Teenage Mood Swings

I received a call from my daughter’s teacher the other day that concerned me. Her teacher told me that she was calling because my daughter seems “withdrawn and miserable,” which is really out of character for her, at least at school. The teacher just wanted me to know that it is noticeable and asked me if anything was going on at home that she should be aware of. I have to admit that this phone call caught me off guard.

It is no secret that my teenage daughter has mood swings, as do most teenage girls, but I never imagined that she was exhibiting this moodiness outside of her home, to the point where I would receive a call from her school about it. I was both embarrassed and concerned. I thanked her teacher for calling and assured her that it was just teenage stuff and that everything was fine at home, but I would certainly address this with my daughter. My first call was to my husband who just listened like he does and advised me to talk with our daughter before jumping to conclusions.

When my daughter arrived home I asked her if we could talk. Without looking me in the eye she said “I really don’t feel like it.” I told she that it was important and that I would give her a few minutes to get settled but I expected her to come back downstairs to talk with me. She did just come back down and I told her about the call from her teacher. She responded by telling me that she does feel miserable and it’s not towards anyone personally but sometimes she can’t help it.

I told her that I do understand the mood swings and that they are normal for someone her age, but also that it is up to her to pay attention to how she is acting towards other people. Her teacher used the word “miserable” which has quite a different meaning than sad or quiet. She said that her teacher should “mind her own business.” My reply to that was that this is her teachers business and that she should be thankful to have people in her life that are concerned with her well-being.

This is really a situation that has no immediate resolution but rather is one that I expect will go on for a few more years. Not that I expect her to change how she feels but rather how she presents to the outside world. It is true that you can’t help how you feel but sometimes you have to be aware of how others are viewing you. She is not a miserable kid by nature and whatever teenage thing is going on will hopefully pass eventually.

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