Seven Tips For Dealing With Teenagers

Updated April 8, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

The teenage years can be challenging for parents. Some people may associate teenagers with crazy hormones and bad attitudes. Still, there may be many positive aspects of adolescence.  Your child is entering a new stage of life and preparing for adulthood. They are growing into the person they're going to be, which can be fun to witness, even if it can be somewhat difficult at times. To make the most out of these last years you have before your child becomes an adult, here are seven tips to help you deal with teenagers.

1. Remember that challenges have changed for teenagers

Teenagers may still face many of the same challenges that this particular age group has faced for centuries. Think acne, hormones, trying to fit in, and wondering if that boy or girl is interested in them, for instance. Still, technology has brought with it a whole new set of challenges for teenagers, and with it has come increased levels of anxiety and depression.

With the prevalence of social media, today’s teens may find themselves under constant stress and pressure. Social media is always there, so your teen may feel like they’re constantly trying to seek approval from their peers. This persistent fear of social judgement or isolation can take its toll.  

2. Look for what you have in common

Trouble parenting teens?

Being a teenager can be hard. Many may feel that their parents don't understand them and that they have nothing in common with mom or dad. It can help you connect with your teenager if you look for things that you have in common. This could be something as simple as sports, music, or a certain type of food. Once you've discovered the things that you have in common, make time to enjoy this mutual interest together. 

3. Remember to listen without judging

Trying to talk to your teenager can be frustrating at times. They don't always have the best communication skills, and they might not always care to hear what you have to say. Still, it could be crucial to let your teenager know that you are available to listen if they need someone to talk to.

Perhaps the most essential part of listening to your teen is to do so without judgment. If you constantly criticize them, insult them, or tell them why they're wrong, then they may stop coming to you with problems or concerns. Practice listening first before giving advice. You might even consider asking them if they want help, or if they just need to vent.  

This can be a fine line to walk. You’re the parent, so it may be your job to guide and correct them when necessary. Still, they are reaching an age where they might need to begin learning how to solve problems and make decisions on their own.

4. Teach them life skills

When dealing with teenagers, it may be important to remember that this is the time to teach them what they need to know to be successful. You may need to stop doing some things for them so that they can learn to do some things for themselves. Consider teaching them how to cook, create a budget, do laundry, and clean a house, for example. You could also teach them how to check the oil in a car or call to make a doctor's appointment. With each new skill that they master, they may continue to build confidence in their abilities. 

5. Start to give them more freedom

If you've been raising these children for years, then you could be used to setting rules for them. But as they mature through the teen years, you may need to start giving them more freedom and fewer rules. This might not mean backing off entirely and letting them have complete control. But it may mean that you need to find a balance between establishing rules for their safety and  allowing them some degree of independence and decision-making.

6. Allow them to make mistakes and fail

Perhaps one of the toughest things as a parent is seeing your children fail at something. You may not want them to be embarrassed, frustrated, or to struggle. But if you continually bail them out to avoid this, they may not learn how to succeed on their own.

With the ever-growing problem of anxiety and depression around the world, your teenagers may need to learn that they aren't going to get it right every single time. Consider teaching them that perfection isn't something to strive for since it doesn’t exist. If they think that things always must be perfect to be acceptable, they may experience mental health challenges and low self-esteem as they enter young adulthood. On the other hand, if they learn that failing is part of life and it's okay to try again, it may help them build real confidence in themselves and their abilities.

7. Celebrate who they are

The teen years might be a complex time of self-discovery. Many teenagers may struggle to fit in with others. To combat feelings of detachment or isolation, parents can make a point to celebrate their teen’s identity. Consider that healthy self-esteem means knowing who you are and embracing your imperfections and quirks. If you celebrate the person they are instead of trying to change them, they may have an easier time learning how to love themselves. Teach them that differences among people are what makes the world beautiful.

Warning signs to watch for

Some levels of anxiety are normal for everyone, including teenagers. But the number of teens experiencing unhealthy anxiety and stress along with depression is concerning. Here are some signs to watch for that might indicate a problem: 

  • Lower than normal energy
  • Change in sleeping habits (too much or not enough)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Not caring about hygiene or physical appearance
  • Loss of interest in activities they previously enjoyed
  • A decrease in performance at school, work, or sports
  • Angry outbursts, irritability, or excessive frustration
  • Withdrawal from social interactions

If you notice these signs, it may be time to start a conversation with your teenager. You might also consider making an appointment with a mental health professional. 

Talking to a therapist

Trouble parenting teens?

Raising a child of any age is challenging. When they hit the teenage years, though, you may need to adjust to a whole new set of challenges. This can be a trying time for you both. If you're feeling overwhelmed by stress and anxiety, consider making an appointment with a therapist yourself. 

Of course, you may feel that you don’t have time for yet another in-person appointment on the family calendar. Busy parents may find online counseling more suitable to their hectic schedules. Online counseling can also save time since you can skip the commute and attend sessions from home. 

Internet-based therapy has been the subject of extensive research in the field of mental health. A comprehensive meta-analysis of studies followed nearly 10,000 cases spanning various populations and mental health challenges. Researchers found no significant differences regarding outcomes between those individuals who attended sessions online versus in person. 


Regain has online therapists that can help you with your family relationships and your mental health. Reaching out for support when you need it can set a positive example for your teens and help you enjoy the teenage years rather than stressing over them. Get started today.

For Additional Help & Support With Your ConcernsThis website is owned and operated by BetterHelp, who receives all fees associated with the platform.
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
Get the support you need from one of our therapistsGet Started
This website is owned and operated by BetterHelp, who receives all fees associated with the platform.