“With the shift in their hormones and the changing in their bodies shaking their definition of themselves, they have a lot to be grouchy about.”

Tweens can be moody little turds sometimes. With the shift in their hormones and the changing in their bodies shaking their definition of themselves, they have a lot to be grouchy about. As parents, we certainly don’t want to indulge bad behavior, but we do want to give them room and language for the emotions they are experiencing. We need to be able to tell them that it’s ok to be in a bad mood.

For us, there are plenty of times when we are just in a grouchy mood. We go through our cycles of emotions based on the time of the month, the amount of sleep we get and basic life events that can affect how we feel. As adults, we have learned tools to deal with these feelings appropriately and keep on with our day. To a tween aged kid, this can all feel like a rollercoaster and be completely overwhelming. Ideally, we need to know when to be able to step in and help them talk about it, but perhaps just as importantly, we need to know when to step back and let them be.

I encourage my eleven year old boy to open up.  We had an instance recently where he experienced intense feelings of envy and he didn’t really understand why he was so angry at this person. I helped talk him through how it is normal to feel envy at times. It doesn’t make us a bad person to have those feelings. What we must be careful of, is our actions.

Another instance, that happens much more frequently is the moodiness. He some times  seem a little glum or detached. I try to let him be if it seems he doesn’t want to talk. My son is very proud of his independence and will often share things after he has worked it out on his own. It is important to try to understand your child’s emotional language and clues. Be patient, breathe through it. Let them know you are there but be sure to let them have alone time and space to process the ever-changing reality of being not yet a child but not yet an adult.

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