Tween & Teenage Mood Swings: How to Handle During COVID
It’s natural for your tweens and teens to have more mood swings during the pandemic—but there are ways you can help.
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“Most of the time during COVID-19, it's about trying to find a way to relate to your child,” Dr. Beck says. “Let them know that you also miss seeing your friends, having a structure and routine. Having this empathy starts the dialogue in a non-combative way.”
Find small ways to help uplift your teen’s mood.
After the lines of communication are open, try incorporating solutions that can help mitigate future teenage mood swings and keep your child uplifted. They have been missing a lot of socialization opportunities, so it's important to try to keep them connected with their peers as these voids continue.
“Try to find opportunities to do things that reinforce the teen's identity,” Dr. Nash says. “If they are into a certain sport, is there any other way to do it? I recommend getting them outside with friends. In the New York City area, sledding is great. Or, they might need a ride somewhere. They need, as much as possible, a safe way to see their friends. A small investment like this can improve a child's mood for the day.”
Recognizing Sadness vs. Clinical Depression
Teenage mood swings are normal, but Dr. Nash recommends parents watch for signs that may require professional help, including:
Withdrawal from family and friends
Academic decline; a drop in grades
A change in demeanor; not smiling or laughing as much.
Lying often about assignments, school work, etc.
Crying often and any talk of suicide
Additional resources for parents: