Caution! Hormonal pre-teen ahead!
How do you cope when hormones swamp your pre-teen?
There’s one situation that makes us men extremely uncomfortable when with women. We’re left perplexed, reduced to blithering idiots, and generally it allows them to twirl us around their little fingers- they almost always get what they want when they do this: Yup, it’s when they turn on the water works.
And they do it for a myriad of different reasons, not just sadness. You could be walking past a cute puppy and she’ll start bawling her eyes out, or midway through coitus, or she’ll suddenly remember something nasty you said to her 3 years ago, or ‘cos she came home and you finally fixed the shower head or whatever… I’ve pretty much learnt to roll with it and it’s usually a good idea to just be caring and non-confrontational- “there, there” kinda thing- and apologise a lot if you’ve messed up.
Pre-teen hormonal explosion
However….no one warned me about how to handle a hormonal pre-teen! So there I was driving Hannah (11) home after school. Usually our chats on the way home are exciting and animated, all about what happened at school. This time she was quiet and sullen. “Everything okay, baby?” No response. Now as most men know, when you get the silent treatment from the female of the species, your “hier kom kak” light immediately begins flashing.
We get home and she disappears into her room. After about ten minutes I go check in on her. OMG! She is bawling her eyes out. Not soft sniffles and tears; instead it’s the hardcore, heavy snot-en-trane. And of course I immediately think “what the hell have I done?” (We’re programmed to think like this).
Time for talking, time for just being there
I go over to her and ask her what’s wrong. She’s bawling so much she can’t even speak. Something in my parental brain starts to suggest that this is the onset of teen hormonal mood swings. So I begin to relax. Hannah’s always been able to articulate her feelings, but this time not even she knows what’s going on. So I spend the next ten minutes just holding her and saying comforting things… Eventually it subsides and I suggest a trip to the ice-cream parlour. Amazing thing ice-cream, a cure for all ills.
Listen and chat
We chatted about it a few days later and she admitted that she’s not sure what’s up ‘cos “one day I’m on top of the world the next I’m sad.” Well after some research into the matter I suggest to her that the teen hormones are kicking in and will eventually balance out, and she should not stress about it. Being the practical gal that she is, this makes sense to her and it’s been going well since then.
I must say though, as a man, who, like most men, is programmed to find a quick fix for tears, it’s a gut-wrenching experience to see your little girl reduced to a blubbering mess and there’s nothing you can do except be there. But once I figured out what was going on, it was okay…
Read more by Marlon Abrahams
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Did you ever come across the pre-teen hormone explosion? How did you handle it?