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Navigate: FAQ Home Page > Family Issues > Son is moody
More than ever before, he needs a lot of support, less criticism and simpler, quiet availability on your part. Rather than instruct him to get better grades, apply himself more and try harder, try to become more neutral and show your fondness of him. Ask if he's finding anything to be harder this year than he'd expected. Don't expect a lot of talk from an 11 year old boy, but be there willing to listen most and talk less whenever you are around him.
We want to portray fondness for the person, not the achievements. You can demonstrate this in your responses to his changes or even his failings (and remember failing is part of learning to try different things until you claim successes). It helps to stay in good touch with teachers, counselors and the parents of his friends or peers. You learn things your own child may never divulge (including good things he doesn't pass on). However, it also helps to keep an eye out for other things that can influence adolescents, including experimentation with substances or peer culture behavior/norms.
Go to as many parent education nights at the school as you can. There are frequent workshops in the community too. And lastly, look close to home for factors that influence: family stresses and behaviors, anxiety or expectations. Don't hesitate to bring it up with your pediatrician and/or seek help of counseling if it becomes apparent. Good luck!
Susan McKenzie , LCSW