Many teenagers experience moodiness and irritability; however, by following a few simple tips, you may be able to promote a more peaceful home environment.
- When teenagers are feeling irritated, they often isolate themselves by going to their bedrooms alone or leaving the house to engage in a solitary activity. Unfortunately, this isolation often leads to increased moodiness, anger, and depression. It may be beneficial to spend time with the teen, especially on days when he or she seems moody. The family may collaborate to complete a task, such as cooking a meal together, exercising, or playing a board game.
- If the above strategy does not result in positive change, an additional step in preventing rapid mood changes is to determine the most likely triggers for anger and irritability. This can be done by keeping track of the teenager’s anger outbursts or moody episodes. The teen or parents can record these behaviors on the chart, along with any events that may have triggered the mood change, such as an unpleasant event, presentation of a difficult task, or negative interaction with a peer or family member. It may also be helpful to record the teen’s sleeping and eating patterns for moody days, as well as any medication usage, as these may influence moodiness. When the teen and his or her parents understand what causes the irritability, it will become easier to prevent mood changes before they occur.
- Staying busy and healthy can lead to decreased moodiness. Encourage the teen to engage in regular physical activity (e.g. swimming, skating, sports, walking the dog), make healthy food choices, and avoid alcohol and drugs. These healthy choices are often key to preventing moodiness.
Cultivating a positive relationship between the teen and his or her parents along with healthy, eating, sleep, and exercise are keys in combating moodiness. If you have tried these strategies and you or your teen continues to demonstrate significant variability in mood, it may be beneficial to seek help from a mental health professional.