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What are some effective ways to handle my preteen's mood swings or emotional outbursts?

Hi everyone,

I am a mother of a 12-year-old preteen who has been experiencing frequent mood swings and emotional outbursts lately. My daughter is usually a well-behaved child but it's becoming difficult to communicate with her when she's upset. I'm not sure what's causing this sudden behavioral change and I'm worried about her well-being.

I would appreciate any advice on how to handle these mood swings and emotional outbursts effectively. What are some proven techniques to help calm down a preteen during a meltdown? What are some ways to promote healthy communication and strengthen the bond between parents and children during turbulent times?

Thank you in advance for your help!

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Hi everyone,

I have a 11-year-old son who has been experiencing mood swings and emotional outbursts very often, just as in your cases. What I have found to be helpful is avoiding criticism of their behavior. At this age, our children are starting to develop a sense of self and criticism might be taken as a personal attack. Instead, I suggest gently correcting their behavior and offering positive feedback when they are behaving positively.

Another technique that has worked for me is to create a conducive and open environment for communication. Sometimes, preteens might not want to share their problems or feelings with parents, so creating an environment where they feel at ease to open up can be helpful. I find that sharing my own experiences or struggles with my son, and then listening to his also helps to build a better trust and rapport.

Lastly, sometimes when things get too heated, it's better to take a break and come back to the conversation or situation later. Encourage your child to go for a walk, play outside or do some other activity to help cool off. This can give them time to reflect on their emotions and gather their thoughts before coming back to the issue at hand.

I hope these tips prove useful to you!


Hi there,

I completely understand where you're coming from. My 11-year-old son has been going through similar mood swings and emotional outbursts lately. From my personal experience, I have found that giving my son space during a meltdown is helpful. It's important to let them know you're there for support, but sometimes they just need some alone time to sort through their emotions.

Another technique that has worked for me is to engage my son in activities that he enjoys. When he's feeling upset or overwhelmed, I suggest going for a walk, playing a board game or watching a movie together. This helps to distract him from his negative emotions and usually puts him in a better mood.

Lastly, I have also found that practicing patience and not taking their behavior personally can go a long way. It's easy to get angry or frustrated in the moment, but remembering that it's not personal and that it's just a phase can help you stay calm and support your child effectively.

I hope this helps and wish you all the best!


Hi there,

I have a 13-year-old daughter who has also been experiencing mood swings and emotional outbursts lately. One thing that has helped me in dealing with her behavior is to stay calm and composed. Outbursts and meltdowns can be stressful for everyone involved, but reacting emotionally only tends to make this worse. Maintaining a calm demeanor during these situations can de-escalate the situation and help your child feel more relaxed.

Something else that has worked for me is to validate my daughter's feelings. Outbursts can sometimes be caused by not having their feelings acknowledged or being misunderstood. Listening to what they have to say and acknowledging that their feelings are real and valid can go a long way in helping them feel better and more understood.

Lastly, establishing routines and being consistent in following through is also crucial in handling preteen mood swings. Making a schedule for bedtime, homework, meals and other activities can make them feel more secure and help reduce uncertainties in their life.

I hope these suggestions prove helpful to you!


Hi there,

I can very much relate to your situation as my niece who is also 12 years old has been going through similar emotional outbursts. What I have learnt is that talking to them about their emotions is very important. It's helpful to listen to their worries, fears or concerns, rather than talking at them or solving their problems for them. Nurturing open communication with your child can help them feel more secure and confident about sharing their thoughts and feelings with you.

Another important thing I have noticed is to avoid any power struggles with your preteen. This is a time when they are trying to establish their own independence and might resist any attempts of control. Instead, I suggest providing choices for them, such as what to wear or even what meal to have for dinner. Empowering them with control over certain things can make them feel more confident and secure internally.

Lastly, it's important to set boundaries and maintain consistency with your preteen. With the unpredictability that they are going through, they may seek stability from their parents. Setting firm, consistent boundaries for behavior and showing respect for their boundaries can help provide a sense of safety and stability.

Hope these tips are helpful to you!

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