May 17, 2024

Help your child deal with hormonal changes

By Bob Kisiki

It gets to a point where hormones take over. It is just nature; we cannot run away from it. What your little girl did not go through two years ago, she is going through now, and what your little boy did not feel last year, he is feeling right now. It is just the way it is. Well, my friend, that is those little, invisible, brutish brats called hormones. They come with their demands and an esoteric language and if you do not know how to handle them, they could derail you.

Hormones are partly responsible for when your daughter who always preferred to dress in flowing, elegant dresses and skirts now cannot step out of the house unless she is donning a denim micro miniskirt. It is hormones that, again in part, caused your previously coy son to develop showy, sometimes forward traits, wanting to be at the forefront and standing under the lamppost. It is hormones that make them think that now that they are 16 and 19, they are your equals. And when hormones find company in form of other teenagers who are on the loose seeking self-exertion and redemption from the “shackles” of adult prohibitions, push rushes into shove mode.

This is where you step in. While there is no antidote for hormonal influence in the conduct of your children, there are social ways you can help your children to rein themselves in. One such method is engagement in physical or mental exercise. If it is generally true that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop, when it comes to hormone-wracked youths, the impact is tripled.

The solution lies in keeping them busy. If she is busy weaving doormats, she will not listen to hormones telling her that she should be serving herself to the next door hunky boy from Kitende. When he is helping in the kitchen; making crepes or baking a cake, how will he notice the belles passing by your house, wearing nets and hankies for a top and skirt, respectively?

But again, how can your children engage in physical and mental activity if, from before, they are colonised by hormonal power, you do not give them these skills? Do you know there are still parents who believe that a boy’s life is in the living room before the telly; while it is the girl whose world is the kitchen? I have always told people that in our house, there are things you will only enjoy eating if Simeon, our teenage son, is the one who has prepared them. And he is perfectly male, too.

Or, if your girl has inclinations towards mending things that have broken down in the house, why should you take them out to those shady mechanics who fill Uganda, instead of giving your girl the necessary training to satisfy her fancy? When things actually break down and she has the know-how, you will save the money and time it would have cost you to have them repaired out there. But more than that, mending that iron could mark the difference between your girl facing a date rape and her going through life scar-free – physically and emotionally.

The writer is a parenting counsellor and teacher

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