Even if you don’t have children of your own, you’ve heard the horror stories revolving around the terrible twos and the dreaded teenage years.
To be fair, this bad behavior isn’t necessarily the child’s fault. During these stages, hormones are rushing through their bodies, controlling their thoughts and behaviors. We all know that teenagers are full of estrogen and testosterone (among others), but did you know toddlers actually have even more of these sex hormones? In fact, some male toddlers get up to 5 times the testosterone coursing through an average adult male. Female toddlers are also exposed to as much (if not more) estrogen as an adult female.
No wonder these years are so terrible for parents. Hormones are essentially changing your baby and getting it ready to mature as a male or female. However, this rush of hormones doesn’t last, and in a few years, children are in hormone pause which lasts up until puberty.
This doesn’t mean children in this “pause” phase aren’t affected by their hormones. However, they are far more influenced by role models and peers at this time. They are learning how and where they fit in. Additionally, each sex learns how to be a “girl” or “boy”.
Some Progressives believe that all gender-typical behavior is learned, but this is well refuted by science. Not to say socialization has no consequences, but the early influx of hormones during pregnancy and toddler years cause significant differences in the brain of boys and girls.
Even male monkeys prefer trucks to dolls. Interestingly enough, female monkeys preferred them almost equally. This shows that the major difference between a male and female brain is what they are interested in. Males are more focused on objects where females are more interested in people. Yet, females do have greater flexibility when it comes to their interests.
Things really start changing for children during the teenage years. The male hormones lead to risk-taking and fierce independence. Not only do they not listen to their parents, but research shows teenage boys may not even hear their parents (especially moms). During this time, boys will even become disgusted by their mother’s touch (sorry mom). Boys are almost entirely consumed with sexual thoughts at this point, which isn’t surprising considering the part of the brain reserved for sexual desire is three times the size of their female counterparts.
The teenage years aren’t much better for females. They become obsessed with appearance and whether or not they are attractive to the opposite sex. They also seek out independence from their parents. Many females begin to understand their sexual power over men (to the horror of their parents) without fully understanding the danger they put themselves in by using this power. Add to this to the roller coaster that is the female hormone cycle, and you have a monster on your hands.
Although these times seem trying for parents, things do get better. As teens turn into young adults, they learn to control their inner hormone monster and family relationships once again become strong. It is important for parents to understand what children are going through without being too permissive. Regardless of if your child is two or sixteen, their minds are constantly bombarded by novel external and internal stimuli – which is as hard on them as it is for you. Next time you’re at your wit’s end, remember that there is a little hormone monster in all of us.