Many parents find their teenager's behaviour challenging.
Teenagers' behaviour can be baffling, stressful, hurtful and often worrying. But in most cases it doesn't mean that there is anything more serious going on than the natural process of becoming an adult.
Many of the common behaviour issues that parents find hard are an essential part of puberty and growing up.
Surges of hormones, combined with body changes, struggling to find an identity, pressures from friends and a developing sense of independence, mean the teenage years are a confusing time for your child.
It can mean that they, for example, become aloof, want more time alone or with friends, feel misunderstood, reject your attempts to talk or show affection, or appear sullen and moody.
Teenagers can challenge even the calmest of parents. When you have further pressures in your life, such as other children, work, relationships, family commitments or illness, it can feel as though your teenager is going to push you over the edge.
Try to step back from the situation, and remember that they have physiological reasons for behaving in ways that can be difficult to live with. They’re probably not enjoying it either.
You’re the adult, and it is your responsibility to guide them through the difficult times. Don’t expect to enjoy your time with them all of the time, and remember to look after yourself.
Parenting a teenager can be exhausting, so it's important to look after yourself, too.
Family Lives, a charity dedicated to helping families, offers the following advice:
Linda Blair, a clinical psychologist who works with families, explains that: “Teenagers can be largely emotional rather than logical because of the hormones rampaging through their bodies. It is not necessarily pleasant for them, and it can even feel frightening.
“Although it might be hard for you, they need you to maintain a calm consistent presence.”
Follow these tips:
Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.