Parenting Adolescents

For many parents, your children’s pre-teen and teen years present some of the greatest parenting challenges.  Concerns may include:

  • Moodiness
  • Sullenness
  • Body image issues
  • Challenging authority
  • Clothing, hairstyle and makeup
  • Vulnerability to cyber bullying and cyber stalking
  • Shift of attention from family to peers
  • Exposure to smoking, alcohol and drugs
  • Interest in dating and sex

As they negotiate the path to greater independence, teens increasingly make their own choices.   They also tend to share less information with you than they did during their earlier years.   This makes it more difficult for you to differentiate between typical teenage behavior and indications of a serious problem.   Signs that your teen may need more help include:

  • Aggressive behavior or violence
  • Decline in school or work performance
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Unhealthy dating relationships
  • Over focus on weight and body image
  • Withdrawal from peers and activities
  • Severe irritability
  • Suicidal thoughts

It can be helpful to discuss your concerns with someone to determine when it is important to intervene.  Counselors at the Faculty Staff Assistance Office are available to help you assess whether your teen’s behavior suggests he or she might be at risk and to advise you on steps you could take to support your adolescent.