Home/Advice for Parents and Carers of 12-18 year olds
Advice for Parents and Carers of 12-18 year oldsJen2021-03-08T15:44:25+00:00
As young people grow and develop through their teenage years it is normal to come across a number of challenges. It is important to remember that your teenagers brain is developing at a rapid rate during this time and that as a species we are designed to push boundaries during this period of our lives as we seek out the independence needed to survive in adulthood. Showing your young person that they are loved, valued and trusted during this period may feel difficult but is vital in supporting their mental health and wellbeing.
You and Your Child
You are one of the most important people in your child’s life and your relationship will mean you can heal together.
Try to spend time with them doing something they enjoy.
Find ways for them to relax, if possible on a daily basis, e.g. listen to music, going for a walk or having a bath.
Acknowledge your child’s feelings, even if you think their worries are trivial, to them they are very important.
Give your child affirmations even if their behaviour is challenging, ‘I’m glad you are here.’ ‘I like who you are.’ This is to remind them that you love them no matter what.
Listen to them, it is important that you are ready to listen to them when they are ready to talk as this could be at any moment.
Talk to them when they are ready, they may use challenging behaviour to get your attention if they feel unheard or confused.
Acknowledge that it may be difficult for them to talk to you about what happened and how they feel. This is important because once they start talking about it, it becomes less of a problem for them.
Be patient! If they do not want to talk don’t push them.
Be kind! Respond with kindness rather than with negative emotions.
Have clear and consistent routines at home, e.g. at bedtime have a specific order that things are done in and ensure bedtime is around the same time every day, research has shown structure is very important to maintain our emotional wellbeing. The sleep charity has some great advice here.
If you cannot talk to your child or they won’t talk to you, try to find another safe adult they trust, e.g. a teacher, another family member.
Don’t be too hard on yourself if your child is having problems. Even though it can be worrying and more challenging to support your child if they are having a bad time you need to remember that you are not a bad parent and that your support will help them heal.
Often children will express their negative emotions towards those that are closest to them, so you may be experiencing the full force of their big emotions. Remember the love and care you show them will help them heal during this time.
Make sure you take time to calm your own emotions before responding to a situation with your child. Take a deep breath and a moment to think about what you are going to do and say before you react.
Remember to keep adult issues to adults, If you find you are struggling with things yourself find another adult that you can talk to and that can give you support. This could be a friend, your partner, a member of staff at your child’s school or your GP.
Below are some places you can find advice about parenting teenagers to ensure they feel supported.
NHS for coping with challenging teenage behaviours.
Advice for parenting teenagers.
Advice about the things your teenager needs from you to thrive.
A podcast about sleep issues with Pooky Knightsmith
Advice for parenting teenagers with information about a range of different topics.
The links below will give you some parenting advice related to specific situations.
Gingerbread is a charity which support single parent families.
This page gives you advice for supporting children and young people in a number of situations which may be related to life in a single parent family.
Advice related to bullying
Advice for parents and carers about bullying, including information about their parent and carer helpline.
Information for parents and carers about bullying.
Information about free assertiveness workshops for young people aged 9-16 and their parents/carers run by Kidscape.