Moving into Adolescence and the Teenage Years

At around the same time that young people move up to secondary and upper school, they begin to go through significant physical and mental changes including puberty. During adolescence, the children continue to grow physically and emotionally, changing from a child into an adult. At the same time, young people develop a stronger sense of self, they form their own identities and developing important attachments with people other than their parents. Alongside this, they can start to experience increased pressure from friendships and exams and all of this can make them anxious and stressed.


A Time of change

Young people are on the verge of entering a potentially exciting time in their life but it can also feel very confusing and sometimes even a bit frightening. To help support these changes, parents may want to adjust the way they parent in order to respond to the very different needs of their teenage child.


The main issue that parents talk about as their child moved into their teens is that they don't engage with their parents in the same way that they did when they were younger. They choose to spend more time with their friends or on their own. Young people begin to display stronger feelings and they may sometimes get very emotional and upset. 



Knowing how to respond to the needs of teenagers isn’t always easy and there are no ‘right’ answers. Every young person is different but it can help us in our role as parents to find out more about teenagers, to reflect on how we interact with them and, when necessary, to seek more advice and support if we need it.



Over the next few pages we offer parents and carers some tips, information and links to help support the role of parents through the teenage years. It can be a tricky time for families as dynamics change but a comforting thought might be that, 'You're not alone!'