Parenting During the Teen Years Made (A Little) Easier

Updated: Oct 24

A father parenting his teenage son while enjoying the outdoors

Parenting a teenager is challenging for both parties. Learning how a teen thinks and the best ways to communicate are essential.

Key takeaways:

  • The teenage brain is a jumble of hormones that cloud their thought process.

  • Establishing clear limits and consequences can help keep your relationship on an even keel.

  • Strengthen your relationship with open communication and listen without judgment.

It’s no secret that the teen years are complicated. Teens are trying to figure out the world around them while also figuring out who they are and how they fit in. Their minds, bodies, and emotions are whirling at the speed of light to keep up with the hormonal changes happening during these formative years.

Some of the trickiest aspects of these years deal with the challenges they pose to the family unit. The teen brain is still developing and is very sensitive to emotions and criticism. Impulse control isn’t fully established, and teens often feel that no one understands how they think, feel, or what’s happening to them.

These factors contribute to a perfect storm ripe for addiction, mental health exacerbators, and impulsive choices that can affect the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, parents often don’t know how to handle these years and try to stick with the same parenting tactics they’ve always used, despite the fact that they are no longer working the same way.

We want to help make the transition to teen parenting easier to improve your and your teen’s mental health at this often turbulent time. We’ll look at some tips parents can use to break through the hormonal haze and make sense to their kids as they go through their teenage journeys.

Typical teen conflict areas

A parent’s goal during their kid’s teen years is to help them stand on their own and become less dependent on them. The first step in accomplishing that goal is identifying major conflict areas and tackling them in a way that shows your teen compassion and understanding. These conflict areas include curfews, friends, clothing and makeup, dating and physical intimacy, driving, and homework and school performance.

Set guidelines

Setting limits and consequences is essential in a parent/teen relationship. Begin early in your child’s life by consistently voicing your expectations concerning drugs, intimacy, and risky behaviors. Make sure to make the consequences clear about entertaining those activities.