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internal organs undergo a considerable and rapid enlargement. The
mammae enlarge, the ovarian vesicles become dilated, and there is
established a periodical discharge of one or more ova, accompanied,
in most cases, by a sanguineous fluid from the cavity of the uterus."
These changes, so varied and extraordinary, often occur within a very
short space of time; and as they are liable to serious derangement,
especially in the female, great care should be taken to secure for the
individual the most favorable conditions until they are successfully
effected. It is, however, a fact deserving of mention, that many of
the ills which are developed at this particular period are quite as
much the result of previous indiscretions and mismanagement as of any
immediate cause. A few suggestions with regard to the proper treatment
of individuals at this age may be in place.
1. Do not allow the boy or girl to be overworked, either mentally or
physically. Great and important changes are occurring within the body,
and nature should not be overtaxed.
2. Keep the mind occupied. While excessive labor should be avoided,
idleness should be as carefully shunned. Some light, useful employment
or harmless amusement--better some kind of work--should keep the mind
fully occupied with wholesome subjects.
3. Abundant exercise out-of-doors is essential for both sexes. Sunshine
and fresh air are as necessary to the development of a human being as
for the expanding of a flower bud.
4. Watch carefully the associations of the youth. This should be done
at all times, but especially just at the critical period in question,
when the general physical disturbances occurring in the system react
upon the mind and make it peculiarly susceptible to influences,
especially those of an evil character.
5. None too much care can be exercised at this important epoch of human
life, provided it is properly applied; but nothing could be more
disastrous in its consequences than a weak solicitude which panders
to every whim and gratifies every perverted appetite. _Such_ care is
a fatal error.
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