Parenting teens

You know it. They know it. Teenage years are growth years and ones of great change. Not only are their bodies growing but also their brains - which continue to develop until their early to mid 20s. Teens need food, sleep, and exercise and lots of love and support – the same as for a child, but in different ways. Most things about their world are changing. Don't let your love be one of them. You might like to start with Parenting teens: Introduction.

Father and teenage daughter looking and laughing at something on a mobile phone

Teenage years are growth years and ones of great change. Most things about your teenager's world are changing. Don't let your love be one of them.

New research has found that teenagers are so different because their brains are undergoing a BIG change, which starts around puberty and continues through to their mid-20s.

Teenagers need an average of 9 hours of sleep each night.

To be a more effective parent and enjoy a closer family relationship, you need to spend quality family time together.

While the teenage years can at times be stormy and emotional, your kids need to know that you will always be there and what you expect from them.

The best parenting skill you can have is to simply act like one! In order for your kids to respect you, you must give them a person worth respecting.

Be the kind of person you want your teenager to grow up to be.

Kids whose parents know who their friends are, where they are - and what they are up to - are less likely to get into trouble.

Kids that feel close to one or more parents tend to do better in life. Listen to your teenager ... when they are ready to talk. Ask open ended questions and listen with the intention to hear. Send clear and encouraging messages. Be open and tell the truth.

Alcohol is our most common recreational drug. Not drinking is the safest option for young people under 18 years of age.

Alcohol is our most common recreational drug. Not drinking is the safest option for young people under 18 years of age.

Alcohol is our most common recreational drug. Those under 15 years of age are at the greatest risk of harm from drinking, and not drinking in this age groups is especially important. For young people under 18 - the safest option is to delay drinking for as long as possible.

Look for opportunities to talk about drugs with your teenager. Talk with your teens about ways they can so no to alcohol or other drugs, without them losing face with their friends. Be informed about drugs.

Parties are part of the fun in growing up and a good way for young people to be able to mix with others. Negotiate the rules with your teen beforehand. Plans and boundaries help to keep your teenager safer.

Even with the best parents in the world, young people can still get into trouble. Most teenagers will experiment with alcohol and getting it wrong is not uncommon. If your teen does get very drunk, is unconscious or vomiting continuously, don't leave them alone.

There are many reasons why people self harm. The most important thing to do is to listen. It is very important to encourage talking as that is a much better way to help the intensity of emotions than to self harm.

If you want to find out more information about teenagers and alcohol and drugs, you could start with some of the references used in the pages on alcohol and drugs.