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Dealing Effectively with Moody Teenagers

     Often teenagers become introspective and moody around the ages of 15. It is a time when they begin to look at themselves and think about how they view themselves and how this perception may match or mismatch with how others see them. They are building a self-image and will often work through this by 16 or 17 years of age.

     Confidence is the key to dealing with these ups and downs. A child who has been confident for their earlier lives will come out of this process just fine. It is important however, for parents to pay attention to their teen's mood and make sure that there are no signs of serious depression beyond moodiness. Changes in grades, eating habits, sleeping and grooming may be indicators of depression and too much stress, and perhaps even drug use.

     Parents can cope with these moods, Parents should take the time to listen to their teen and respect what they are going through. Praise is a good thing as well, although it is not always favourably received. Just make sure that the praise is meaningful and descriptive.
All of the following tips are other ways you can compliment your teen and build self esteem.

* Respect his/her growing need for privacy in both thinking and space.
* Encourage him/her to have his/her friends over as often as possible. (In a way this is actually a compliment.)
* Show him/her you love her for who he/she is as a person, not just for what he/she can achieve.
* Don't do something for him/her that he/she can do for herself.
* Don't manage his/her time for him/her; teach him/her to manage his/her own time.
* Be accessible for conversation any time, any place.
* Brainstorm together and problem solve. Show genuine respect for his/her ideas, even if you disagree or don't use all of them.
* Make sure he/she knows that you believe he/ she can make choices in his/her own best long term interest.
* Show confidence in his/her judgement whenever possible.
* Expect his/her best and praise him/her for giving it.

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