There are many reasons why your teenager might be crying that isn't always crystal-clear.
Sometimes they're just trying to get attention but other times the reasons can be both complicated and heavy on their heart and which can cause them unexpected anxiety or emotional pain.
Here are some other reasons why your child might cry and how you should deal with them:
They have had a new experience
Most teenagers are naturally curious about the world around them, but this can bring about new situations that are uncomfortable for them.
They may have just attended an event or had a conversation with someone they were nervous to talk to which might be causing them stress and anxiety.
Being there is one of the most important things you can do when your child has experienced something scary or strange because it reassures them that what happened wasn't so bad after all.
This also gives you the opportunity to ask questions about what was triggering for your child so you know how best to help or support them moving forward (if necessary).
They're trying out independence
Many teenagers are looking at ways of asserting themselves as independent people who no longer need parental guidance - mostly on social media where they are able to create a new, alternative persona.
This may lead them to also separate themselves which can be a difficult process for parents who are used to having their child close by and being involved in what's going on at home.
It might feel like your teenager is pushing you away or that they don't want to spend time with you anymore, however, the truth of the matter is that independence is something all teenagers struggle with as it's part of growing up!
Letting go isn't easy, instead show them how much you care by suggesting things for just the two of you such as movie night, playing video games together, etc. - that way, they know there will always be room for closeness between the two of you, no matter what happens next.
They're experiencing a major life change
Teenagers aren't always equipped or prepared for their lives to be changing so much and it can cause them to become overwhelmed.
Major life changes such as moving house, starting at a new school, or having their first job could trigger emotional reactions as they may not know how to best handle the situation.
Talking about these experiences is important because it helps your child feel like you understand what's going on, even if you don't fully grasp their feelings.
This means that, no matter where your child goes next in life, whether it be university or applying for jobs, there will always be an open line of communication at home which keeps them comfortable and supported throughout whatever life may throw at them.
Speaking of university, this is one of the places where your child will experience the biggest change of their lives so far.
University is all about exploring new things and becoming independent and can be both exciting and frightening at times!
There are many ways you can support them through this major transition, such as encouraging communication between yourself and university staff to ensure they feel comfortable with using campus services alone or asking for help when needed.
They're experiencing bullying
Bullying by peers (or even people in authority) has become a huge problem that teenagers face on a daily basis; whether it's on social media where words cut deep (and without warning) or during lunch breaks at school. And unfortunately, many young adults don't know how best to deal with these situations because there isn't much guidance around what steps to take next.
The best thing you can do is listen and reassure them that the bullying won't continue, then encourage them to report what happened to allow appropriate measures to be taken immediately.
This shows your child just how much their reports matter and helps prevent future issues from arising again in the future too.
They're feeling overwhelmed with schoolwork
Schoolwork has become increasingly difficult over time due to larger class sizes and more assignments being given out each week, meaning there isn't much opportunity for students to relax. And, when one assignment then goes wrong, this could cause your child to feel like they've failed at everything which can then lead them into one very large downward spiral...
The best thing you can do is reassure them that mistakes are okay and normal, however, the most important part of this process is listening, really listening, to what's going on in their head rather than skimming over it.
This means encouraging communication between yourself, teachers or even with friends who may be able to help out too - that way, everyone knows how best to handle future challenges as a united front.
They're feeling overwhelmed by puberty
Puberty isn't always easy for teenagers because it changes things about themselves they didn't know or didn't understand could change - such as mood swings becoming more frequent, the appearance of acne, or even their voices changing.
The best thing you can do is encourage communication between yourself and your teenager during puberty by asking about how they're feeling each day rather than assuming everything is okay, unless otherwise stated.
Discomfort or illness
It's important to understand that while discomfort or an illness can be very serious, it doesn't have to mean the end of the world for your teenager.
The best thing you can do is listen and reassure them so that they know there are other options available, should things get too much.
This could involve encouraging communication with their doctor about helpful medications/procedures but also listening when they say how they're feeling which will help reduce anxiety over time.
They just want attention from you
There isn't a single parent out there that hasn't seen their child crying in front of them because all they wanted was some one-on-one quality time without siblings around (or even friends!) And while this might seem an easy solution at first, there are times where parents just can't give that to them because they have too much going on that cannot be pushed aside.
The best way to handle this is to listen and reassure them that once everything calms down, you'll spend some time with them so they know how important they are to the family.
This could involve spending a few minutes alone together while dinner cooks or when washing the dishes, however, it will go a long way in helping to reduce anxiety about not being important to their loved ones.
As you can see, there are a variety of reasons why your teenager may be crying and while not all these explanations will apply to every child, it's important that parents listen carefully and try their best to find out what the issue is because, if left unchecked, this could lead to a downward spiral that may be difficult to stop.
To help prevent or reduce any issues with communication between yourself and your children in the years to come, make sure you take time each day to talk about how they're feeling.
It doesn't have to be for long but it will help you understand your child's mood swings much better which could mean these times will become less frequent each year.
The two best ways of doing this are either through open communication or even asking them how they think you can improve their life in terms of helping during difficult situations.
Do you know of any other reasons why your teenager may be crying? If so, please share them in the comments below!