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Parenting teenagers

Parenting teenagers can be challenging. With all the responsibility and stress that comes with being an adult, it’s easy to forget how tricky being a teenager can be. A child’s behaviour changes as they grow and many parents find it hard to understand and support these changes, especially if they’re harmful or upsetting.

We’ve put together some useful info and a collection of tips for positive-parenting your teenager.

What might help? +

There are lots of things that can happen to young people which can affect emotional wellbeing and behaviour. Take a look at our Common Issues page, especially if you’re worried about something in particular.

Taking care of yourself is also important. Explore our self-care resources HERE.

For more info on mindfulness and how this simple technique can improve wellbeing, visit our Mindfulness page.

Still worried? +

As the links below explain, a lot is happening in the teenage brain. Some behavioural changes are perfectly normal so it can be difficult to know exactly when to become concerned or seek support.

If your child has gone through something significant (see our Common Issues page), it might be useful for them, and possibly you, to talk this through with someone. If this isn’t the case but your child’s behaviour or upset continues, it’s probably worth getting further support.

Check out Getting the Support you Need for details on local services.

Useful Links

Relate – on teens

Lots of practical advice for dealing with common teen issues.

Relate on teens

The adolescent brain and what parents can do

Neurologist Judy Willis explains how the brain develops during adolescence, and shares advice for parents on reckless behaviour and risk-taking.

Video on the adolescent brain

Talking mental health with young people

This guide from the Anna Freud Centre focuses on talking to young people at secondary school about mental health.

Anna Freud Centre

The Teenage Brain Explained

Being a teenager is hard. Especially when hormones play their part in wreaking havoc on the teenage body and brain.


Coping with self-harm

A guide for parents and carers from the Charlie Waller Trust.

Charlie Waller Trust

You are not alone

Self-harm is very common in young people but it can leave families confused, anxious and feeling like there’s nowhere to turn.

Dept of Psychiatry

Facing Shadows

This short animation from the Anna Freud Centre describes what it’s like to suffer from depression as a teenager.

Video from Anna Freud Centre

Reading Well

Reading Well helps you understand and manage your health and wellbeing through reading. Explore recommended books for 13-18 year olds around issues including anxiety, body image, bullying and exams.

Reading Well