep to look good and stay healthy. Sleep gives you the recharge you need to learn and play all day.
  • Be active every day. When you move your body, you exercise your muscles. When you exercise a muscle, it gets stronger. With strong muscles, your body is fit and healthy. You can be active by playing, dancing, doing a sport, or even cleaning your room.
  • Keep your body clean and groomed. Take a shower or bath. Wash your hair and face. Brush your teeth. Wear clean clothes. Find your style. Stand up tall and proud. Take a good look at fresh clean you. Let yourself feel happy with how you look.
  • Keep to a healthy weight. Being a healthy weight is good for you. And it helps you feel good about your body. But don't try to diet on your own. It's not safe or healthy for kids to do that. Always talk to your parent and doctor. When you have a checkup, your doctor can let you know if your weight is healthy. If your weight could be healthier, your doctor can suggest things you can do. Eating right and getting more activity helps a lot.
  • Talk to a parent. If you're having trouble feeling better about your body, tell a parent how you feel. Talk about ways you can feel happier with your body.
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Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2019 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.

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