If you are the parent of a teenager, you are familiar with mood swings. One minute, your teen is happy and loving, the next they are sullen or angry. These mood swings can happen fast and can seem to come out of nowhere.

You may find yourself wondering what you did or said to cause this shift in your teen’s mood. The truth is, you probably didn’t do anything wrong at all. Your teen’s mood swings are normal, and there is not much that can be done to stop it.

Your teen is slowly becoming an adult and they are developing the skills they need to handle the pressures of the adult world, but this process takes time. They may have a school project due, have chores around the house to complete, and then they get into an argument with their best friend.

Some of these things may seem silly or trivial, as you have work to do and a lot more housework on top of that. Try to remember that your teen’s brain is still growing and they may simply not have the ability to handle all of those pressures and keep a smile on their face at all times.

While you may not be able to end your teen’s mood swings all together, you can use these techniques to help both you and your teen learn to cope:

• Encourage your teen to talk to you when they feel upset or overwhelmed. Let them know that you are there for them, and that you have experienced those same feelings from time to time.

• If your teen doesn’t want to talk, encourage them to express their feelings in a creative way, such as painting, drawing, or writing. Let them know that they can keep this private, that they do not need to show anyone. Once they get their frustrations out, they will feel a lot better and will be able to move on.

• Try not to react to your teen’s mood swings. Sometimes, they say things just to get a reaction. If you ignore the bait, they may change their attitude.

• If you and your teen do get into an argument, diffuse the situation by getting up and taking a break. When both you and your child are calmed down, you can finish discussing the issue.

At times, it can seem like your teen is from a foreign country. They have different behavior and customs and sometimes, and sometimes it can seem as though they are speaking a different language.

Even though there are difficult times, try to enjoy this period of your child’s life as much as possible, because these years will go by very fast.

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To learn more ways to cope with your teen’s mood swings (and generally understand them better), visit: . Understanding My Teen.