Skip to main content

How to handle your child’s teenage mood swings with ease

For years, you’ve been your child’s hero and confidant. You were the coolest person in your happy kid’s life and their go-to friend in the good times and the bad — until one day, everything you said was wrong and arguments became the main form of communication. If your child rolls your eyes more times a day than you can count and your patience is already hanging by a very thin thread, then let us welcome you to the teenage years. The transition from childhood to adulthood is a tough one for both kids and parents alike. But with lots of love, discipline and coping techniques you can strengthen your parent-child bond during this time. Here are our best tips to help you not only survive your child’s teenage phase but even learn to cherish it for the growth it represents.

Practice compassion

As parents, we are often so involved in our “real” problems that it can be easy to overlook or disregard your teenager’s problems. Though the things that trouble them may seem trivial as compared with adult financial responsibilities or professional issues, this doesn’t make your child’s worries any less real.

mother and teenager
Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

Whether they’re preoccupied with friends, social media or school, teenage problems are equally important and deserving of your understanding. Take the time to talk to your child about what worries them and show empathy for the difficulties that they face.

If your kid seems reluctant to share their concerns, it’s always a good idea to be the first one to open up the conversation. Tell them about some of the problems that you deal with and ask for their opinion. Just be sure to share wisely and avoid causing distress in your child. The problems that you choose to share must be relevant to the issues that your teenager is going through and shouldn’t cause anxiety for their well-being. Use your own judgment, and find a balance between being open and oversharing.

Make an effort to bond

Though it may seem like your teenager is miles away from you these days, the reality is that they’re still the same child who snuck into your room in the middle of the night and thought you were stronger than any monster under their bed. There are many simple activities that you can still enjoy together. A movie, craft or a good song are all little moments that you can share with your child.

If a song reminds you of something or a movie takes you back to your own teenage years, these are all opportunities to start a conversation that can help you bond with your child. You’ll soon realize that you have a lot more in common than you think.

Exercise together

Working out is a fantastic way to connect with your teenage child. Arguments are less likely to occur when you’re jogging, kicking a ball around or swimming in the pool. Physical activity is a great mood enhancer, and it doesn’t require much conversation. But don’t be surprised if you notice that your teenager starts to open up while you exercise. Be prepared for them to start talking more than they have in a while.

Listen more than you talk

mother and daughter talking
LightField Studios / Shutterstock

Once your teenager starts to open up, it’s your time to be quiet and listen. As simple as that. Sharing their thoughts and ideas isn’t always easy for them. They’re often afraid that you’ll pass judgment or take these as opportunities to lecture them.

But if you want to have more of these special moments with your child, you must resist the temptation to give your opinion before your child is done talking. Once they’ve expressed themselves and gotten their feelings out, it’s your turn to share.

At times, it can’t hurt to ask if they want your opinion before you let them know what you think. Assuming that all is relatively well and no one is at risk, it’s a good idea to check in with your kid and see if they want to know your thoughts. After all, there have probably been plenty of times when you only vented with a friend without looking for their opinion or approval.

And if your child does accept your opinion, then thank them for trusting you and be honest in what you say. Teenagers can see right through a parent who is trying too hard and always prefer your honest opinion.

Set boundaries

There is a fine line between being your child’s parent and their friend. There are moments for each, and it’s much easier for both parties to understand the difference when expectations are clear. When rules are in place and they don’t change from one day to the next, there’s no room for disappointment. Your child knows what their responsibilities are, and they know what happens if they break the rules or fail to fulfill their duties.

Punish appropriately

Just because your child is growing and may even be taller than you at this point, it doesn’t mean that they get to do whatever they want. Their actions still have consequences, and you’d be doing them a disservice if they don’t learn this from you.

Having said that, it’s also important to make sure that punishments are in proportion to the offense. If necessary, take time to figure out what is the right consequence. You may discuss it with your partner or even with your child. Once the punishment has been set, make sure you follow through.

Set the example

As a parent, it’s very easy to get frustrated, especially after you’ve asked them to change their behavior many times but it seems to go in one ear and out the other. However, you are the adult here and should set the example of what is an appropriate reaction.

Bursting into anger is not the way to go, especially with a teenager who has no shortage of attitude. If you stay calm and collected, you will be showing them the proper behavior rather than just telling them about it.

If this is difficult to do, take five minutes or hours! It’s OK to take time to process information and assess the situation.

Not so long ago, you were a teenager yourself. But for some reason, when our children reach this age, we easily turn into our own parents. That’s because adolescence is a difficult phase to process. With all the hormonal changes and your child growing before your eyes, it’s OK to struggle. The best thing you can do as a parent is embrace the change patiently, communicate with your child and make sure they are safe. And remember, this too shall pass.

How to relieve constipation in your toddler safely
Tips to help your toddler with this common issue
Child on a potty

No one likes feeling constipated, and that includes toddlers. Fortunately, there are ways to relieve constipation in your toddler safely. It can be easy for toddlers to suffer from constipation and if parents don't help them alleviate the discomfort, it can lead to a very cranky little one. It requires patience, but how to help toddlers with constipation can be far less intense than it seems.

Constipation can be caused by not drinking enough water, not eating enough fiber, getting sick, taking certain medicines, stress, or deliberately holding in stool during potty training because it hurts. It could also happen if they are scared of the potty, they don't want to stop playing to go, or it might be a control issue. Thankfully, several simple solutions ensure this issue doesn't drag on or get worse.

Read more
How old do you have to be to fly alone? Read this before booking your kid’s trip
Find out the right age for solo flying and other important facts
Little girl watching movie on the seat-back TV screen while enjoying her airline meal

If you thought traveling with kids was stressful, try sending them off on a flight alone. For many parents, it's necessary to send their child on a flight by themselves, whether it's for a vacation, to visit a parent who lives far away, or for any number of reasons. If you find yourself in a position where your child may need to travel without you, you may ask yourself, "How old do you have to be to fly alone?"
All airlines have their own rules and regulations regarding unaccompanied minors, so parents or caregivers must be aware that there isn't one specific set of rules that applies to all airlines. Before booking any trip, parents need to ensure they know the airline's policy regarding how old they have to be to fly alone and be aware that there are often extra fees that apply when a child flies without an adult.

When can children fly alone?
Typically, airlines have unaccompanied minor policies in place for children between the ages of 5 and 14 years old, which means children under 5 are not allowed to fly solo, regardless of whether they're traveling with an older unaccompanied minor or not.

Read more
4-year-old birthday party ideas: 7 low-stress themes your child will love
Have a preschool party to remember with these cool birthday party ideas
Boy is excited for his fourth birthday

Birthdays are the best when your kids are in preschool. There's so much excitement wrapped up in their upcoming birthday. Of course, you will want to have a party to mark the special occasion. This is such a fun age. Preschoolers are curious, have a great deal of energy, and love to play. When putting together a fabulous fourth birthday party, you'll need to have an engaging theme, but you also don’t want to overload yourself with added stress. Thankfully, soon-to-be 4-year-olds have a wealth of interests to choose an engaging theme from. There also isn't a shortage of 4-year-old birthday party ideas that are absolutely amazing.

Whether you're hosting at home, outside, or holding the party at a venue, the theme sets the tone for the party’s decor, cake, and goodie bags. To avoid giving yourself extra anxiety, pick a theme that’s easy to implement, easy on the budget, and of course, one that kids will be thrilled about. So, let's get ready to celebrate because we have a list of 4-year-old birthday party ideas that are fantastic.

Read more