How To Defuse Moods Swings...
Stomping. Screaming. Slamming doors. Every parent tries not to laugh-cry with despair when their teenager is in the throes of a tantrum. And no, we don’t mean the kind they used to have when they were two years old and really wanted an ice cream. (Looking back, they were kind of cute in comparison, weren’t they?) We’re talking full-blown, PMS-fuelled mood swings that make the house shudder.
Linda Blair, a clinical psychologist, explains that: “Teenagers can be largely emotional rather than logical because of the hormones rampaging through their bodies. It is not necessarily pleasant for them, and it can even feel frightening. Although it might be hard for you, they need you to maintain a calm consistent presence.
So instead of shooting steam from your ears whilst you wonder how to deal with the moodiest of mood swings, take a deep breath and use these six tips to calm your cranky teen down…
1. Take time to listen
As a parent you probably think you know best (most of the time you probably do), but that doesn’t mean what your teenager is saying isn’t completely valid. Encourage them to calm down then ask them to air their concerns – and don’t interrupt until they finish. That way they feel respected and you can try and have an open, two-way conversation to clear up the problem.
2. Allow them some privacy
If they don’t want to scream and shout at you, but rather strut around the house grunting, it doesn’t mean they’ve lost the means to communicate. Chances are they’re probably confiding in people who they believe truly understand them: their friends. It’s important they know they’re not alone so allow your child the space to vent, whether it’s giving them their confiscated phone back for an hour or inviting their best friend round for a sleepover. Once they’ve got it all off their chest they might even start talking to you again!
3. Suggest extra sleep
Remember that two year old we mentioned earlier? Well, just like toddlers, teens (and even adults, tbh) tend to struggle with their emotions a whole lot more when they’re tired. Suggest some down time or a little cat nap, this will help them recharge their batteries and give them a much clearer outlook on why they were angry in the first place. Heck, by now, they’ve probably forgotten anyway.
4. Keep an eye on their diet
Food is incredibly important in a growing teenager’s life, not only for the body but for the mind, too. Filling their plate with spinach might not directly help with emotional angst (in fact we can almost guarantee it will make it instantly worse), but an overall approach to a healthier lifestyle will. Less fast food and sugar means less ‘sugar crashes’ which can cause lack of focus, frustration and one of their famous moods…
5. Don’t hold grudges
Teenagers can be vicious at times but try not to let them hurt your feelings. After all, they are still young and learning how to navigate relationships, even with their parents. Once the storm has passed, start afresh. Go for a walk, go for a pizza, do whatever you do when you’re in that happy parent-child place and put the past behind you. Remember, love always wins.
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