If you’re the parent of a teenager, you might feel like your teen’s mood changes from day to day. Sometimes, they’re happy and cheerful. But at other times, they’re angry, anxious, or upset over minor issues that may not seem like a big deal to you.
Dealing with their mood swings might be frustrating. You may feel like they’re getting upset over things that aren’t such a big deal. Some days, you might feel like you’re walking on eggshells, hoping that a seemingly benign comment won’t start a fight.
Although the teen years can be tough for parents, it’s important to remember that your teen is also going through a difficult time. The teen years can be emotionally intense. Understanding why your teen is so susceptible to mood swings can help you sympathize with their problems.
Here’s why teens deal with frequent mood swings, and how you can support them.
Your teen is going through puberty, which means they’re experiencing dramatic hormonal changes. There’s no way to completely avoid the emotional impact of these changes. Your teen’s brain is developing, and with that comes mood swings.
They feel their emotions more intensely than they once did. And they don’t necessarily know how to cope with these strong feelings in a healthy way. Therefore, they’re prone to lashing out.
Shifting Societal Expectations
Your teen might feel like the world still treats them like a child. Yet at the same time, they’re expected to act like an adult. They’re still in high school, but they’re trying to make important, mature decisions about their future career path. To your teen, it can seem like they just can’t win.
They’re stuck in between two different stages of life. Dealing with these shifting societal expectations, and being caught in the middle, can easily influence mood swings. Your teen might be irritated that they don’t have the same privileges and independence that comes with adulthood, but people around them seem to expect them to be an adult already.
Your teen might feel like they’re under an intense amount of pressure. They may feel as though they need to get perfect grades, get into the best possible college, take on a million extracurriculars, and have a thriving social life all at the same time.
It’s also important to remember that your teen is encountering many of these emotionally intense situations for the very first time. Heartbreak, losing a friend, or dealing with professional or academic rejection might not feel like a big deal to an adult who has been through it all before and knows they can bounce back. But when your teen is dealing with a problem like this, it can feel like nothing will ever be okay again.
Tips for Managing Teen Mood Swings
Encourage Healthy Outlets
How can you support your teen during this tumultuous time? Try to help them find a healthy emotional outlet. This could mean physical exercise, a creative hobby, or any other healthy activity that allows them to blow off steam.
Teens often feel overwhelmed by their strong emotions. When you’re young, you’re still experiencing many You can also start teaching your teenager skills for emotional regulation. You may want to invite your teen to come to yoga or meditation classes with you, or simply change the way you talk to them. Remember, your teen takes behavioral cues from you.
Learning to have constructive conversations rather than arguments is key. If your teen’s mood swings are affecting your household, and your own support doesn’t seem to be enough, you could also consider seeking out a therapist who works with teens.
Is your teen struggling with intense mood swings? Working with a therapist can help them. Reach out to us today to discuss your options for scheduling your teen’s first session.