Boys and Hormones

Understanding the transitional years of puberty.


Published:

Little boys regularly visit my office clutching superhero figurines and "flying" through the waiting room with arms outstretched and capes streaming. The next heroic stage often involves army games around the neighborhood or intense wrestling matches with friends. Fast forward a few more years, and toss in some testosterone. Those now-teenage boys begin proving themselves by driving fast, destroying the world in epic online video games, or competing for athletic trophies and academic achievements.

Boys ultimately are seeking to know if they have what it takes to "be a man." In fact, I believe the questions "Do I have what it takes?" and "Am I loved?" are innately hardwired, whether boys like to admit it or not.

The task of reassuring the inner-superhero of his true potential becomes especially difficult during the transitional years of puberty, when hormones rage and a boy grows into a man. Oftentimes, girls get the bad rap about becoming hormonal teens, but males and females both undergo emotional and physical changes — they just display the inner turmoil differently.

Teenage boys often experience heightened moodiness and aggression, and they may become introverted. It's normal for a teenage boy to jump between feeling pleasant and being upset or difficult to handle. An increased desire for autonomy and growing social priorities are also normal. On the other hand, negative changes in school performance, trouble with the law or drug abuse are not normal behaviors, and warrant professional attention.

During puberty, which generally begins between ages 11 and 15, a boy's testosterone levels soar. The increase in hormones transforms muscle mass, body odor, acne, vocal range, aggression, sexual desires, the desire to be in authority and other characteristics that distinguish males from females.

Research shows that men have 10-20 times more testosterone than women. One study of 700 male prison inmates revealed that those with higher testosterone levels were most likely to be in trouble with authorities and most often engaged in unprovoked violence. Testosterone is one powerful hormone.

Testosterone is a lot like money, fame or authority: it's not inherently evil, but it's what you do with it that counts. As parents, it's our job to steer young boys to become men of character who offer value to society and genuinely care about others, and that can lead the next generation.

Parents have almost two decades to prepare and coach their children. During that time, it's vital to play defense against negative influences in society by setting boundaries and play offense by being involved in children's worlds and showing tangible love.

Following are a few suggestions of how parents can help coach teenage boys.

Get to know them.
Know their friends, interests and trials — not to judge, but to show authentic concern.

Share physical affection.
It may feel strange for a parent to think their 6-foot-tall, 15-year-old has emotional needs, but he does (regardless of his size). Moms and dads should give their teen hugs and kisses. If it's foreign, it may take extra effort, but it's worth the payoff.

Protect against pornography.
Online pornography consumes male teens' and men's minds at an alarming rate. The average age of first exposure to pornographic images for boys is 11. Keep computer access in public areas of the house, like the kitchen, and use Internet filters. Remember, portable wireless devices, cell phones and gaming systems can also access pornographic websites. Get educated about the good and bad side of technology, and establish family rules.

Set boundaries.
Most youth claim they dislike parental involvement and boundaries, but for those lacking parental attention, too much freedom often leaves them looking for love in the wrong places. Set curfews, limitations and habitually check in.

Keep them active.
Provide outlets for stress, aggression and spiked competitiveness. Not only do hobbies develop life skills, they decrease time for trouble.

"Bringing up Boys," by Dr. James Dobson, is an excellent resource for how to deal with boys throughout childhood, especially in teenage years. Puberty doesn't last forever. Most temperamental and argumentative teenagers hit a magical age in their 20s and become pleasant, even charming. While riding the waves of teenage hormones, take advantage of the opportunity to assure those superheroes-in-the-making that they are unconditionally loved and they do have what it takes to be extraordinary.

Scott Spies, MD, is a pediatrician at Matthews Children's Clinic and has worked as a pediatrician for 15 years. He has four children, and his oldest is a teenage boy.

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Calendar

August 2015

All scouts must bring their merit badge books and come prepared with requirements one and two complete. Scouts be sure to bring a snack, water bottle and a lunch. Registration is required.

Cost: $15

Where:
Latta Plantation Nature Center
5225 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-875-2312
Website »

More information

The 12th annual health fair for families that covers how to make the best of your life using healthy principles as your foundation.

Cost: Free.

Where:
Levine JCC
5007 Providence Road
, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-366-5007
Website »

More information

Learn about insects using the Track Trails: Bug Out guide, followed by a hike in search for bugs. Please dress appropriately for hiking outdoors and bring water. Registration is required.

Cost: Free.

Where:
McDowell Nature Center
15222 York Road
Charlotte, NC
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Telephone: 704-588-5224
Website »

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Join in fun activities inspired by Q4KIDZ, a chance to connect to local family-friendly startups, and meet other Charlotte parents while enjoying a craft beer and food from OMB. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Olde Mecklenburg Brewery
4150 Yancey Road
Charlotte, NC  28217
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Sponsor: Q4KIDZ and Detailed Block

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Follow the story of Gastonia-based Tony's Ice Cream, enjoy displays of Ice cream production equipment and memorabilia. Museum hours: Mon.-Sat., 9am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $6-$9, includes museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-806-6900
Website »

More information

A continental perspective on wolves today and those that once roamed the Carolina Piedmont. Includes audio and interactive components. Museum hours: Tues., Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $3-$6

Where:
Museum of York county
4621 Mt. Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC  29732
View map »


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

Can you name all five senses? Participate in experiments that will make for a fun school year. Hours: Sat., 11am, 2pm; Sun., 2pm.  

Cost: $10, includes museum admission

Where:
Discovery Place KIDS
105 Gilead Road
Huntersville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Using animatronics and interactive technology, this traveling exhibit enlarges and brings to life the hidden world of insects through a variety of robotic creatures 40 to 120 times their size....

Cost: $10-$20, includes museum admission

Where:
South Carolina State Museum
301 Gervais Street, Loading Zone D
Columbia, SC  29214
View map »


Telephone: 803-348-6010
Website »

More information

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Songs, stories, and finger plays, followed by play time for babies and networking for parents.

Cost: Free.

Where:
Kannapolis Branch Library
850 Mountain Street
Kannapolis, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-920-4343
Website »

More information

Get comfortable as a variety of nature-based stories are read. Stories may be accompanied by puppets. After the story hike in the forest and participate in a themed activity based on the book....

Cost: Free.

Where:
Reedy Creek Nature Center
2900 Rocky River Road
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-432-6459
Website »

More information

Filled with stories, songs, and activities specifically designed for children with autism spectrum disorders, sensory integration issues, or other developmental disabilities.

Cost: Free.

Where:
Beatties Ford Road Regional Library
2412 Beatties Ford Road
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-3000
Website »

More information

Features dynamic interpretive kiosks, hands-on components, and objects on loan from NASA and the Smithsonian Institution. Museum hours:  Mon.-Sat., 9am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $6-$10, includes museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Explore a gallery of rare instruments, experiment with the science of sound, and rock out with real keyboards, drums and guitars. Museum hours: Mon.-Fri., 9am-4pm; Sat., 10am-6pm; Sun., noon-5pm.

Cost: $12-$15, includes museum admission

Where:
Discovery Place
301 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Follow the story of Gastonia-based Tony's Ice Cream, enjoy displays of Ice cream production equipment and memorabilia. Museum hours: Mon.-Sat., 9am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $6-$9, includes museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-806-6900
Website »

More information

Using animatronics and interactive technology, this traveling exhibit enlarges and brings to life the hidden world of insects through a variety of robotic creatures 40 to 120 times their size....

Cost: $10-$20, includes museum admission

Where:
South Carolina State Museum
301 Gervais Street, Loading Zone D
Columbia, SC  29214
View map »


Telephone: 803-348-6010
Website »

More information

Examines the long-standing impact of colonialism on prevailing societal attitudes that define black culture in America. Museum Hours: Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $7-$9, children under 5 free

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 S. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

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An interactive early literacy program featuring board books, simple songs, movement activities, nursery rhymes and fingerplays.

Cost: Free

Where:
Mooresville Public Library
304 South Main St.
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-664-2927
Website »

More information

Follow the story of Gastonia-based Tony's Ice Cream, enjoy displays of Ice cream production equipment and memorabilia. Museum hours: Mon.-Sat., 9am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $6-$9, includes museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-806-6900
Website »

More information

Features dynamic interpretive kiosks, hands-on components, and objects on loan from NASA and the Smithsonian Institution. Museum hours:  Mon.-Sat., 9am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $6-$10, includes museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

A continental perspective on wolves today and those that once roamed the Carolina Piedmont. Includes audio and interactive components. Museum hours: Tues., Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $3-$6

Where:
Museum of York county
4621 Mt. Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC  29732
View map »


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

Explore a gallery of rare instruments, experiment with the science of sound, and rock out with real keyboards, drums and guitars. Museum hours: Mon.-Fri., 9am-4pm; Sat., 10am-6pm; Sun., noon-5pm.

Cost: $12-$15, includes museum admission

Where:
Discovery Place
301 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Using animatronics and interactive technology, this traveling exhibit enlarges and brings to life the hidden world of insects through a variety of robotic creatures 40 to 120 times their size....

Cost: $10-$20, includes museum admission

Where:
South Carolina State Museum
301 Gervais Street, Loading Zone D
Columbia, SC  29214
View map »


Telephone: 803-348-6010
Website »

More information

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Enjoy storytime that will stimulate your child's senses.

Cost: Free

Where:
Mooresville Public Library
304 South Main St.
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-664-2927
Website »

More information

Take a stroll through the nature  center and collect materials to create tree-based artwork. Registration is required.  

Cost: Free

Where:
McDowell Nature Center
15222 South York Road
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-583-1284
Website »

More information

Using animatronics and interactive technology, this traveling exhibit enlarges and brings to life the hidden world of insects through a variety of robotic creatures 40 to 120 times their size....

Cost: $10-$20, includes museum admission

Where:
South Carolina State Museum
301 Gervais Street, Loading Zone D
Columbia, SC  29214
View map »


Telephone: 803-348-6010
Website »

More information

A continental perspective on wolves today and those that once roamed the Carolina Piedmont. Includes audio and interactive components. Museum hours: Tues., Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $3-$6

Where:
Museum of York county
4621 Mt. Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC  29732
View map »


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

Features dynamic interpretive kiosks, hands-on components, and objects on loan from NASA and the Smithsonian Institution. Museum hours:  Mon.-Sat., 9am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $6-$10, includes museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Follow the story of Gastonia-based Tony's Ice Cream, enjoy displays of Ice cream production equipment and memorabilia. Museum hours: Mon.-Sat., 9am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $6-$9, includes museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-806-6900
Website »

More information

Storytelling, book sharing, songs and participatory activities. Hours: 10:30am and 1:30pm.

Cost: Free

Where:
Main Branch Gastonia Library
1555 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-868-2164
Website »

More information

Explore a gallery of rare instruments, experiment with the science of sound, and rock out with real keyboards, drums and guitars. Museum hours: Mon.-Fri., 9am-4pm; Sat., 10am-6pm; Sun., noon-5pm.

Cost: $12-$15, includes museum admission

Where:
Discovery Place
301 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Enjoy storytime that will stimulate your child's senses.

Cost: Free

Where:
Mooresville Public Library
304 South Main St.
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-664-2927
Website »

More information

Live musical entertainment, activities and attractions. Held rain or shine.

Cost: Free

Where:
Mint St. and Romare Bearden Park
800 S. Mint St.
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore math through books, hands-on educational activities and manipulatives.

Cost: Free

Where:
West Boulevard Library
2157 West Blvd.
Charlotte, NC  28208
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-7400
Website »

More information

Create upcycled art such as decoupage bookends, tin can lanterns, paper jewelry, book folding and other activities that involve the reuse of materials that might otherwise go into the landfill.

Cost: Free

Where:
Charlotte Main Library
310 North Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-0100
Website »

More information

Have fun with the family while DJ Little K entertains. This program is weather dependent.

Cost: Free for memebers, $5 for non-members

Where:
Anne Springs Close Greenway, Comporium Ampitheater
250 Dairy Barn Lane
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Website »

More information

Listen to a talented line-up of national musical acts with family and friends. Enjoy the food and craft beer selection.

Cost: $5 parking fee

Where:
U.S. National Whitewater Center
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy.
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

A continental perspective on wolves today and those that once roamed the Carolina Piedmont. Includes audio and interactive components. Museum hours: Tues., Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $3-$6

Where:
Museum of York county
4621 Mt. Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC  29732
View map »


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

Picture book sharing, finger plays and songs, nursery rhymes, and other activities. Hours: 10:30am and 1:30pm.

Cost: Free

Where:
Main Branch Gastonia Library
1555 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-868-2164
Website »

More information

Features dynamic interpretive kiosks, hands-on components, and objects on loan from NASA and the Smithsonian Institution. Museum hours:  Mon.-Sat., 9am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $6-$10, includes museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

Using animatronics and interactive technology, this traveling exhibit enlarges and brings to life the hidden world of insects through a variety of robotic creatures 40 to 120 times their size....

Cost: $10-$20, includes museum admission

Where:
South Carolina State Museum
301 Gervais Street, Loading Zone D
Columbia, SC  29214
View map »


Telephone: 803-348-6010
Website »

More information

Explore a gallery of rare instruments, experiment with the science of sound, and rock out with real keyboards, drums and guitars. Museum hours: Mon.-Fri., 9am-4pm; Sat., 10am-6pm; Sun., noon-5pm.

Cost: $12-$15, includes museum admission

Where:
Discovery Place
301 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Follow the story of Gastonia-based Tony's Ice Cream, enjoy displays of Ice cream production equipment and memorabilia. Museum hours: Mon.-Sat., 9am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $6-$9, includes museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-806-6900
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Wear brightly colored clothing and closed toe shoes. Other materials will be provided.

Cost: Free

Where:
Anne Springs Close Greenway
250 Dairy Barn Lane
Fort Mill, SC
View map »


Telephone: 803-547-4575
Website »

More information

Developmentally appropriate toys for children. Special community guests will be available to discuss child development and behaviors.

Cost: Free

Where:
Mooresville Public Library
304 South Main St.
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-664-2927
Website »

More information

Learn more about hawk migration, the best places to watch and count migrating raptors and then learn how to conduct your own hawk watch.

Cost: $8, includes museum admission

Where:
Charlotte Nature Museum
1658 Sterling Road
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Bring your lawn chairs or blankets and enjoy an evening of Big Band/Swing by the Moondance Orchestra.

Cost: Free

Where:
Mooresville Town Lawn
413 North Main Street
Mooresville, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-663-7026
Website »

More information

Using animatronics and interactive technology, this traveling exhibit enlarges and brings to life the hidden world of insects through a variety of robotic creatures 40 to 120 times their size....

Cost: $10-$20, includes museum admission

Where:
South Carolina State Museum
301 Gervais Street, Loading Zone D
Columbia, SC  29214
View map »


Telephone: 803-348-6010
Website »

More information

Explore a gallery of rare instruments, experiment with the science of sound, and rock out with real keyboards, drums and guitars. Museum hours: Mon.-Fri., 9am-4pm; Sat., 10am-6pm; Sun., noon-5pm.

Cost: $12-$15, includes museum admission

Where:
Discovery Place
301 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Features dynamic interpretive kiosks, hands-on components, and objects on loan from NASA and the Smithsonian Institution. Museum hours:  Mon.-Sat., 9am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $6-$10, includes museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-866-6900
Website »

More information

A street festival featuring a Labor Day parade, a full carnival, kids crafts, inflatables, live entertainment, pony and train rides and more family activities. Hours: Fri., 6-10pm; Sat., 9am-9pm;...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stumptown Park
120 S. Trade St.
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-708-1261
Website »

More information

Follow the story of Gastonia-based Tony's Ice Cream, enjoy displays of Ice cream production equipment and memorabilia. Museum hours: Mon.-Sat., 9am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $6-$9, includes museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-806-6900
Website »

More information

A continental perspective on wolves today and those that once roamed the Carolina Piedmont. Includes audio and interactive components. Museum hours: Tues., Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $3-$6

Where:
Museum of York county
4621 Mt. Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC  29732
View map »


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Boost reading skills and confidence by reading aloud to a volunteer therapy dog.

Cost: Free

Where:
Mint Hill Library
66840 Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Charlotte, NC  28227
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-5200
Website »

More information

Join theatre artist Andrea Michele as you focus on the stage by producing a scene from a selected narrative and perform it for Gantt Center supporters.

Cost: $7-$9, includes museum admission

Where:
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 S. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-547-3700
Website »

More information

Face Painters. Balloon Artists. Caricature Artists Strolling magician. Fifth Street Beats and Steve Langley for some live entertainment.

Cost: Free

Where:
Romare Bearden Park
300 S. Church St.
Charlotte, NC  28202
View map »


Website »

More information

Students are introduced to websites and online resources with accurate information to research topics for school projects. Kids can also explore databases and how to cite from them for homework....

Cost: Free

Where:
Mountain Island Library
4420 Hoyt Galvin Way
Charlotte, NC  28214
View map »


Telephone: 704-416-5600
Website »

More information

Part of Discovery Places newest exhibition, Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked The World, guests can enjoy a free concert series featuring local artists. From international inspirations of sitar to...

Cost: Free.

Where:
Tryon Street Patio in front of Discovery Place
301 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-372-6261
Website »

More information

Listen to a talented line-up of national musical acts with family and friends. Enjoy the food and craft beer selection.

Cost: $5 parking fee

Where:
U.S. National Whitewater Center
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy.
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Participate in vulture activities.

Cost: Free with paid admission to Raptor Trail

Where:
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC  28078
View map »


Website »

More information

Follow the story of Gastonia-based Tony's Ice Cream, enjoy displays of Ice cream production equipment and memorabilia. Museum hours: Mon.-Sat., 9am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $6-$9, includes museum admission

Where:
The Schiele Museum
1500 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC  28054
View map »


Telephone: 704-806-6900
Website »

More information

A street festival featuring a Labor Day parade, a full carnival, kids crafts, inflatables, live entertainment, pony and train rides and more family activities. Hours: Fri., 6-10pm; Sat., 9am-9pm;...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stumptown Park
120 S. Trade St.
Charlotte, NC
View map »


Telephone: 704-708-1261
Website »

More information

A continental perspective on wolves today and those that once roamed the Carolina Piedmont. Includes audio and interactive components. Museum hours: Tues., Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun., 1-5pm.

Cost: $3-$6

Where:
Museum of York county
4621 Mt. Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC  29732
View map »


Telephone: 803-329-2121
Website »

More information

Using animatronics and interactive technology, this traveling exhibit enlarges and brings to life the hidden world of insects through a variety of robotic creatures 40 to 120 times their size....

Cost: $10-$20, includes museum admission

Where:
South Carolina State Museum
301 Gervais Street, Loading Zone D
Columbia, SC  29214
View map »


Telephone: 803-348-6010
Website »

More information

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