How to Deal with Tween Moodiness

Wish you knew how to deal with what seems like neverending tween moodiness? This method of talking through the issue and then teaching tween’s about their emotions works.

by Brie Tucker

I have a confession to make.

I get excited every Friday when I leave work and get to sit in the pickup line for a good half-hour. I’m divorced, and every other Friday after school is when I pick my kids up for my parenting time. 

Each week, I have this little daydream of how it’ll go: 

  • the kids will jump in the car with big smiles,
  • say “Hi mom! I’m so glad to see you!”, and 
  • everyone will be in a good mood as we drive off and start our weekend together full of hugs and smiles. 

Reality hits as the car doors open…

It starts simply enough. If I’m lucky one or both are smiling (again, if I’m lucky). 

I ask how their day was, we might have some small talk, but typically within 5 minutes something is said,  looks of been given, whatever it was…now my happy daughter has disappeared and out comes the moody pre-teen (I’d like to point out she seems to think she’s 15 though)! 

You’ve probably dealt with tween moodiness, too.

She pulls out the angry scowl, arms crossed, even throws down hair in front of her face so that you can’t see her expression as she turns her whole body towards the car window so no one makes the mistake of thinking she wants to speak or interact with us.

My grip tightens on the steering wheel as I try to make small talk with my son, dancing around what I really want to ask…which is: What the heck happened to your sister?!

I control my urge to interrogate each of them. 

Sometimes the cause naturally comes out in conversation, but typically I’m left clueless until we all get home, and about 20-45 minutes later,  I quietly ask her what’s going on. 

Most of the time, it’s related to her brother. Sometimes it might have been another friend at school, and on other occasions, it will have been something said in those first few seconds.

No matter the cause, we still have to work through it, because as much as she would like to keep handling things her way… I know, as the grown up and her mother, she can’t keep eye-rolling, covering her face and shutting out the world every time she’s mad, frustrated, irritated or embarrassed. That’s just not acceptable. 

Talk Through Your Tween’s Moodiness

I work with her, little by little on retracing the events that led to her big emotional response.

  • What happened
  • Who it involved
  • how she felt
  • What she did during the event and right after it
  • What she might be able to do differently next time to avoid this end result and emotion.

It doesn’t always get the full response I want, but I’m treating her with respect and helping her walk through the thought process I want her to be able to process in the future.

Teach Your Tween About Their Emotions

That’s what Emotions 911 will do for your child! 

First, it takes the pressure off of you for having all the right answers all the time.

Second, it explains how their brains function, gives them real-life tools to help them identify and work with their emotions, and then finally have a productive response that doesn’t include isolating others. 

Find out more about Emotions 911 Here

The best part…you don’t have to endure the eye rolls or the sighs! Your child will have their private time during the course to learn the much-needed skills to continue.

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