Dear Dr. Pam,
I am a mother of a 14-year-old daughter, and I think that I must be losing it. I can’t get her cooperation on most things and the mood swings are driving me bonkers. Can you help? I am at my wits end.
~ Out of touch Mom
Dear out of touch Mom,
Relax. This is not the end of the world, it is called ADOLESENCE. The irony is that many of us forget that we would have ventured this road not so long ago.
Adolescence is a time filled with difficult changes. Physically, it can sometimes result in discomfort, internally and externally. Mentally, these youngsters are called upon to be more responsible for themselves and sometimes others, and to use critical thinking to resolve issues. Emotionally, they are unsure about their feelings, little things are magnified and overwhelming feelings of uncertainty and irritability are present.
Finally, the era of attraction, generally to the opposite sex, is in high gear, coupled with the thought that “parents just don’t understand,” all combined to make this a nightmare for them, and inevitably their parents.
In fact, the research seems to suggest, that if you are able to get them through the “terrific twos,” you can see them through to graduation. Alas! This is not unique to you. Exhale, and remember, this is only a stage of development. This too will pass.
~ Dr. Pam
Dear Dr. Pam,
Am I the only one who spends countless dollars to feed the children during summer break? It seems as if appetites heighten during these times. What do you suggest?
~ Mary L.
Dear Mary L.,
Summer is truly here. You are not alone. Children eat for various reasons. These could include boredom and the availability of food. During school time, they are on a schedule and this lessons the opportunity or temptation to consume food all day.
Buy healthy snacks and lots of fruits. Discourage eating snacks in lieu of meals. Prepare and label meals or leave instructions about what is to be prepared. Limit the amount of sweet drinks and suggest that water is substituted.
Make creative and lighter meals for dinner (one of my specialties is tuna and cheese melt and tomato soup) in lieu of the usual cuisine. Involve your children in meal preparation and allow them to experiment as you go along.
Encourage a lot of physical movement either indoors or outdoors. This would burn calories, increase energy and reduce appetites. Most importantly, assist your children in having a safe summer blast, as September is right around the corner.
~ Dr. Pam
Point to Ponder: Practice doesn’t make perfect;
• Doctor Pam is an advice column that is featured every week. Your letters and comments are encouraged. You may send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr. Pam is a Clinical Psychologist trained in all major areas of mental health.