Mood swings can be referred to as the rapid emotional changes in a person with extreme fluctuations of feelings such as happiness, sadness and anger. Every other person in the world might have experienced mood swings during some days of their life. Some days, they might feel energetic and hence spread positive emotions around the other people; while some other days, they might feel very low and lethargic. Though extreme and sharp mood swings are considered as symptoms for some mental illness, mild and moderate mood swings are just part of a normal life.
During adolescence, the mood swings create a huge impact on their relationship with parents, friends and relatives. It is believed that the teenagers undergo almost an emotional roller coaster during the adolescence, thanks to the huge hormonal changes happening within the body due to puberty. The production of sexual hormones such as estrogen and androgen causes visible physical and emotional changes in their body.
Especially in girls, the mood swings are quite frequent due to the monthly menstrual cycles. The menstrual cycles can be causing pain, discomfort and embarrassment, due to which they might feel very low and can cause impact in their relationship and academic performance. In some cycles, the menstrual flow can be high and sometimes, low. Similarly, the cycle can be short, say less than 3 days or long, more than 5 days. Until the menstrual cycle becomes normalized, the girls can be experiencing a lot of mood swings due to new menstrual process, the sanitation methods, etc.
The acceptance among their peers is considered as a main thing during the adolescence period for the teenager. The physical changes hugely influence their sense of identity and self image. Some of them feel awkward and confused about their physical changes, which, in turn, can impact their psychological being, thus resulting in mood swings. Along with the physical changes, the brain development (prefrontal cortex) is also under process, which largely influences the self-control and judgment of the teenager. Hence, when there are strong emotions during mood swings, the teenager is not able to identify a mechanism to control their emotions. They tend to blame their surroundings, including their parents for their misbehavior, as a result of misjudgment.
When the teenage children are undergoing such mood swings, it becomes more difficult for the parents to deal with them. However, the parents can help the teenagers to cope up with their mood swings. The most important one is educating their children about what physical and emotional changes they can expect during the adolescence phase. When the teenagers are well aware of the changes that are happening within their body, the mood swings can be controlled to a large manner, since they know what to expect. When there is no knowledge about why there is a physical change, they tend to panic more about the process, thus causing the mood swings.
The parents must also give the required space to the children to explore them and the surroundings. It is fine to let them alone, when they feel low and the need to cry. Do not stop them from crying, especially boys, saying that crying is an act of cowards; crying helps to release a large amount of stress hormones through their tears. The parents should also provide the necessary attention and love towards their children, to make them feel secured. A balanced diet (especially, breakfast), exercise and a good amount of sleep will help the teenagers to cope up with mood swings. Last, but not least, spending family time frequently will serve as a great stress buster to the children as well as the parents.