top of page


• Individuals 
• Couples 
• Children
• Adolescents

• Teens

• Family

Parenting During the Teen Years Made (A Little) Easier

Updated: Oct 24, 2022

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.

The consequences must be something meaningful for your teen. Video games, favorite clothing items, driving privileges, and sports are typically things that teens care about and fear losing. Therefore, it’s imperative to always follow through with the consequences, no matter the excuse for the actions.

Build a strong relationship

One of the most supportive and encouraging things you can do as your child reaches their teen years is to strengthen your bond with them as burgeoning adults. They are far more likely to accept your guidelines and limits if they feel respected.

Spend quality time with your teens and sincerely listen to what they say and how they see the world. Displaying genuine concern and interest in their lives and problems helps build trust and confidence in your relationship.

Normalize staying in touch

You’re with your children almost every moment of their lives when they’re tiny. As they grow, you spend less time with them while they are in school and making friends. By the teen years, you probably don’t see them even half as much as you once did, and they don’t want to be with you as often.

As a result, many parents quietly slink into the background of their teens’ lives, only to emerge when they need them. Instead, keep in touch throughout the day and normalize checking just to touch base. When teens know someone is keeping tabs on them, it helps keep them out of trouble and lets them know you care about what happens during their day.

Respect their space

Teens need privacy to help build their sense of autonomy and individuality as they reach their adult years. Although we want to normalize better communication, we also want to respect their space and need for privacy. Extreme secrecy is a red flag but being protective of their newly emerging social life is entirely normal. Aim for somewhere in the middle.

Some teens are less angsty than others

It might sound unlikely but just because a kid hits age 13 doesn’t mean he’ll automatically take on all the angsty behavior teens are famous for. Some teens don’t take on those tendencies as much and are perfectly happy hanging around the house with you.

Take advantage of this time to ask about their personal lives and listen to what’s happening in their world. Prepare them in case there does come a day when their emotions seem unbearable, or anxiety becomes a problem.

Pick your battles

Many teens thrive on challenging their parents, but not every rule infraction is grounds for a battle. Things like dyeing their hair without your permission aren’t the end of the world. So stay calm and talk about it and save your battles for bigger things.

You can never be sure that your teen isn’t making bad decisions when you’re not there. The teenage mind and racing hormones are unpredictable, no matter how much preventative action you take. Your best chance at reaching a teen is by sharing your life experiences, thoughts, and ideas about what they are experiencing and guiding them as they make their life choices.

Parenting teens is a growth experience you can both benefit from

Teenagers can bring you to the brink of exhaustion, but our love for our children never falters, and we’re always looking for the next best way to keep them mentally and physically happy.

The Love Discovery Institute is an elite emotional and cognitive wellness center that offers therapy for adults, children, and teens from licensed therapists. Our therapists understand relationships exceptionally well and help people learn how to have significant and authentic relationships. If you are having challenges parenting your teenager or one or both of you is dealing with mental health issues like anxiety, we can help.

The team at Love Discovery is ready to welcome you with open arms. If you’re ready to start therapy to help improve your relationship with your teen or make parenting easier, make an appointment with any of our therapists today. Feeling hesitant about how we can help? Call 305.605.LOVE (5683).


The Relationship With Yourself and Others...

Begins Here

bottom of page