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How to Help Your Teenager With All The Changes

Updated on January 8, 2013
Teenagers Socializing
Teenagers Socializing | Source

There Is A Reason for Every Behavior

Each child is different in their development timeline however, it is inevitable that at some point during the teenage years you will have the pleasure of experiencing at least some of the stereo typical teenage trademarks.

You know the ones:

  • Eye rolls
  • Exaggerated sighs
  • One word answers
  • Impatient body language
  • and an argument at every turn

These behaviors are completely natural and are expressed for a reason.

It's a Dirty Job

Please remember that it's hard work being a teenager!

Their hormones are going crazy, causing unpredictable swings in mood and emotions. Teens get immeasurable pressure from peers and media, not to mention the opposite sex.

They are always wondering if they measure up to someone else's idea of what they should be because they have not had the time nor the strength to form their own opinion yet.

Set the Standard

Set a standard for behavior. Respect for you and the rest of the family as well as teachers and authority figures should be non-negotiable.

Don’t blow off disrespectful behavior and attitudes just because she’s a ‘teenager’ or because she is having her period.

If you allow your teenager to talk to you in a way you wouldn't allow anyone else to, you’re teaching them that social rules don’t apply to them. Not only will your teen loose a great deal of respect for you but they will also have a hard time in their personal and professional relationships as an adult.

Out Of Character

Emotional outbursts start pretty small. One day your teen will get really emotional about something you perceive to be relatively small and they may yell at you or say something rude in a heated moment.

This will obviously take you by surprise because I’m sure your child has always been very sweet and respectful toward you.

Now you get concerned. What could have upset them so much that they lashed out like that? You will probably dismiss the remarks or raised voice because you’re trying to get to the root of the problem. It has to be something really serious right? You know your child and it just isn’t in their character to behave like that!


You just witnessed your first hormonal overload. Believe me, it shocked your child as much as you! When they calm down and the moment has passed, it would be the perfect time to let them know where the boundary line is.

It Is Ok To Be In A Bad Mood

You may be tempted to pretend like that was an isolated incident and ignore it but it is really important that you don’t do that.

It’s a perfect opportunity for you to teach your teen the acceptable ways of handling frustration, fear, and anger.

Let your child know that it is OK to say, “I’m in a bad mood and shouldn't talk to anyone right now”. Do not let them think it is acceptable to verbally abuse everyone around them.

You need to remember that your teen has always seen you as ’larger than life’. You, as their parent are almost magical. You have always been bigger and stronger, you can fix things, make scary monsters go away, and always make them feel safe. Your teen is trying to find out if you are really as strong as you have always pretended to be.

Remember when you could make them stop doing something wrong with just ’the look’?

If you don’t set a strong line when it comes to how your child treats you, they will start to question your strength.

Your Teen Needs You To Be Strong

Your teenager's world is changing quickly now and they really need you to be a stable force. Your child is testing you and they are looking for acceptable boundaries. They need it!

You are supposed to be their rock. If they are allowed to talk to you in a disrespectful way, they will end up going to their room and thinking, “My (mom, dad) can’t even handle a 12(13 or 14) year old!”

Your teen's whole perception of you will change and their behavior toward you will progressively get worse. They may get increasingly more rude and loud until you draw that line because that is what they are looking for.

Children don't need their parents to become door mats that let themselves get trampled on and they don’t need a yelling match between the two of you.

Show them how to calmly control the situation while upholding a standard for yourself. Your child is watching how you react and learning from it.

Believe me, save yourself and your teen the hassle and let them know in the beginning what is acceptable and what isn’t.

Arguing Isn't Necessary

Arguing and power plays between you aren't necessary.

Be compassionate and let your teen know that you understand what they are going through and that being a teenager is tough. Let them know that you will listen when they want to vent about any issues going on at school and you will be patient when they just feel like being alone for a little while.

At the same time, calmly let your child know that it will never be acceptable to talk to you in an abusive way and that taking their frustrations out on you or any other members of the family will not be tolerated.

They should know right then what the future consequences will be for that behavior.

It is important to pick a consequence that you are willing to follow through with because they will test this too.

Don’t let your child down!

Journals and Pencils
Journals and Pencils | Source

Give Your Teen Options And Support

Your teen needs some important tools and options for releasing their emotions. Get them a journal, sign them up for kickboxing or anything that will help them release their frustrations and manager their mood swings.

Hormones can be a nightmare but you can help your teenager handle them without ostracizing those they care about. The guilt they feel after an outburst will definitely not help their self esteem or feeling of security. Your child has a bumpy road ahead of them and they need you to be the power they draw strength from.

When it feels like the rest of the world has turned upside down, they will always know that they can count on their parents to be consistent.

Contrary to what some believe, your teen will not think you’re ‘cool’ or like you more because you allow them to treat you like another teenager.

They will loose respect for you and your authority. They are counting on you to set the standard of what is acceptable and what is not.

Your child needs it and deserves it!


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    • roxanne459 profile image

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      Thank you Docmo! The teenage years can be wonderful and super hard all at the same time. They deserve our patients and strong guidence to make it through. :)

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 5 years ago from UK

      This is great advice Roxanne, I think it will apply to teenage sons as much as it does to daughters. Very well written. I am voting up and sharing!

    • roxanne459 profile image

      Roxanne Lewis 6 years ago from Washington

      Thank you jpcmc! You have a lot of wonderful stages ahead of you before either of you have to worry about the challenges of adolescence. Enjoy every minute because it really does go by way to fast. :)

      Thank you for your time and comment!

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 6 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      I hind this hub really valuable. I'm a new dad and I need all the information I can get. She's 10 months right now and teenage is still more than a decade to go, but it's good to know what to expect and how to deal with it.

    • roxanne459 profile image

      Roxanne Lewis 6 years ago from Washington

      Thank you Lizam1, Sounds like you girls are very lucky! ;)

    • Lizam1 profile image

      Lizam1 6 years ago from Victoria BC

      I love your passion and I agree with much of what you write. I remember only too well how I was when I was fourteen - my girls are a breeze compared to that!

    • roxanne459 profile image

      Roxanne Lewis 6 years ago from Washington

      Thank you alisha4u! You are right, i'm going to restructure it. All advice and suggestions always welcome! ;)

    • alisha4u profile image

      alisha4u 6 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Loved Reading it.... You are a great writer..

      A piece of advice : Try to keep your Hub neat by distributing it into paragraphs, and giving appropriate spaces...