How to Deal with a Moody Teenager

How to Deal with a Moody Teenager: 5 Ways to Cope with Your Teenager When He is Acting Out.Do you have a moody teenager? If you haven’t experienced it yet, you will. One day your precious child will wake up and not like you–AT ALL. You make think you have experienced some hard times as a parent with your five-year-old, but you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

You see, there is a big difference when your 5-year-old is moody, and when your 13-year-old is moody. 

I don’t doubt a 5-year-old can act badly, but a 13-year-old can conjure up the force of nature and create a whirlwind. It is a sight to see…

Unfortunately, I have experienced this problem a few times in my parenting journey. In this post, I am going to tell you how to deal with a moody teenager. But first, let’s look at some of the theatrics you may have to experience. 

Related: Are You Dying Inside As a Mom: 5 Ways to Get Free 

Possible Ways You May Experience a Moody Teenager

Here are some (not all) things you could experience with your teenager:

1. Door slamming.

This is a favorite of a moody teenager. It’s loud and gets to the point. I suggest you go back and have your teen open and close the door correctly a few times. Maybe 10x first offense, and 20x for the next offense.

If the door slamming doesn’t stop, there is the remove-the-door-completely-until- further-notice option. That works.

2. Yelling

First, were you yelling? Don’t yell. Chances are if you keep your voice down, your teen will, too. Second, if your teen does start to yell then stop. Say nothing. Stare at him for a few seconds and let things cool off.

State that you will continue the conversation when he can talk in a regular voice. Don’t allow yelling at your house. Period. It is not a good form of communication with your spouse or kids-EVER. (Unless there is a fire or a snake.)

Related: Do You Yell at Your Children?

3. Crying-hysterically-loud-scream-cry.

This option is for those moody teenagers who know they can’t yell at you, so they do the crying-hysterically-loud-scream-cry. It makes the regular ugly cry look like a drop of water. 

I recommend you leave the room and not give into the dramatics. Staying in the room to watch gives your teen an audience. You are the audience…lucky you.

Let the preteen/teen cry it out, and then talk about it later that day when things have calmed down. Consequently, you might mention that she will never get what is wanted with a tantrum.

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Purchase your ebook or paperback on Amazon or at your favorite digital store. 

4. Silent treatment. 

This one is a doozy. Let there be a cooling off period. Not hearing from your teen for an hour or two is ok. (Actually, it’s wonderful) But, eventually, it has to stop.

The “silent treatment” isn’t a good way to deal with problems. If you give the silent treatment to your spouse or to your kids, then you know where they learned it. You. Ouch

First, work on eliminating that behavior from your own life. Secondly, work on your moody teenager. In times of non-conflict, discuss the “silent treatment.”

Define what it is, and suggest other tools for dealing with conflict. Furthermore, admit you do it and are going to stop if that is the case. You must expect your children to be courteous to everyone in the household, as you should be too,

If that is not possible, tell your teen to go back to her room until she can be nice to everyone.

Related: Parenting Teens: Is Your Daughter a Graceful Pillar?

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How to Deal with a Moody Teenager

5. Destroying things.

If your moody teenager kicks a hole in the wall or destroys something, it has gone to a new level. The teen needs to pay for the item in full and help repair it. He can work off the cost with chores around the house.

Repair the wall, etc. a day or two later together when things are calmed down. This will give you a chance to talk about the situation in full while you are working. If you have to hire out, your teen needs to help the repairman fix it.

If it happens again, I suggest getting a punching bag, hitting a pillow with a tennis racquet, or screaming into a pillow. I have even seen kids carry a squeeze ball around to deal with the anger. 

You need to emphasize destroying things is not appropriate. See if your child will talk with you and your spouse or a counselor. There are definitely some anger issues.

*If a parent is destroying things in anger, then it will be hard to have the teen stop. You have to be willing to act appropriately so you can model the same good behavior to kids.

Related: Raising Boys: The Most Important Thing to Do as a Parent

7 Tips for a Peaceful Home

5 Ways to Cope With Your Moody Teenager

If you are knee deep in the tween and teen years, you will probably have a few days when your teen hates you and loves you within the same hour. You need to step out of yourself and realize this is a phase. You will get through this. It doesn’t last forever. Here are some tips to help you through the pain:

1. Acknowledge the pain.

It hurts when your teen says mean things to you. If you feel it was inappropriate, ask for an apology.

Remember: You are not your teen’s best friend. It is important to develop good mom friends. They are your friends. Not your child. You have to be the parent right now. There will be a day when you will be great friends, just not today.

Related: 17 Ways to Create the Best Mom Friends Ever

2. Consider why you have a moody teenager.

There could be lots of reasons your teen is temperamental. Perhaps he is tired, stressed, experienced a breakup, social media issues, homework, sports, friends, etc.

Did you realize this generation has more pressure than any other generation socially, academically, and athletically? It is a lot to handle day after day, year after year.

Talk with your teen and see if you can work together to navigate through the problems. Encourage and love him when he is down.

Related: 5 Things Teens Wish Their Parents Knew

3. Stay appropriate.

You need to stay appropriate even when your teenager is not acting nice. I know, I know…it’s REALLY hard. I have lost it a few times. When you do lose your temper, you need to apologize even when your teen doesn’t want to apologize.

Teach your teen how to act, so he can get what he wants in an appropriate way. The goal is to reasonably talk through a situation. Not escalate the situation with your bad behavior too.

Related: Should You Apologize to Your Child? 5 Things Happen When You Don’t

4. Refuse to let rejection define you.

It’s easy to think everyone hates you because your teen really dislikes you right now. It is not true. Your teen is becoming a person outside of you. Moreover, know who you are in Christ, and keep coming back to that identity. Not the identity your teen has decided about you.

Related: When You Feel Like You Have Failed as a Parent

5. Make changes, if needed.

Ask God if you need to make some changes in your parenting. Perhaps you need to spend more time listening to your teen, doing things together, or get him to bed earlier. Try to find the root problem so you can resolve the issue.

Related: Focus on Your Teen: 9 Best Activities to Do as a Family

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How to Deal with a Moody Child: 5 ways to navigate through the hardest years

Final Thoughts on Handling Your Teen

For those teens who lean to the dramatics, it may take a few years to reinforce that bad behavior is not going to work. Furthermore, it is your job to show nothing is gained by being irritable or rude.

Above all, you CANNOT give in when your teen acts this way. Do not reward bad behavior. 

Your end goal is for her to have a good attitude and not try to punish every living creature that comes within a 50-foot radius of her sphere.

To sum it up, your teen needs you to be the parent despite all the dramatics. Don’t get distracted from the real goal which is to help your child get through the teen years successfully.

What are some of the things your moody teenager has done in anger? How did you handle it?

Book on Family Estrangement from a Biblical Point of View

Are you experiencing family problems? Perhaps you and a loved one are no longer speaking to each other. Don’t go another day without reading this book. It addresses family problems and estrangement from a biblical point of view. Estranged: Finding Hope When Your Family Falls Apart is on Amazon or at your favorite digital store.

Estranged: Finding Hope When Your Family Falls Apart book.

Get Creating Family Memories for FREE in exchange for your email. If you get this book, it will help you build a good relationship with your kids so that when the hard times come (teen years), you will be able to weather the storm.

Scroll down or look on the side to sign up. You can also get it at your favorite digital bookstore.

Facebook Group

Continue the conversation on Facebook and join the group Christian Parenting and Family. This is a place for moms with preschool age kids or older to talk about their struggles with parenting, family life, education, or marriage. You will find biblically based advise from other moms who want to raise godly kids.

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41 Comments

  1. Samuel frodo on June 20, 2018 at 6:08 am

    Its really tough dealing with kids throwing tantrums, I can just imagine how it would feel having to handle teenage tantrums. Great insight and advice. Thanks for sharing

    • Julie Plagens on June 20, 2018 at 10:00 am

      Samuel, thanks for your comment. Parenting can be hard, but it is so worth it!

  2. Princess Quinn on June 20, 2018 at 5:14 am

    I have younger cousins that stay in our house and I can say that teen tantrums are terrible. These tips are really helpful. It is important to be open with changes.

    • Julie Plagens on June 20, 2018 at 10:00 am

      Princess Quinn, yes, it is not a fun thing to behold. They do mature though.

  3. Tiff|SpectrumSenseForMoms on June 19, 2018 at 10:18 pm

    This is so accurate! And the truth is that a lot of teen behaviors could be lessened, if not stopped, by parents checking their own behavior. #5 is the most important – if you’re not willing to let God work in your heart, what makes you think your teen is going to let you change theirs? ? That’s a reality check for many!

    • Julie Plagens on June 20, 2018 at 10:01 am

      Tiff, oh, yes! Kids do what you do, not what you say. Being a role model is the best form of parenting.

  4. Jordan on June 19, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    Oh, this is so good! I’m not there yet (our daughter is only 2), but these are super helpful tips (and a good FYI on what’s coming down the road). Thank you!

    • Julie Plagens on June 20, 2018 at 10:02 am

      Jordan, I hope you will be able to remember some of these tactics. The terrible two tantrums aren’t fun either.

  5. The Fashion Sherlock on June 19, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    i have not gotten to this yet in parenting but great tips for when it does happen.

    • Julie Plagens on June 20, 2018 at 10:03 am

      Fashion Sherlock, thanks for your comment anyways!

  6. susie liberatore on June 19, 2018 at 9:45 am

    We have are not near our teen years but oh boy I am not looking forward to this. You are going amazing mama

    • Julie Plagens on June 20, 2018 at 10:04 am

      Susie, it is all part of the process. The house can be stressful at times, but, eventually, the teen moves on.

  7. Ashley Roberts on June 19, 2018 at 9:26 am

    Can I just trade in my teens? LOL JUST KIDDING!!!! Oh I will however be so glad when the hormones are done running havick on our lives… Teens are hard! Everyone said a baby would be difficult, no one warns you about the mini selves we create in their teen years…. *Mom of two teen boys who’s feet really stink!

    • Julie Plagens on June 20, 2018 at 10:06 am

      Ashley, I am laughing. I remember that. We tried EVERY shoe powder known to man when my son was playing sports. We had to put his shoes outside. It stunk up half the house! I can’t imagine 2 sets of stinky feet!

  8. Jaclyn Musselman on June 19, 2018 at 6:41 am

    My daughter is 11 so I am so close to needing this. I’ve already gotten a taste of what a teen tantrum will look like…so I know it’s coming soon. EEKS!

    • Julie Plagens on June 19, 2018 at 8:12 am

      Brace yourself. You will get through it!

  9. Laurie on June 18, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    Oh my goodness! I was a door slammer. How obnoxious! I have a friend that has removed his son’s doors on occasion and it worked wonders. Teens love their privacy. No door = no privacy.

    This is a great post! I will be sharing this one. 🙂

    • Julie Plagens on June 19, 2018 at 8:13 am

      Thanks so muchfor sharing this! The door slamming is the worst! Door removal is rough!!

  10. Nina on June 18, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    I was like this during my teen years (8 or 7 years before). My poor mom haha 🙂 thank you for sharing this suggestions in how to deal with teen tantrums – i can certainly use it for my future

    • Julie Plagens on June 19, 2018 at 8:14 am

      I hope it will be helpful. The teen years are a bit rough.

  11. Annie Cho on June 18, 2018 at 11:41 am

    These all sound like great parenting tips. The teens can be such a tough time, huh?
    xoxo
    Annie

    • Julie Plagens on June 19, 2018 at 8:15 am

      Annie, they sure can be rough years! Thanks for commenting.

  12. Le on June 18, 2018 at 10:59 am

    Thes are great tips !

  13. Kayla on June 18, 2018 at 9:03 am

    Aww man, my kids already do half of these. Not lookin forward to the teenage years ?

  14. Tara on June 17, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    I have teenagers now, so far we seem to have most of the tantrums and destruction in the adolescent years. My kids are 13 and 17 now, and are quite mature for their age in many ways, yet young in others. Even in this, there are difficult times and your post is very helpful and good reminder. Thanks for sharing!

    • Julie Plagens on June 19, 2018 at 8:17 am

      Tara, hopefully you are through the worst. Good luck!

  15. Melanie Frost on June 17, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    This is a really helpful post. My son is 7 with Aspergers and he acts this way now. I’m scared for when he becomes a teenager and is much bigger than me. These are really good tips for helping in my situation.

    • Julie Plagens on June 19, 2018 at 8:19 am

      Melanie, my neighbor has a child with Aspergers. She has a lot of patience dealing with the tantrums. My prayers are with you.

  16. Jacqueline Debono on June 17, 2018 at 11:59 am

    My kids are grown up now and to be honest I didn’t have to deal with many teen tantrums, maybe because they are 4 boys. Girls seem to be more difficult at that age. However, when there was conflict, I always reminded myself that I was a teenager once too and ‘hated’ my mum. Now we’re the best of friends!

    • Julie Plagens on June 19, 2018 at 8:21 am

      Jacqueline,you are right! Girls can be dramatic. That’s for sure. I’m glad you didn’t have too many issues.
      It’s great you’re friends now.

  17. Harish Joshi on June 16, 2018 at 10:06 pm

    Hey, I’m also a teen but I don’t through any tantrum. I think it’s because I’m a little busy at work. ? Well, you have discussed great tips. Thanks for sharing this topic.

    • Julie Plagens on June 19, 2018 at 8:22 am

      Harish, way to go! Keep busy working. Your parents will be quite happy you passed that phase.

  18. Jennifer on June 16, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    These are great tips. I especially appreciated the idea that we should acknowledge their pain/frustration/confusion/etc… We need to be able to step into their world for a few minutes to understand. Great post!

    • Julie Plagens on June 16, 2018 at 3:57 pm

      Thank you so much for your comment., Jennifer. They definitely have a lot of stress. They are expected to do a lot in a day.

  19. J Armstrong on June 16, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    It’s good to see that I’m not the only one. I told my oldest that while she is learning to be a teenager, that learning to be a parent of one. It is hard at times to remain composed and I have lost it too, but treating them as an adult will get to act like you eventually. Thank for post great job.

    • Julie Plagens on June 16, 2018 at 3:58 pm

      J Armstrong, thanks for your thoughts. Being a parent is hard work! We learn as we go, too. And hopefully learn from others.

  20. Maysz on June 16, 2018 at 10:01 am

    I am relate for this! Hahaha! Thanks for giving an information I will apply this on my own. Great post thumbsup!

    • Julie Plagens on June 16, 2018 at 4:00 pm

      Thanks, Maysz. I hope this is helpful. I have to admit, this was one of the WORST parts of parenting. I am glad it is over. (I think it is over…I hope.)

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