What might help?
Take a look at our young people’s information pages about Common Issues if you’re worried about something in particular. It might be helpful to take a step back to learn what their brain is busy doing and think about sharing it with your teenager.
Tips and tricks
Be flexible and creative about how you communicate with your child as they grow older – any conversation is better than no conversation. Continue to let them know you are someone they can trust.
Take comfort from knowing that your teenager’s behaviour towards you isn’t personal, and that their ability to think rationally, make good judgements and feel empathy is lowered during adolescence.
Most young people don’t find teenage years easy! Cast your mind back – did you? Try to remind yourself though, that their brains are busy undergoing important changes and that they need to break away from the family to grown into an independent adult.
Get to know what pushes your buttons and what pushes theirs. Try to avoid these ‘push button’ situations or practise walking away when things get heated if you can.
Still worried and concerned?
Because our teenagers’ behaviour is changing so much and can be unusual it might be hard to know whether to be alarmed or concerned. And it can also be hard to know if and at what point you or your teenager might need extra support with behaviours that you find upsetting or troubling. Certainly, if their behaviour or what they are telling you is concerning over a prolonged period of time it could be time to talk this through with someone on a helpline or to seek some support for them (and you).
Find support for young people in Leeds or browse the suggested links below.
Leeds MindMate SPA (Single Point of Access) works with local services to find the right support for children and young people who have a Leeds GP. If your child is 5-17 years you can contact the SPA to ask for help.Contact SPA
Leeds Young People’s Mediation Service aims to improve the relationship between parent/ carers and their young person. Available to young people aged 10-18 and their families.Mediation Service
So your child is turning 18?
How do mental health services change when your child becomes an adult?Mental health over 18
Parent experience; Hannah
Hear from another parent on what she finds tough about parenting her 14 year old … and things she finds helpful to remember.Parent experience
The adolescent brain and what parents can do
Neurologist Judy Willis explains how the brain develops during adolescence and shares advice for parents on reckless behaviour and risk-taking.Video on the adolescent brain
Talking mental health with young people
A guide for parents and carers from Anna Freud Centre about talking to young people at secondary school about mental health.Anna Freud Centre
Self harm advice
YouTube clip Dr. Pooky Knightsmith – what NOT to do if a child is self harming.Go to clip
Coping with self-harm
Guide for parents and carers from the Charlie Waller Trust.Charlie Waller Trust
An information leaflet for parents and carers whose child is moving on to secondary school, to help them to find ways to support their child during this time of change.Ch-ch-changes pdf
YGAM Parent Hub
A wide range of online resources to increase parents’ knowledge and understanding of gaming and gambling.Go to YGAM
Essential tips and information about parenting in a digital world, screen use and online safety.Go to Parent Zone
You are not alone
Guide from Dept of Psychiatry for parents who are coping with their child’s self-harm.Dept of Psychiatry
A short animation from Anna Freud Centre describing what it is like to suffer from depression as a teenager.Film from Anna Freud Centre
Recommends books for 13 to 18 year olds with advice and information about issues like anxiety, body image and difficult experiences like bullying and exams.Reading well
Alcohol and drug service in Leeds for adults, young people and families.Forward Leeds
Mermaids is a national organisation which supports children and young people up to 19 years old with gender identity issues, and their families, and professionals involved in their care.Mermaids