Parenting teenagers

Parenting teenagers can be challenge but they still need you. Sometimes it's easy to forget that while being an adult has all sorts of stresses and strains, being a teenager isn't always that great either. First of all, they are at a difficult age when they're no longer seen either as children or as adults. Secondly, their hormones are racing, they're under pressure from friends and the media to keep up, and their schoolwork is more important now than ever. These are just some of the issues that lead to the mood swings and emotional outbursts that we commonly associate with teenagers, and can be worth remembering when handling problems and difficult situations with your teen.

Teenagers need love

Despite the cool and distant image, they are still in need of care and attention. Don't let them fool you they still need their parents around to offer support and guidance. 

Teenagers need privacy

They constantly worry about their looks, their bodies, and the strange feelings and thoughts they are experiencing. Whether it's lack of self-confidence or just a curiosity about the way their bodies are developing, they need time to sort out things for themselves. Give them space and don't take it personally if they prefer not to talk to you. 

Teenagers need to be different

They need to show to the world that they're growing up and are no longer an extension of you. This might mean being awkward or stroppy and doing things you probably wouldn't like, such as getting a piercing or a tattoo 

Teenagers need boundaries

They may kick up a fuss about being old enough to look after themselves, but the truth is that teenagers don't always make the right choices and they know this as well as you do. Setting out some ground rules makes it clear that they're being looked after and despite the fuss that they make about being in charge of their own lives, the boundaries actually make them feel safe and secure.  

Teenagers need to be listened to

Sometimes they think you're not giving them a chance to make their case. If you want teenagers to listen to then you should try to make the effort to listen as well. Show them that their ideas and opinions matter, even if you disagree with them and every now and then, try to negotiate something that's fair to you both and then let them take responsibility for their own decisions. Read more about communicating with your teen.

tweens

How we can help you

If you would like support and advice, you can talk to one of our Family Support Workers by calling our confidential helpline on 0808 800 2222. You can also share experiences and advice with other parents on our Forums. Family Lives is here for you and you can contact us about any family issue, big or small.

Did you find our advice helpful? Help us help more people by filling in our survey