Adolescence plus menopause: how to weather the hormonal storm

Do you sometimes wonder whose mood is in control in your house? Is it your tween or teenage child… or is it you?


If your child was born whilst you were in your 30s, it’s likely that you will find yourself in the perfect hormonal storm of puberty plus perimenopause. You are experiencing considerable transitions and entering into an intense shift in your identity at just the same time as your child.

You expect your teens to experience irritability, mood swings, anxiety and bodies acting in ways they didn’t use to leading to low self-esteem and low self-confidence. Youmight not be expecting to feel the same! It can feel like the hormones are raging on both sides leading to some pretty epic battles.

On the plus side, it gives you a unique perspective and understanding of what your teen is going through. The less positive is that you feel worn down when faced with an onslaught of negative emotions from your teen child.

Perimenopause is the final years of a woman’s reproductive life, usually taking place between the ages of 45 and 55. As oestrogen (one of the main female sex hormones) surges in the adolescent female, it plummets in perimenopause. Some of the more common symptoms of menopause include mood swings, irritability, anxiety and sleep problems… does this sound familiar to what your teen is facing?

The reduction of oestrogen gives us a whole different headspace, where the ‘mum brain’ starts to unplug and we say ‘wait a minute, I’m a person with my own needs, feelings and life!’

This is at the same time our kid is getting a surge of sex hormones, urging them to also find their identity outside of the family unit. They are developmentally starting to push away from you, whilst still needing you to be their safe place. They become experts at pushing your buttons until you feel you are questioning everything you say and do. Suddenly it feels like there’s a lot more shouting and door slamming in the house (and some of it may even be coming from you).

Rather than automatically blaming ‘high tensions’ and family issues solely on having a teen in the house, it can be helpful to acknowledge that your hormones may well be surging too, making arguments and fights all the more likely.

What helps?

  • be aware of your triggers – knowing these can help you prepare and mitigate when your teen presses those buttons
  • notice when your stress levels are rising
  • pause
  • take some deep breaths
  • remind yourself that you are the adult
  • take a step back when you need to
  • look after your own wellbeing
  • remember that teens learn how to regulate their emotions by seeing us regulate ours

Unfortunately, there is still a lot of stigma around menopause and this phase in a woman’s life, so family members feel like they don’t understand the changes this makes to you.

We need to talk about menopause. It’s going to happen to half of us after all, it isn’t a niche issue!

Managing menopause as we support our kids through puberty isn’t easy - having an understanding of the changes that are happening in us, as well as them, is crucial.

Raising teenagers is an important job, and looking after yourself helps you do the job well. That’s because looking after yourself physically, mentally and emotionally helps you give your children what they need to grow and thrive.

Speaking to a counsellor can help. If you are struggling with your relationship with your adolescent child and are ready for change contact me here now to see how we can work together.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Seaford, East Sussex, BN25
Written by Jennifer Warwick, MSc Psych, BACP Registered | Counsellor and Parenting Expert
Seaford, East Sussex, BN25

I am a BACP registered counsellor working online. I work with people who struggle to balance work, home and family life. People who are constantly rushing, looking after others over themselves and are exhausted as a result. I specialise in relationships, family issues and parenting teens and tweens. Contact me for an introductory chat by phone.

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