Bethan O'Riordan

Q: How do I help my teenager with hormones?

A:

I think we all remember being a teenager and how difficult it was. There’s so much that goes on inside the teenage brain and body that it’s complicated and confusing for them. The biggest part of teenage hormones for parents is to have an understanding of how confusing it is for the teenger and how much they have on their plate. Hormones are evolution’s way of helping us create the mental and physical capacity to become an adult but  it can feel like a long road for teenagers.

The teenage years are a great time for parents to support their child to create a life that’s balanced. This includes nutrition, sleep, exercise, fun, being wild, taking risks, meeting responsibilities such as school and study. This doesn’t take place in a linear process. It’s important that conditions are created within the household for conversation and trust, so that the child can try out what being them may look and feel like.

Teenagers’ brains develop incredibly fast and this isn’t their fault. The risk taking part of their brain gets bigger which allows them to explore the world in a way in which perhaps their parents may not want. This is where the relationship that you’ve built with your child over the previous 13 or so years comes into its own and why so much of my work with parents is to help them get this relationship feeling right when children are younger as it pays dividends during the teenage years.  

Teenagers can have explosive emotions and whilst there is a line between expressing and violence consider how else can a person express difficult to manage emotions without them coming out in this way?  The reality is that they can’t. This is where keeping a life in balance really does help.  Exercise can help to release that build up of cortisol and adrenaline and help it be funneled into something constructive.

But what your teenager really needs from you is for them to be allowed to be themselves within the safety of your home. They need you to understand that this leap in development can be overwhelming and that they haven’t yet developed the skills for it to happen in a way that sometimes isn’t messy. Have any of us really?

You also don’t have to be held hostage to your teenager. Boundaries are so important and I can’t think of a more pressing one for us all than phones. No phones in the bedroom after a certain time at night is a basic boundary that I talk with many parents about. Everyone needs to develop the skills of switching off.

Many parents check their children’s phones which to be honest I’m unsure about.  Yes the younger children with phones need clear guidance and checking in with, but there does become a point where teengars need autonomy of their private life and parents need to trust in their child and the relationship they have together. There are excellent courses available about phones and safety and I suggest that all parents complete one so that you are armed with the information to make the correct decision.

But your teenager doesn’t need to see double standards.  You must keep to the boundaries too.  Perhaps it’s a nice time to take stock of your life, how you create balance and keep making strides forwards alongside your teenager.

If you’d like more support helping your teenager, get your the free 5 Steps to Calmer Parenting, join the free Calm & Confident Parenting Community or book a 1 to 1 consultation. If you’re feeling stuck and unsure what’s best for you and your family, book your free call with me to talk things through.

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