When your kid is in elementary school, it’s pretty even-keeled in your house. Sure, you have the meltdowns over toys and going to bed when the sun is still shining, but overall, you can distract them easily if a meltdown has started. Then your sweet little dumplings enter middle school and the game changes in a big way. Hormones are changing and the kid that you once bounced on your knee while giving butterfly kisses is now a full-rage teenager. No, you’re not imagining things and no, they don’t all of a sudden have multiple personalities, they are just entering that phase of life that has their hormones out of whack and it’s making them (and you) go bonkers!
So, what’s a person to do!? Let’s break it down…
It’s time for a candid discussion.
At this age, they have probably sat through at least one class in school where hormones are discussed but use this time to have an open discussion about it. Let them ask questions. Pull up websites to show them drawings of the female reproductive organs, if that helps ease the tension regarding having this discussion. Visuals also help paint the picture so-to-speak of things that they cannot see with their own eyes. Explain the role of hormones and how they effect our moods. Giving your teens the knowledge to know what is happening and why it’s happening can help keep their reactions in check.
Appreciate the “good” times.
If your teen is letting their hormones get the best of them, try to not take it personally. Instead, when they are having a “good” day, view that as your “in” and teach them ways to handle their emotions. We all have a range of emotions that we experience every day, the difference is as adults, we’ve learned how to cope with them. Anger, for example, is a perfectly natural emotion but unleashing that anger physically or verbally isn’t always the best thing to do. Look up various things your son or daughter can do when they are experiencing these extreme emotions and provide them with the tools to keep them in check. Explaining how their actions impact the entire household is also something that should be pointed out. If your child is at a place in their life where their parent/guardian “doesn’t know anything,” ask another trusted adult that is close with your child to have a talk with them. Sometimes it takes someone other than a parent telling us something for it to sink in.
Encourage alone time.
When you are around people all day, particularly if you’re having a bad day, don’t you just crave some time to yourself to decompress and refresh your mindset? The same thing should go for your kids. If they are having an “off” day, encourage them to go chill in their rooms or go somewhere quiet to read a book or converse with a friend on the phone. Being still allows you to work through your thoughts and allows your mind to slow down and reset. If things start to get out of hand, send them to their room to rest.
Dealing with teenage mood swings is one of the hardest parts of parenting. By the skin of your teeth, you’ll make it through and live to tell the tales that occurred during that time of parenting. Until then, take comfort in knowing that millions of parents are out there dealing with the same thing.
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