It’s easy to misinterpret our child’s moody or sullen conduct, sarcastic remarks, or irritation as a real attempt to wear us down to our last nerve. Yet, a significant portion of it can be attributed to their hormones. Their bodies are going through significant changes and growth, both of which have a way of amplifying the feelings that they already feel.
Spend some time educating yourself about the changes that are taking place in your teen’s brain and body, and then discuss what you’ve learned with your adolescent child. The more conscious they are of the fact that the intensified feelings they are experiencing are typical and to be expected, the more chance they will have of really exercising control over those feelings.
The intense drive our teenagers have to find their identities and become independent is another component that can contribute to their mercurial moods. As they strive (and sometimes struggle) for more autonomy, they experience inner turmoil, which can cause them to behave erratically and unpredictably at times. This can sometimes be attributed to the fact that they are fighting for more independence.
Regarding mood swings among teenagers, I’ve found that the most important thing to remember is that we shouldn’t do anything to fan the flames of their feelings. In other words, maintain your composure, don’t say anything that would make the situation worse, and just keep going with what you were doing. We never produce positive results when we respond too strongly to a problem.
I have to admit that there were more than a few occasions in which I was pleased that my teenage daughters could seek refuge behind the closed doors of their bedrooms.
Their mood swings left me feeling fatigued and whiplashed, despite the fact that I had to dig deep within myself to find more patience (even when I didn’t have any left to spare). After a long day, the best medicine for both my children and me was to just give them some personal space, some time to think, some time to breathe, and some time to decompress from the day’s events.
A recent study at Harvard University found that engaging in physical activity, even if it’s just for a short period, can significantly impact our mood and even lessen the likelihood that we will develop a severe depressive disorder.
When our teenagers make a commitment to get (and stay) moving, whether it’s high-intensity exercise, such as running, or low-intensity exercise, such as walking, it can add up in good ways for their mood and overall outlook on life. In addition to the profoundly positive health benefits of getting fit and healthy, this includes the profoundly positive health benefits of getting fit and healthy.
Sometimes our young people need more support to get them through this time. Having a counselor, coach or mentor is so helpful during this time. As always, we are here to support you and your teen. Call us today to talk with one of our counselors. You don’t have to do this alone.