Most parents would likely agree that the teenage years are some of the most difficult when raising children.
Teenagers are starting to discover who they are, and they approach the world more analytically and maturely. However, they lack the mental maturity of adults, and tempers can easily flare, especially as they begin to forge their own identity.
Teenagers are beginning to feel the need to break away from their parents and often resent feeling dependent. This need for personal independence can often manifest itself through inappropriate, disrespectful, or flat-out inexcusable behavioral displays. Some parents have great difficulty adjusting to the thought that their child is becoming an adult, but they also need to stand firm and not accept disrespectful behavior. If your teen is displaying unusually hostile attitudes toward you, make it very clear that you are there if needed but will not tolerate disrespect.
Many arguments between parents and teens erupt due to the company the child keeps. Parents may not approve of their friends, but it’s crucial to never be overly judgmental. Try to avoid judging your child’s friends by how they dress or look. Instead, take the time to get to know them and their families. Teens are often very attached to their friends and will resent their parents for unjustly judging their friends as bad influences. However, if you suspect that your teen’s friends are exposing him or her to dangerous things like alcohol, drugs, or other hazardous behaviors, take the initiative to ensure he or she is safe.
The teenage years are full of hormones, and your teen is probably becoming much more interested in sex. While conversations about sex may be awkward (for both you and your child), it’s important to address them openly and honestly so your teen doesn’t have incorrect information or makes dangerous assumptions. If you find out that your teen is already sexually active, make sure he or she has what they need to stay safe—even if you disapprove of their behavior.