If your teen's mood fluctuates like a barometer, it's probably nothing to worry about. Teens and mood swings just go together. In fact, it's perfectly normal for teenagers to scroll through a variety of emotions, all in one day.
But that doesn't mean it's easy to live with a child who is pleasant one moment, and grumpy the next. Getting through the day (and the next few years) with a moody teen is a challenge for any parent. Here's how to help your teen manage her/his mood swings.
1. Be Understanding : It is no secret that teens have a variety of challenges to face. Puberty, middle school, social problems, homework, scores and more. In addition, your teen's body and brain are growing at a rapid pace, and that can be confusing to a child who is not ready for change, or unsure about what all those changes mean. Be understanding when your teen's mood swings surface, and try to remember how difficult things were for you when you were going through your own teen years.
2. Lighten Her/his Load : Teens schedules is loaded with responsibilities. From school work to extra-curricular activities, many teens run from one commitment to another without a break. If your teen's schedule seems unusually busy, or if she/he complains about having too much to do, it might be time to remove an activity or two from her schedule. See if a lighter load of commitments helps her/him adjust her/his mood and balance the day. You might find that her/his mood swings disappear when she/he has more free time to herself/himself.
3. Make Sure She/He Is Getting Enough Sleep : Teens need at least nine hours of sleep a night, but many aren't getting that much. See to it that your teen has ample time at night to transition from a busy day to bed time. Set a scheduled bedtime for weeknights and weekends. Make sure your teen is getting the recommended amount of sleep per night (even on weekends), and remove any devices from his/her room, such as a TV or a computer, that might be responsible for keeping him/her up. If your teen's favourite television program interferes with his/her rest, record the show so he/she can watch it another time.
4. Let Her/Him Chill with Friends : Friendships are very important to teens, and teens need their own social circle outside the family. Sometimes mood swings can be stopped or prevented by a simple visit or a phone call from a friend.It's important for teens to feel accepted by their peers and to have the security of knowing that they have friends at school, on athletic teams, and in other important areas of their lives. Make sure your teen is developing good friendship and has time to hangout with his/her friends frequently. Sleepovers are a great way for teens to bond with their friends, and make new ones. If your child is too busy to find time to spend with friends, it might be time to rearrange his/her schedule.
5. Offer Fun Family Time : Your teen may be making a lot of friends, but it's important that she maintains a close relationship with you as well. Be sure your family plans monthly family outings, or schedule some one-on-one time with your teen to go to a movie, take a class, or enjoy other activities. Spending time with you could be just what your teen needs, and you'll enjoy it, too.
6. Make Sure She/He is Exercising : Exercise is an important part of every day, and growing teen bodies are especially in need of exercise to keep them strong and give them the stamina they need to face their busy days and the teen years ahead. If your child doesn't participate in a sport activity, be sure he/she spends some time walking, bicycling, skateboarding, or is engaged in other non-competitive sports. A walk around the neighbourhood after dinner can help keep her/him in shape, and if you walk together it provides opportunity for the two of you to catch-up with one another.
7. Get Your Teen to Open Up : Sometimes teens exhibit mood swings because there is something going on in their lives that is stressful. It could be a fight with a good friend, a problem at school, or something going on at home. Be sure you allow your teen the opportunity to open up to you, in case of concerns. Be sympathetic and help her/him solve her/his problems. Be optimistic with your teen, and offer-up solutions to her/his problems. And give her/him time to get over whatever is concerning her/him. Sometimes a little time works wonders.