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Parenting teenagers

Parenting teenagers can be challenging and many parents find it hard to adapt to changes in their child's behaviour as they grow up. Here you'll find some useful resources to help deal with common teen issues.

What might help?

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).

Take a look at our What’s in North Yorkshire for me? page to see what support is on offer locally, or browse the suggested links below. You may also be interested in our Sexual Health page, for information on what sexual health services are available in North Yorkshire.

Sleep Support Scheme

The Sleep Charity has been commissioned to provide a pilot sleep support service for children and young people in North Yorkshire. 

The sleep service includes providing online one-to-one sleep clinics for families (click here for more information) and developing sleep plans with parents/carers to help address sleep issues and establish a regular night-time sleep pattern. All families will have follow-up support and where needed, will be referred to primary and secondary care for any medical investigations.

The Sleep Charity will provide appropriate sleep advice and support for parents/carers of disabled and non-disabled children aged 12 months to 18 years of age. Those with a Special Education Need or Disability and/or Education Health Care Plan will have access to the service up to their 25th birthday.

The charity also offer free foundation sleep workshops for parents/carers across North Yorkshire. Click here for more information.

Families can self-refer or speak to their GP.

Referrals can be accepted from GP Practices for children age 12 months upwards, by telephoning Claire on 07568 052300.

Families can self-refer by telephone or text to Claire on 07568 052300 or by email to [email protected]

Things you might find useful

So your child is turning 18?

How do mental health services change when your child becomes an adult? Moving from CAMHS to AMHS.

Visit Mind website

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.

View on YouTube

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.

Visit Anna Freud website

Relate - on teens

Lots of practical advice on how to deal with common teen issues.

Visit Relate website

You are not alone

Guide from Dept of Psychiatry for parents who are coping with their child’s self-harm.

Visit University of Oxford website

Facing shadows

A short animation from Anna Freud Centre describing what it is like to suffer from depression as a teenager.

View on YouTube

Reading well

Recommends books for children, teens and about mental health.

Visit Reading Well website


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.

Visit Mermaids website

Young people and vaping

Vaping is not for children and young people. Parents and carers can make sure young people understand the health facts about vaping and know about vaping and the law.

Visit NHS website

Sleep support for teens

The Teen Sleep Hub offers support, videos and eBooks to help parents and carers support their teens. Call the national sleep helpline, number below.

Visit Teen Sleep Hub website Call 03303 530 541

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