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How to Handle a Moody Teen: the Cat Approach

All right, parents of teenagers, why are they so moody?

Well, there are more new neural connections happening in their brain than at any other time in life outside of ages two to three, which is why teenagers and toddlers sometimes feel like there are some similarities.

So your teenager comes home and they are in a foul mood. What do you do?

First, You've gotta resist the temptation to wanna take control. There's this thing in us that's like, "Don't you disrespect me, kid. I wiped your bottom for many years. You cannot talk to me like that."

Don't do it. Don't do it. It's like lighting the flame.

Okay. Second thing to avoid is being overly pacifying or saccharin.

"Oh, hi honey. How was your day!?"

Cause when they're in a foul mood and you're in that mood, trying to be all chipper and trying to chipper them up, the message you're sending is, "You can't feel like that, and I can't tolerate you feeling like that." So instead, be curious, be calm, and give them their space if that's what they want.

So your kid comes in, they're coming home from school, you're like, "Hey, how's your day?" And they're like, "Mom!", you  "uh, okay. I'm reading the room. You're not in the mood to talk."

"Just so you know, I'm here when you need me. I love you. I hope it was not a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day."

You're curious, but you're not controlling.

You're connecting, but you're not over pretending to connect.

You're being with them right where they are.

They're like cats. If you come in too strong, at first they're gonna flee. But if you just sort of settle in, they'll come up next to you and let you in again.


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