Supporting Your Moody Teen
Transformations that happen in adolescence can be hard on both teens and their parents. Adolescence is known as one of the most stressful periods of a person’s development and growth. Teens face many changes and challenges. They change physically, cognitively, socially and emotionally. While some teenagers go through these changes go smoothly, others experience a wide range of difficulties, from substance use and risk-taking behaviors to eating disorders, low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression.
It is common for teenagers to be laughing and having fun one moment and falling into despair the next. In most cases, these radical and rapid mood swings are a normal part of adolescence. However, sometimes moodiness in teens can be a red flag that signals more serious problems.
Keep in mind that your teen is going through a very specific and delicate stage of their development. Only with your support, they will thrive and develop into healthy adults. Here are some tips on how to support your moody teen and help them cope with adolescence challenges.
Understand the Role of Hormones
Keep in mind that your child is struggling to cope with the body and hormonal changes, along with pressures from school and friends, and developing independence and identity. Hormonal shifts that happen in your teen’s body during puberty strongly influence their thoughts and emotions. All of these changes may make your teen feel confused, sad, lonely, frustrated, or scared. These strong emotions can lead to mood swings. Also, your teen may mask their feelings with aggression or withdraw and become emotionally distanced. Strive to have open communication with your teen, letting them know that you are available and willing to listen and help when they need you.
Keep in Mind that Your Teen’s Brain is Still Developing
Neuroscientific research has shown that not all parts of the humans’ brain develop at the same pace. The prefrontal lobe of the brain that is responsible for impulse control, decision-making, judgment, and problem-solving isn’t fully developed until our early 20s. Because this part of their brain is still developing, your teen may rely on the part of the brain known as the amygdala to make decisions and solve problems. The amygdala is connected with emotional life, impulses, intuition, instinctive behavior, and aggression. In other words, the amygdala matures sooner than the prefrontal cortex, which may explain your teen’s moodiness and impulsivity.
Set Clear Boundaries
It is important to set the rules and boundaries for communication and behavior. Allow your teen to participate in developing these rules. Use rewards for positive behaviors and set consequences for poor behavior. While they may protest, setting the boundaries helps teens feel safe.
Strive to understand the possible roots of your teens’ moody behavior. Be open and ready to listen and support them and show that you appreciate and understand them. Even if they don’t ask for it, your teen needs you to provide stability and support.
In order to provide this support, you must move into more of a conscious parenting mindset. If you are ready to make a shift towards becoming the best individual AND parent you can be, book a time to speak with me to find out if Parent Coaching is right for you!