Helping your Teen Navigate Their Emotions

Being a teenager can be a difficult and confusing time. Experiencing a variety of moods, or quickly changing emotions, is common for teens just as it is for adults. For teenagers, however, these mood swings may happen more frequently and may be more extreme in nature. In this week’s blog, we are going to share how parents can support their adolescent children as they experience the complex emotions of being a teenager.

Why are these extreme moods happening?

Along with the countless physical changes occurring during adolescence, there are many external stressors that can affect how your child is feeling on a regular basis. These factors could include school-related pressures, social challenges, or your child simply getting older and becoming more independent– which brings its own host of complexities. Your child is most likely learning to solve problems on their own, and they may even be living in their head more, thinking about challenges, relationships, school, and family. 

How can I help my child feel more supported during this time?

While you can’t stop your child from feeling such a vast array of emotions, there are things you can do to help them have more ups than downs. Understanding, or attempting to understand, what your teen is going through is an essential first step to supporting them. Some other steps you can take to support your child during this time include:

  • Giving them space. Allowing your child time to be alone can help them process their new experiences and emotions independently. Let them know you will be there once they are ready to talk. 
  • Providing outlets. Encouraging your child to stay connected to their hobbies and  interests is an excellent way to help them release stress. Finding outlets that fall within your child’s strengths can also help them clear their mind when things feel overwhelming.
  • Working together on coping strategies. Helping your child develop coping strategies will support their well-being in the short and long-term. Encourage them to get adequate rest, eat well, learn to talk about their feelings, and use mindfulness techniques. Additionally, help them understand that it is okay to feel down at times, and it is just another part of life and growing up.
  • Staying connected. Though you may notice your child withdrawing from you more as they get older, making a daily effort to spend intentional time with them goes a long way. Everyday activities such as sharing a meal, watching TV, or going for a walk are great ways to share time with your teen. 

Identifying whether your child is in crisis 

A  key part to helping your child manage the ups and downs of adolescence is learning to identify when their problems require immediate attention. A teen may be in crisis when their behavior puts them or others at risk of harm. Your teen may be in crisis if they are self-harming, expressing a desire to die, engaging in risky behaviors, or acting aggressively. In these situations, immediate professional help is necessary. 

New Perspective Counseling is here to help

If you are struggling to parent your child through the complexities of adolescence- or through a time of serious crisis– New Perspective Counseling is here to help. We have plenty of therapists specializing in family therapy, which often involves helping a parent learn new parenting techniques. This kind of therapy can help you: 

  • Better understand child development
  • Build skills that help you parent effectively
  • Strengthen your connection to your children

Please give us a call or make an appointment. We are here to help.