When your kids are in the pre-teen and teen years, their hormones can go crazy. There are mood swings, tears, puberty and pimples galore. As a parent, you may be stressed about knowing how to deal with your teen’s behaviors and wondering how to handle their hormones. Don’t let the changes your tween or teen is going through frazzle you.
These Hormones Won’t Last Forever
Although it may not feel like it, your teen will eventually get through their hormone changes and calm down. In the meantime, you can prepare yourself for the following:
There’s Going to be Attitude
Brace yourself. Your tween’s or teen’s emotions are on a wild rollercoaster ride. As kids get older, their hormones are at work. Stress, sex and growth hormones increase, triggering irritability and mood swings. The result may be you butting heads with your pre-teen or teen.
How to handle the attitude: It may be hard to handle, but remember to not take the mood swings personally. Remain calm, even if your tween is raising their voice and avoid lecturing them. It can sometimes be difficult to differentiate between typical moodiness and more serious depression symptoms in teenagers. Your tween or teen’s doctor can help your child if they show symptoms of depression, or can refer them to a behavioral health specialist.
It’s Going to be Smelly
Part of a tween’s changing body is the development of body odor. Testosterone and estrogen affect a teen’s sweat glands and make chemicals that create a not-so-pleasant odor.
You may be asking yourself, how do I talk to my child about this change? Explain to your kids that their body is changing, and they need to make sure they wash their underarms when bathing and use deodorant.
They’re Growing so Fast
Does it seem like your child is growing quickly? It’s because they are! Tweens and teenagers commonly experience a growth spurt that begins during puberty and lasts two to three years. Girls will likely experience their growth spurt between the ages of 10-14 and boys will grow until about the age of 16. When a teen is at the peak of their growth spurt, he or she can grow up to four inches in a year. Once the growth spurt ends, your child will be at their adult height.
How to help with their growth spurts: Your tween may experience growing pains if he or she has a quick burst of growth. They will likely experience the pain in their legs. Make sure your teen gets enough sleep and is eating well to ensure they’re growing properly. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to prevent growing pains.
Have you noticed peach fuzz on your daughter’s legs or facial hair on your son? The first signs of puberty are often hair growing where hair didn’t exist before. For girls, that means on their legs, underarms and pubic area. Boys will begin to grow hair on their face, arms, chest and pubic area. Hair starts out looking thin, but as puberty continues it becomes darker and thicker.
How do you deal with your child’s hair growth? Have a discussion with your pre-teen and teens about shaving and discuss when you believe it’s the right time to begin. When you decide it’s time to allow your child to start shaving, show both boys and girls how to do so safely to avoid serious cuts or nicks.
One of a tween’s or teen’s least favorite parts of puberty is the pimples associated with it. The increase of hormones can cause both boys and girls to break out on their face, upper back and chest. Pimples may appear at the onset of puberty and last through the teen years. Fortunately for most teenagers, acne will get better or disappear completely as they age.
How to help your teen with pimples: Zits can be very embarrassing for a teen. Make sure your teen is washing their face twice a day. When treating acne with over-the-counter medication isn’t working, you may need to make an appointment with their regular doctor or a dermatologist. This can help manage pimples and prevent future breakouts.
Being a tween or teen is hard for both kids and parents. That being said, health is important for people of all ages. UnityPoint Clinic can help everyone in your family stay in tip-top shape. Have questions about your teen’s health? Make an appointment at any convenient UnityPoint Clinic location or message their care team through MyUnityPoint.