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Battle of the Hormones: Your Teenager’s vs. Yours

If you are the mother of a teenager, there's most likely been a time or two when he or she has driven you to your last nerve. The hormonal changes teenagers begin to experience can make them even harder to deal with.

If you are in perimenopause or are entering menopause, the combination of your teen's behavior combined with your own hormonal mood swings can seem like a disastrous recipe. As adults, how do we effectively deal with these situations, maintain order in the household, and still infuse our family with love?

Communication
The first step is communicating with your teens. They probably have no idea what menopause is and need to be informed that you're undergoing a hardship in your life.
HFN 048 BattleofHormones 1 F25662876For example, when you're at the height of a mood swing and say something mean spirited over something small, it's important for them to know that the way you are behaving is due to what's happening in your body, much like what's happening in theirs. It might seem like your words are falling on deaf ears at times, but proper and open communication is the first step to resolving the hormonal battle.

This also sets up a model for your teen. It demonstrates how to communicate, how to say, "I'm sorry," and how to get past the event without it festering.

Remember, communication goes both ways, meaning that in addition to communication with teens, you must also make sure that you're available to be communicated with in turn. When your teen tells you something, listen, and be considerate of what he or she is saying.

Consideration of Others
As a woman in menopause, you know how drastically your rapidly fluctuating hormones can affect your mood. One minute you're laughing hysterically, and the next you're sobbing. Your teen is going through a very similar experience, and just as they need to be aware of your condition, you need to be aware of theirs.

Remember the influence that hormones have on your teen right now, and try to remember that when they say they hate you, they don't actually hate you. They are simply in the midst of an intense hormone-fueled outburst. Understand that when your teen is in this state, a cruel or callous response on your part will dig deep and escalate the situation. In short, always remember that you are the adult.

Keep in mind, too, that although you have to carry a lot of responsibilities, including your family, holding or finding a job, your finances, and possibly elderly parents, teens have their own load, which might seem overwhelming to them. They have physical changes, school grades, peer pressure, boyfriend/girlfriend issues, and rules to follow at home. Step out of your own challenges and remember what it was like at their age.

Consideration of Yourself
While your fluctuating hormones can cause mood swings, so can some of the other symptoms of menopause, such as insomnia and fatigue. In order to maintain a calm and peaceful mental state, it's important to remember to take care of yourself. Get plenty of rest, engage in a sensible amount of exercise, and maintain a healthy diet. Also, be sure to budget time to do the activities that you enjoy, as a little levity in your everyday life can do wonders for your mental and emotional wellbeing.

Chatting with a doctor about your mood swings and other symptoms is never a bad idea. After medically evaluating your situation, a doctor may be able to prescribe drugs or therapies that can reduce the intensity of your mood swings, in turn allowing you to approach the family situation with a clear head. ♀

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