Parent Advice for Dealing With Teenage Boys & Hormones

by Karen Hellesvig-Gaskell

    Parents of a teenage boy have more than their fair share of ups and downs as their son yearns for independence but isn't quite ready to leap out of the security of the nest. Testosterone -- the male's primary hormone -- has a significant emotional and physical impact as your son makes the often bumpy transition from boy to man. Supporting your teen by striving for a goal of mutual understanding can make the road to adulthood less unsettling, explains MedlinePlus, a website published by the National Institutes of Health.

    Parents can be of greater support to their teen son when they have a better understanding of what is happening to his body. The hormonal changes a teen boy experiences are vast. The flood of testosterone increases by as much as 18 times during puberty, reports the California Department of Education or CDE. A male teen may experience at least half a dozen surges of testosterone each day.

    As a teen boy makes the gradual transition from child to adult, he's developing his own set of beliefs, attitudes and interests. Interest in sex is typically high on the list thanks to the abundance of testosterone. Parents should bear in mind that curiosity or fascination doesn't necessarily turn into action. Boys may eventually "test the waters" with an array of sexual behaviors before they find what they are most comfortable with. It's important for parents to refrain from judging their teen boys' sexual attitudes or behaviors as "sick" or "wrong." Do, however, discuss the use of condoms with your teenager so there's no doubt about how to protect himself and his partner from pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, advises MayoClinic.com.

    Falling in love and entering into a monogamous relationship is just one of several events in your teenage boy's life that sends the message that he's close to severing the apron strings. He may hold down a job and have plans to leave home shortly after graduating high school. Teen boys want less parental interference or interaction and prefer to being accepted by and rely more heavily on their peers, explains Boston Children's Hospital.

    The lines of communication between you and your soon-to-be man are more likely to stay open if you genuinely listen and try to walk in his shoes in order to get where he's coming from. Teen boys don't generally leave their parents completely out of the loop. Parents are still the ones a teen turns to when he wants information and input about his goals, notes the CDE. In fact, parents who help their teen map out post-secondary education plans and career paths can help encourage greater visions for academic success.

    About the Author

    Karen Hellesvig-Gaskell is a broadcast journalist who began writing professionally in 1980. Her writing focuses on parenting and health, and has appeared in “Spirituality & Health Magazine" and “Essential Wellness.” Hellesvig-Gaskell has worked with autistic children at the Fraser School in Minneapolis and as a child care assistant for toddlers and preschoolers at the International School of Minnesota, Eden Prairie.

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