Family Life

A constant minefield: How to deal with your moody teen

Parenting a teen can be like walking through an endless minefield – you just never know when they will explode next.

It can be so tense, and can cause a lot of stress, anxiety and frustration for the whole family.

There are many reasons for your teen’s irrational and sometimes erratic behaviour, such as their raging hormones.

Your teen is going through many physiological changes, affecting their moods; and it can be nerve-wracking for parents.

Life pressures, along with the added stress of trying to understand and parent your teen, can be challenging.

So, how do you deal with their seemingly endless bad behaviour?

1. Look after yourself

Firstly, breathe and take a step back. Sometimes our first impulse is to react without thinking, which isn’t always the most helpful thing to do. Make sure you have support from friends, family or a guidance counsellor – it helps to have someone to vent to.

2. Be a parent, not a friend

What your teen needs now is your support and guidance. Teens crave discipline and structure, and they will thank you more for being their parent instead of trying to be their friend – they have enough of those.

3. Pick your arguments

Arguments are inevitable, but pick carefully which ones are worth having. Teens are messy, and while it’s frustrating, is it worth fighting over? On the other hand, if they were to stay out late or come home drunk, or you suspect they have taken drugs; then these are fights worth having, as they are negatively impacting them and their wellbeing.

4. Listen when they talk to you

While it’s easy to get frustrated and sometimes explode, try to calmly sit and listen to them. They are going through a very confusing time themselves, and it will help them if they feel they can turn to you in times of stress. Be their calm.

5. Health and wellbeing

It is up to you to make sure they are fit and healthy. Not getting enough rest or healthy food can lead to irritability. So, try to ensure they are getting healthy nutritious foods and not binging on junk.

Also, make sure they are spending enough time out and about with their friends, which will help them to relax. Sleep is so important, so make sure they are getting enough quality sleep each night.

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