Adolescents 11 to 17 years: parenting

Raising children is both rewarding and challenging. As your child becomes a teenager, many new parenting issues will arise. Building positive relationships with your teen will encourage him/her to be more open to your parental guidance.

It can, however, be very challenging, as a parent or a caregiver, to know how to encourage your teen to develop skills they will need to become independent and responsible adults. There is no one right way to do it, and as a parent you need to develop your own approach. Teen Triple P will provide you with helpful ideas and strategies to meet the challenges of raising your teen.

Growth and development

During the teen years, many physical, social and emotional changes occur. Understanding these developmental changes is vital, and learning about the teenage brain can help explain some of the reasons behind their actions and choices.

Sexual maturation begins at puberty, and during teen years, your child develops values, beliefs and knowledge about sexuality and loving relationships. They may learn basic facts at school, but parents need to take responsibility for educating their teen about sexuality. Help guide your teen to ensure he/she can protect himself/herself and make informed decisions regarding sexual behaviours and dating.

Mental Health

Why do some teens approach life in the way they do, by bouncing back and dealing well with life’s ups and downs, and others don’t see life so positively? There are many reasons why those who cope well with things have something in common: resiliency. Resiliency is a combination of skills and assets that are gained from experiences and relationships. They help to make decisions, solve problems and recover from life’s setbacks. As a parent, you can’t control whether your teen is resilient, however, you can play an important role in helping him/her to develop positive attributes which in turn, will help him/her develop resiliency. Developing resiliency is key for positive mental health and wellness. Learn more about youth resiliency and developmental assets.

Healthy eating, regular physical activity and having a positive body image are also key factors for maintaining or achieving mental wellness.

Staying safe

The connected world of teens is hard to keep up with. As parents, we need to ensure that our teen is safe when using technology as many risks may arise (cyberbullying, predators, etc). Learn more about the impact media may have on your teen’s development.

Substance use

Drugs and alcohol use are important concerns parents have about their teens. It’s important for parents to have honest and open communication about these issues with their children at an early age. Planning ahead for risk situations related to substance use, and keeping that communication open and frequent as they grow into adulthood will ensure that they understand rules and consequences for their actions, which will enable them to make informed and healthy decisions. Learn more about positive parenting strategies and the risks of alcohol and drugs use in teens.

This item was last modified on July 10, 2018