Keen Teens

12-14 years old

Adolescence brings new and exciting challenges to parents and to young people as they commence puberty. There are noticeable changes to their body, behaviour and personality. Be considerate and sensitive to these changes and continue to focus on and strengthen positive communication with your young person.

Communication will support and guide the choices and decisions that a young person makes. Present your child with hypothetical situations and encourage them to contemplate and consider `what they would do…'. Praise good ideas, suggestions and observations. Listen to their point of view as they rationalise and establish their own identity and develop their own opinions and morals.

Family rules are important in providing a clear framework for your child to learn to behave appropriately. Rules should be relevant, consistent and the consequences made clear.

Understanding brain development in early adolescents is one factor that may help to explain why they act and do things the way they do. Emotional control may become erratic or aggressive and decision making impulsive. Adolescents are more likely to pursue and seek out risky experiences as they seek stimulation.

As parents and carers you can help facilitate positive and safe experiences by providing them with challenges that are demanding yet achievable.