Parenting teenagers: Help ! What’s normal? Where can I find support?
You’re not alone! Parenting teenagers has never been easy and each generation of parents faces new challenges. It’s natural to experience mood swings as an adolescent but many teenagers are now experiencing higher levels of anxiety and self-harm than ever before. We know that as a parent, it can be difficult to know what’s normal and when you should worry. The websites and books in the section below have been chosen to help you discover what’s going on in your teenager’s brain, how to communicate effectively and where to look for help and reliable information.
Parenting young adults: help and advice
Just because your child is now a young adult, doesn’t mean you will stop worrying about them. Find resources for parents on the self-help for young people page, including a section for students. Most colleges, universities and large employers will have counselling support available. If you are worried about your child, you can contact their GP and let them know your concerns, although the GP will not be able to share any information with you without your child’s consent (which needs to be noted on their records).
Websites and videos for parents
Hormone hijack 14-19 yrs. A video about changes in the developing brains of teenagers, including mood swings and why they need so much sleep!
Excellent website for teenagers and parents of teenagers. The section ‘My amazing brain’ explains more about what’s going on in the developing brain. Practical and easy to read e.g ‘Your teenagers behaviour towards you isn’t personal; the ability to think rationally, make good judgements and feel empathy is lowered during adolescence’ !
Communicating with teens
Lots of articles and videos on common challenges and questions for parents of teenagers from the fabulous charity Family Lives.
- Recognising signs and symptoms of depression, anxiety, self-harm, and what to do
- Top tips on looking after yourself with a teenager in the house!
- Parenting teenagers
Practical advice on dealing with common teen issues from Relate, plus you can chat to their counsellors on-line. Discusses everything from problems with school-work, drugs, alcohol, sex and relationships, and behaviour problems.
Books for parents
- Blame My Brain: the Amazing Teenage Brain Revealed
by Nicola Morgan. This gives a really good insight into why teenagers struggle with many issues and gives tips about how parents can help. “It’s funny as well as interesting and will completely change the way you deal with situations” (Parent) Also quite highly rated by young people themselves!
- How to Talk so Teens will Listen and Listen so Teens Will Talk
by Adele Faber. Highly recommended- practical, full of examples and illustrations.
- Get Out Of My Life …But First Take Me and Alex Into Town
by Tony Wolf and Suzanne Franks. Funny, practical and insightful.
‘I can now see that some of my son’s rejection of me is as a very natural part of his development, in order for him to be able to separate and become independent. This book explains that this is quite confusing and upsetting for teenagers too ” (Parent)
Coping with Divorce or Separation
Drugs and Alcohol
Low Mood and Depression
Internet Safety and Gaming
Coping with Death or Loss
Psychosis and Bipolar Disorder
School Anxiety and Refusal
Gender and Sexuality
Tics and Tourettes