Too many teens engage in dramatic and moody ways of communicating including what they say, how they say it, and what they do. Can you remember when you were in your teens? What were you like? Very importantly, what type of food were you eating?!
One way to help teens navigate that space between childhood and adulthood is to teach them good coping skills. Help your child find out what triggers him or her, and how to avoid them. Although this will not work for all teenagers, try to continue to teach!
Role model healthy habits at home, such as getting enough sleep at night, and show how you cope with stress in a healthy way. If you are having issues, perhaps it is a good idea for you to get some help … there is no shame and no blame in doing so.
Make sure you are role modeling getting exercise a few days a week. This can take the form of a certain number of daily steps, going dancing, riding a bike, or whatever is pleasurable to you. Encourage your teen to take up some activity that requires use of the body. You just may be able to head off depression … in you and your teen.
Nutritional needs of teens differ from that of adults. Teen depression is a serious risk and needs to be addressed. Out of the half million teens who attempt suicide each year, about 5,000 succeed. Vitamin B6 has been shown to be effective in helping to lower depression in teens, and it might help them sleep better.
Try to limit grains and sugars as these are two major sources of foods that contribute to both teenage and adult moodiness.
I personally grew up eating white bread, cake, cookies, and candy every day. Although I overcame, think about the risks and challenges facing your teen. Are you willing to stand by and do nothing?!