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Talking to Your Child about Testosterone

If your son or daughter is going through puberty, it may be time for you to start explaining the difference between testosterone and estrogen, and how these hormones contribute to human development.

Testosterone is generally considered the male hormone, and estrogen is known as the female hormone, but your child should know that both hormones should be found in both men and women. The mixture of both hormones helps the body to develop properly, and the sooner you talk to your children about the changes they are experiencing physically, the sooner they will understand the emotional changes that come along with puberty.

One of the first things that you should tell your children is that the feelings they may have (and not be familiar with) are largely due to hormones. Testosterone will make a young man who may generally be easy-going and timid want to talk to girls, or to become more active in sports.

Estrogen may make girls more emotional or melodramatic, and it is especially important to point this out if you are dealing with two or more adolescents in the house, so that they can learn to be more understanding with one another. You should also let your child know that the physical traits they may begin to notice during puberty are a result of hormonal changes as well. Testosterone will give boys a deeper voice register than their female peers, and will cause facial and chest hair to start growing.

If you think that your son may have a higher-than-normal testosterone levels, you may want to take him to the doctor to talk about alternative treatments. High testosterone levels could be evident if your son is overly aggressive, or if he becomes very withdrawn and depressed. You can also include more raw foods in his diet, or add a multi-vitamin to his daily regimen to help regulate hormone levels.

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