Keeping Mum

Dita De Boni looks at the trials and tribulations of being a parent.

Testosterone surge

10 comments
Scientists say that around four years of age, boys' testosterone levels surge from early childhood levels, which can result in more tantrums. Photo / Thinkstock
Scientists say that around four years of age, boys' testosterone levels surge from early childhood levels, which can result in more tantrums. Photo / Thinkstock

I've very worried about the hinges of the door to my children's room. They are about to snap. In the past few days there must have been a hundred instances of the room's occupants stomping in there in a foul rage and slamming the door behind them.

You might think that I am the mother of teenagers, but as you know, I am the mother of preschoolers. Specifically, I am the mother of a four-year-old boy. I'm also the mother of a two-year-old girl who enjoys copying her brother's behaviour. It's quite the workload!

Although my little man is a sweetie much of the time, and full of positive vim and vigour at others, he seems to be stepping up his insolent, hostile, aggressive behaviour to an extent that is frankly, hard to handle.

He is disciplined, his treats are removed, his TV privileges are revoked when he starts kicking off, and yet, there seems to be little to do quell the testosterone-fuelled rage once it is in full flight.

He's spent so much time in his room cooling off in the last two weeks that he may as well not come out some mornings.

And while sometimes these furies can be sheeted off to tiredness and hunger, it's surely not always the case. A meltdown straight after breakfast, for example, and I'm struggling to find a justification!

Funnily enough, this weekend as I drove around town I witnessed many, many mothers and fathers trying to keep their almost-school-aged boys in check, so I am hoping it's a age and stage all parents of sons confront.

Scientists say that around four years of age, boys' testosterone levels do surge from early childhood levels (although they are nowhere near the 13- 14-year-old surge - heaven help us when that happens!)

I have to admit that when anyone has told me about the testosterone surge, I'm tempted to say that my son's been suffering from it since about the age of 11 months. But there's definitely been a pick-up in aggression recently.

Now I understand why other mothers of sons have been so keen to shuffle their sons off to school as they approach five - and why a class of five-year-olds is such a handful!

All this might seem anti-boy, but it's not. Boys are fantastic in so many ways - they are affectionate (when not trying to yank your head off showing you something), funny, curious and lots of fun. But they also require some extra-attentive parenting when their black moods start to take over.

As my son says when I ask him why he's being naughty, "I can't control myself".

Our job is to teach him that control, all the while - and this is the hard part - trying to retain control ourselves.

Have your say

We aim to have healthy debate. But we won't publish comments that abuse others. View commenting guidelines.

1200 characters left

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n6 at 30 Aug 2014 06:21:06 Processing Time: 965ms