Before you found out that your daughter has PCOS, you probably thought:
PCOS is a real emotional roller coaster, for sure, and it’s even more complicated when your teenage daughter has PCOS. In addition to all the usual teen stuff, she’s probably dealing with more anxiety, depression, and moodiness than usual. It can be challenging, but there are some hidden rewards, along with some ways to keep your family in balance when your daughter’s hormones are out of control.
First, let’s address something important: your possible feelings of guilt, shame, anger, and sadness:
PCOS can be passed from the mother’s side, the father’s side, or both. Your daughter’s sister(s) may not be showing symptoms of PCOS but may be at higher risk of the same health concerns. Males in the family are also at higher risk of endocrine abnormalities. Be especially mindful if there’s any family history of diabetes or thyroid disorders; these things tend to go together, so everyone needs to be on top of their health. It will help your daughter feel less isolated with her PCOS too.
Be open and honest with your daughter and the rest of the family when talking about PCOS. The one with PCOS isn’t the only one who needs to know about it. You all need to know the health risks, how to combat those risks, and how to work on building a healthier lifestyle.
Include the whole family in making any recommended changes to diet, exercise, or lifestyle. Go out bike-riding or hiking together instead of watching a show on television. Teach all the kids how to cook basic foods, do a little grilling, and even make healthy baked goods. If you don’t know, learn together. (Bonus payoff: your waistline and cardiovascular risk will probably go down in the process.) Practice stress reduction together; you can’t expect your daughter to do what you won’t do. Maybe that’s meditating together in the mornings before school, going to family therapy, or just scheduling regular times for father/daughter talk time – a “walk and talk” is a great way to kill two birds with one stone. Suggest that she join my private Facebook group, PCOS Wellness for Teens (QBR: needs to be a hyperlink).
Be prepared to ask a lot of questions. Here’s some help figuring out what to ask. She is overwhelmed, confused, and upset. She needs someone to be her advocate, and it shouldn’t just be her mother.
Remember: PCOS is tough, but you’re tougher! Your daughter has PCOS and is depending upon you to be strong for her, supportive, caring, and concerned, even when she’s acting like the worst sort of moody teen. Together, you can master PCOS.
P. G. Crosignani, A. E. Nicolosi; Polycystic ovarian disease: heritability and heterogeneity, Human Reproduction Update, Volume 7, Issue 1, 1 January 2001, Pages 3–7, https://doi.org/10.1093/humupd/7.1.3. Retrieved 5.18.18.
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