Being a parent isn't easy. And during adolescence, you will experience difficult times. The changes that occur during adolescence are often confusing to both the teenager and his/her parent(s). Adolescence is a unique stage distinct from both childhood and adulthood. Profound physical, emotional, intellectual and social changes occur. Adolescence is divided into three periods:

  1. Early adolescence age 11-14
  2. Middle adolescence age 15-17
  3. Late adolescence age 18-21

The adolescent becomes preoccupied with biological changes, and is often concerned whether they are normal. Adolescents mature across several domains: cognitive changes, psychological and social changes. Adolescents are preoccupied with biological changes and are often concerned whether they are normal. As adolescents transition from childhood to adolescence, you may notice them putting distance between you and them. This is normal, this signals increased independence and heightened responsibility for personal decisions and actions.

Helpful Tips For Parents of Adolescents:

  • Ensure that your teen gets a yearly check up
  • Spend time with your teen
  • Listen and talk with your teen
  • Limit criticism, demeaning, or belittling comments
  • Establish realistic expectations
  • Establish and communicate clear limits and consequences for breaking rules
  • Be a positive role model
  • Provide praise and encouragement. Say "I love you."
  • Respect the teen's need for privacy
  • Monitor your teen's behavior
  • Attend all parent-teacher school conferences
  • Attend your teen's school-related activities (band, choir, sports)
  • Guide your teen toward choices that will keep them safe
  • Be honest and open
  • Talk with your teen about ways to handle peer-pressure
  • Talk with your teen about reasons to wait to have sex
  • Don't assume your teen is having sex, if they ask you about it
  • Have an ongoing conversation about sex with your teen

Helpful Web Sites

The National Parenting Center

External links to other sites are intended to be informational and do not have the endorsement of the Department of State Health Services. These sites may also not be accessible to persons with disabilities. 

Last updated June 11, 2014