The years from ages 13-19 are a time for pushing limits, for exploring new ways of thinking and behaving. It’s normal for parents to imagine their own children behaving in the same manner as they themselves did. While biological children may share half of their parents’ genetics, each child has his or her own way of interacting with the world. Here are some unexpected challenges of parenting teenagers, and some ways to help both parents and teens cope.
Last updated: 15 Jul 2012Views expressed are those solely of the writer and have not been reviewed.

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Even if a parent could clearly remember their own teenage years, their child’s emotions, difficulties, and stresses are often very different.
Many of the newer problems have to deal with technology: internet bullying, sexting, connecting through technology, internet predators. They may be taller than you, have facial hair, be incredibly intelligent and make good decisions, but their brains are simply not fully formed. Keep abreast of what is happening in your child’s life, the media they are exposed to, the trends and fads that are happening.

Although the size of their brain doesn’t change much during the teenage years, what is happening inside does.
Parts of the brain that help balance impulses, goals, and even altruism are forming and not yet complete. A wonderful article in the National Geographic explains this and should be read by every parent.

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