Adolescence is a time of huge change, physically, emotionally and socially.

Teenagers are developing their own sense of identity and self, which is influenced by their friends. 

It is normal, and necessary, for teenagers to develop their independence and own ideas of where they fit into the world.  

Pushing boundaries and taking risks

Teenagers often challenge beliefs and rules to establish their independence. This can lead to difficult behaviours and the pushing of boundaries.  

Teenager’s emotions are often up and down as they attempt to find ways of dealing with peers and other adults. They may challenge acceptable ways of behaving. This may lead to conflicts and disagreements with parents, teachers and other authority figures.

Teenagers are likely to take risks as their brains are still developing. Part of this development is learning to predict what could happen when they do something risky. 

Being there for your teen

It is important to allow teenagers to understand you are there to support them, even when they make mistakes.

  • Respect their privacy and support them in developing their own unique identity.
  • Let them know you are willing to listen and assist them to solve problems or difficulties they may be having.  
  • Show interest in their ideas, feelings, and friends. 
  • Show them that you are willing to understand their need for independence. 

Want to know more?

Raising Children Network – Teens development 

Headspace – Understanding adolescence: for families 

Psychology Today – The essence of adolescence