Mood swings are normal during the teenage years. Your teen may hug you one minute and then stomp away the next – with barely any provocation. So, what can a parent do?
Let’s talk about some of the ways in which you can best handle the awkward moments in your teenager’s life, and where your teen can go to see a pediatrician who specializes in older kids and young adults here in Purchase and Westchester County.
Rise Above Your Adolescent’s Behavior
Even the most composed parents can be tested by teenagers. When you have additional stressors in your life, such as work, family obligations, or illness, it can feel as if your teen is about to push you over the brink.
Try to take a step back and remember that you went through similar issues when you were growing up. Do you remember your parents overreacting? Try to react the way you wished your parents would have reacted, with calmness and understanding, but also while standing firm.
You’re the adult now, so it’s your obligation to help them get through the tough times, which isn’t always easy. Expect to not always enjoy your time with them, and remember to take care of yourself. It won’t be long before they’re an adult, too.
Watch for Excessive Moodiness and Possible Depression
Depression affects 1 in every 8 teenagers. Keep an eye out for signs including changes in eating patterns, changes in sleep patterns, decreased energy, and excessive irritability. Remember that teens need more sleep than anyone, so let them sleep in on the days when they don’t have other commitments.
If you see significant deviations from your teen’s regular behavior, have them see a physician who specializes in treating teenagers. Go with your teen to the appointment, and tell them you’ll treat them afterward as a reward. Do not let them go themselves; if they’re depressed or having mental health issues, they’ll simply go somewhere else and give you an excuse, such as “car trouble.”
Note the Teen’s Diet and Fitness
Keep an eye on what your adolescent eats (or doesn’t eat). A healthy diet can have a significant impact on a child’s mood and cognitive abilities.
Multiple studies have found that teens who ate breakfast had better moods and were more attentive than those who did not. Also, is your adolescent physically active? Exercise releases positive natural chemicals in the body that improve mood and decrease stress.
If you give your teen any advice regarding diet and exercise, be sure to practice what you preach and lead by example.
Drop It (for Now)
There are moments when our teenagers become irrationally upset. It’s a good idea to stop if you can feel your blood pressure rising at an alarming rate – say something like, “Hey, let’s talk about this after dinner,” so your teen doesn’t think you’re dismissing them.
It’s critical not to dismiss the issue totally. Continuing to sweep problems under the rug will eventually lead to an explosive argument; dealing with issues is always better after everyone has had something to eat.
Do Not Bottle Up Your Concerns
If you’re concerned that your teen is having unprotected sex or using drugs, talk calmly to them and point them to appropriate resources. It is best for them to see a pediatrician, who will give them recommendations and possibly a prescription.
Above all, remember what it was like to be that age, and be kind. Even if your teen doesn’t act like it, you’re the person your kid needs the most.
Mental Health Professionals for Teens in Purchase, New York
If you’re concerned about your child’s physical or mental health, schedule a consultation with a medical professional who specializes in treating teens and young adults at BridgeSpan Medicine. Our team of highly skilled specialists offers customized counseling and medical services to help you improve and protect your teen’s mental health and physical health.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, call our office today at (914) 698-5544 or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to being your teenager’s healthcare partner!