ALMOST all parents go through those difficult years where their teen seems to be completely withdrawn.
A once bubbly and playful child somehow becomes extraordinarily moody and never wants to talk – to you or anyone else.
dr Nihara Krause, a consulting clinical psychologist and founder of youth mental health services stem4, says she’s “often struck by how frequently parents ask for help when speaking to their children.”
Teenagers as young as 15 are the hardest to raise, according to a parent survey.
And managing their mood swings is the most stressful thing about raising a teenager, followed by helping them make important life decisions.
Teens are more likely to act out of emotion than logic because of their hormones, according to the NHS.
This can make it harder for them to understand what they are going through and requires a lot of patience, even for the calmest of parents.
You may feel that your child is purposely hiding information about their social and dating life from you, making you wonder if you remember who they are.
dr Krause says: “Part of growing up and developing an independent identity is that young people often don’t want to confide in their parents.
“Some also find it embarrassing to talk about themselves or don’t have words to describe what they’re feeling, especially when they’re not feeling well.”
While “mood” is often a side effect of growing up that most children outgrow, in some cases it can mask a mental health condition.
Symptoms of depression in adolescents include withdrawal from hobbies and loved ones, changes in eating and sleeping habits, and a feeling of hopelessness, says Dr. frill.
Even for those who are not clinically depressed, adolescence can be a challenging time with significant barriers at school, with friends, and with identity.
She added: “Regardless of the difficulty, it is important that young people feel comfortable [and] knowing that they are being supported to open up about their mental health.”
She told The Sun her three top tips for open communication between parents and teenagers.
1. Do an activity together
There’s no point in striking up a conversation with your teenager when you’re in the middle of the bread aisle at the grocery store.
“Anyone who wants to talk to their child or young person has to make themselves available,” says Dr. frill.
“That means being fully available, as they often see signs that you’re not listening or that you’re distracted.
“It also means providing regular and heartfelt opportunities for discussion, as it is rare for discussions to happen first time.”
It’s best to set up an activity that the two of you can do together and that your child knows they’ll have plenty of time to open up, such as B. walking, driving or cooking a meal.
dr Krause says: “It takes time to find out what could happen in a young person’s life, so you have to make regular catch-up appointments.
“It also helps them understand that you are interested and concerned.”
2. Listen – and don’t give an opinion
“When they tell you what might be affecting them, how you hear it is very important,” says Dr. frill.
“Be warm and accepting, or if that’s not possible, remain neutral.
“That’s because many young people don’t want to confide in their parents because they predict they’ll get angry, upset or scared.
“It’s acceptable to say you’re concerned and to assure them you’ll be there for them, even if what they’re saying is difficult to understand.”
You’ll probably want to step in and offer advice to your child (after all, you have life experience).
But dr Krause says, “Learning to listen is a skill, and the first steps are to listen with empathy, not to disturb, and to reflect on what you think the young person is saying to you.
“It means that you initially withhold any opinion or idea, as expressing your opinion or feeling will only silence the young person.”
The best way to move forward is to ask your teen how you can support them and encourage them to seek support from qualified professionals if you think it might be helpful.
This should be done cooperatively. It may take a few conversations before you get on the same page or even understand the task at hand.
“A pro and con approach to getting your point across is more balanced, and you may have to ask yourself if you’re the right person to help them hear a different message,” says Dr . frill.
3. Take care of oneself
Finding out that your teen is unhappy will take its toll on you too.
And they could be going through something that you can’t control or “fix.”
dr Krause says it’s important to “take care of yourself.”
She adds, “Knowing that your child or young person is going through a difficult time can have a huge emotional impact on parents and caregivers, so reach out and get some support for yourself, too.”
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https://www.thesun.ie/health/8794956/how-to-get-moody-teenager-talking-psychologist-tips/ I’m a psychologist and here are 3 ways you can deal with your ‘moody’ teen