Being a parent is not easy
You may often wonder if you are doing the right thing. Every young person and family is different and there is no one ‘right’ way, in this leaflet we’ve tried to give some ideas which may be useful.
The teenage years are a period of great change for young people and their families. The teenage brain goes through a period of reorganisation; there is often conflict with parents and carers.
Research suggests that authoritative parenting is an effective way to manage behaviour
Authoritative parenting is about a balance between:
- giving your son or daughter increased independence and freedom whilst protecting their safety and wellbeing
- encouraging and rewarding good behaviour whilst discouraging bad behaviour.
Rules are a part of everyday life, having some within the family will help prepare young people for adult life. Involving young people in decisions including setting boundaries, and rules is important. For example negotiating what time they should come in and pocket money.
You as parent(s) should have the final say. Make sure you consider decisions carefully and clearly explain your reasons for them.
Some practical tips
Encourage your son or daughter to talk about how they feel; listen to them carefully. Don’t rush into decisions.
Don’t change your mind without good reason, no means no. However, be prepared to admit it if you realise you have made the wrong decision.
Give praise for achievements and good behaviour’ it may seem like they’re ‘not bothered’ but most young people do want to please you.
Make sure you only promise rewards and punishments that you can stick to. Be calm and clear; if you are finding this difficult give everyone time to calm down and come back to it later. Make sure your son or daughter knows exactly what is expected of them.
Remember to have some time out for yourself, relax and do something you enjoy.
For further information see the Family Lives website.
L713, V4, 22/09/2022 (Archive: 21/09/2025)