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Health Tip: Managing the Teen Years

-- The teen years can be difficult for parents and their children, who are undergoing countless physical and emotional changes.

The Nemours Foundation offers these suggestions to help you and your child navigate the teen years a bit more smoothly:

  • Do your homework on the challenges that your child is likely to face as a teen, and how they may change your relationship. Don't forget what that period of life was like for you.
  • Talk with your teen early on about puberty and the changes that will occur. Be prepared to answer your child's questions about issues such as sex, drugs and alcohol.
  • Put yourself in your child's shoes. Keep in mind the emotional and physical changes that about to occur in your teen. Be patient and sympathetic.
  • Let your child develop his or her own personality, and don't fight over every little thing. But always be firm on serious topics such as sex, alcohol and drugs.
  • Understand that your child may be resistant to the rules you impose. It's natural, but this doesn't necessarily mean that your child won't strive to meet your expectations.
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Posted: March 2009