Teenagers get stressed too…

I’m sure there are many parents out there who are worried about their teenage son or daughter.  Maybe they seem depressed, or angry and frustrated, or are rebelling to extremes. However, no matter how concerned you are, there are some very important points to remember before you approach your teen.

  1. You may not be the right person to help. Teenagers are starting the process of separating themselves from their parents, and they have a lot of history (good and bad) with you. Their peer groups are where they look for support, but someone they respect outside the family unit may make a difference as well. Sometimes teens and parents need a proper break from each other in order to get along. If things get very bad it might be better for them to stay with another trusted adult for a while. If this happens you have not failed, in fact you are protecting your future relationship with them.
  2. Never forget that their brain is being ‘renovated’ over this time. If a teenager is not making sense with what decisions they make or what they say, remember that they are dealing with huge physiological changes internally. Be prepared to ride this out with out taking it personally! Hard I know.
  3. You must let them have some independence. I’m not meaning letting them go to every wild party that comes around – but in day to day decisions about their lives. If a teenager feels they have some control over their life they are less likely to go off the rails.
  4. Doing drugs, drinking to excess, being highly promiscuous and generally getting in trouble are not necessary ‘just what teenagers do’, they usually do these things to cope with hurt and frustration. If your teen is headed in this direction then try your best to get them some help. Their brains are so vulnerable to damage while they are still developing.
  5. Lead by example. If you are concerned about your teenager’s behavior then you need to model behavior that is stable and reliable. If you cannot do this it might be time to get some support for yourself. You are the adult here, they are still learning and will make mistakes.


To be fair, I write these things acknowledging that I am not an expert, or perfect with my own children – but I do have experience with helping families survive these stages. Please add any advice you may have in comments. I think every parent needs as much help as they can get through the teen years!



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What is preventing you from asking for help?

What is going on in your life?

Stressful relationships, anxiety, depression, work problems, mental health concerns and many more situations can become too overwhelming for us to even think about clearly, let alone change effectively.

There are so many reasons why people avoid or put off asking for help. Maybe they are self-conscious, embarrassed, scared of the consequences or of looking weak. I am currently doing some writing on this topic because I too used to be someone who avoiding asking for help – almost at all costs. In fact I still find it hard, but I’m better at it.

Unfortunately when something serious is going on, the chances of it getting better on its own is low. So what is stopping you?

Do you really want the current situation to be the same tomorrow, next week or next year?

Are other people getting hurt as well?

Maybe it’s time to take a good hard look at things – consider all your options. Sometimes it’s easier to talk to someone who is outside the situation, as friends and family can be too emotionally involved themselves, and not able to give balanced advice.

Don’t forget that you do not have to tell people everything – only what you are comfortable disclosing at that time.

Most importantly, if you do not feel safe in your situation please tell someone soon. 

Don’t forget to check out my therapy e-books

Some Encouragement…

This is a little post to encourage any of you that feel that your past, your present or your feelings will never be redeemed. Maybe you have been incredibly hurt by the actions of other people, or have experienced the sort of traumas that are so hard to recover from. Maybe you yourself have not made great decisions when it comes to relationships, life, money etc.

I want all of you to know that you are worthy of a better life, no matter who you are. No matter how bad things are, they can be improved. Sometimes the smallest of changes can make a big difference to the way you feel or the decisions you make.

Keep people in your life who support your dreams, who want the best from you. If you have no-one like this then maybe it is time to make a fresh start and meet some new people.

Most of all, don’t ever feel like you are doomed to walk the same life forever. You can have something different if YOU want it. The key to this is that this does depend on you. Don’t wait for other people to save you, they will never understand exactly what you need. You are the only expert on your life.

Take care. This is the start of your journey to something different. You may not see what is ahead in the distance but take a step on to your new bridge anyway.

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