As your child gets older the challenges change

"I hate you!" Stroppiness, grumpiness, becoming withdrawn, being argumentative, and breaking rules are all the signs that your child has turned into a teenager.

Although you may find their behaviour upsetting or stressful, there’s nothing to worry about, it’s all part of growing up.

But why does this happen and what can you do to support them through this? No two teens are the same, but hopefully by understanding more about the way they behave, you can help them get through it.

What’s happening in a teenager’s brain?

The teenage years are when young people begin to develop a sense of who they are. They start exploring new friendships and romantic relationships and developing new interests, this is all a natural part of growing up and becoming an adult.

But while your teen may look like an adult and want to be treated like an adult, they don’t quite have an adult brain yet. Their brain is still developing, which is why it’s easier to learn things when you’re a teenager than when you’re an adult.

At this age, the decision-making part of the brain isn’t yet fully formed, but the emotional parts of the brain are. This is why teenagers don’t always think logically or act sensibly.

It’s also why they feel things very deeply and can sometimes feel overwhelmed by their emotions. This is why they are more likely to do risky things, like experiment with alcohol and drugs as their brain is more impulsive and is rewarded by doing things ‘just for fun’.

Did you know we offer free parenting courses? 

We have a module that covers understanding your teenagers brain. Click here for more information on this course and use code SIX_TOWNS to gain FREE access.

How to help your teenager

It can be tough when you see them upset or angry, or doing things you don’t want them to do. But remember it’s just part of growing up. You need to let them know that it’s okay to have these strong feelings. Click here for more advice on supporting your teens mental health.

On top of this it’s important to build a relationship with your teenager. Click here for more advice on building a relationship with your teenager.

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