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Parenting a teen during coronavirus

While a teen may not demand as much of your attention as a young child might, having a teen right now comes with its own challenges. Teenagers have a tendency to feel invincible, so they may not really understand the need for safety restrictions and changes. It would be no surprise if they’ve felt frustrated about not seeing their friends as much as they wanted or having events they were looking forward to cancelled.

As restrictions change, this can result in problems with behaviour as their frustrations spill over. To help with this, we’ve pulled together some tips to help you deal with some common issues, and some resources to help your teen.

Tips for getting on with your teenager

Dealing with withdrawn or angry teens

If your teen has been withdrawn or angry, Matt Henderson from Learning through Landscapes explains how getting outside for a walk, a bike ride or a game can make a world of difference.

Dealing with conflict

Whether they’re angry at their friends, their school work or you – chances are you will have dealt with some form of conflict with your teenager. The Scottish Centre for Conflict Resolution estimates that nearly 20% of young people think about leaving home because of arguments on at least a monthly basis – showing how important it is to help your teen cope, especially at this time.

The current restrictions may be a particular issue. Young people often feel invincible from danger and don’t always think ahead about the consequences of what they do, so may be more tempted to bend the rules. Rather than yelling at them about it, try some of these tips to help you respond if your teenager starts to get frustrated.

It is worth remembering that conflict with your teenager is not always a bad thing – they’re learning to become independent.

Puberty and periods

Speaking to your kids about puberty is an important job for parents no matter what is going on around us. It’s likely they will have had some lessons at school, and you may have talked to them about this before, but it’s always good to let them know they can ask you anything.

There is no right way to go about talking to your teen about puberty, and chances are they will feel just as nervous discussing this subject as you might. Young Scot have developed a list of FAQs full of information. To help start an open conversation, you could share this link with them and let them know you are available if they want to talk.

If you have a daughter going through puberty, it’s great if you can be open with them about periods too. When they first start, your daughter may find them scary or embarrassing and they may have heard a few urban myths about periods.  It’s important to help your daughter understand that there is nothing to be embarrassed about, and talking to her is a great way to start. You may find it useful to show your daughter this great page from Young Scot to help you debunk myths about periods and help you and your daughter start talking about periods.

Looking after yourself

Being the parent of a teenager can be hard work! To be there for them, you need to be in a good place yourself. Our page on looking after your mental health has tips on how you can clear your head and stay strong.

Further support

Young Scot's Aye Feel hub has lots of information for young people how to look after their emotional wellbeing, support from organisations around Scotland and tips on how to promote a positive mindset.

The Relationship Helpline provides relationship support for families and is a free universal service for anyone over 16 years old who has relationship issues (couples, individuals and families). The service provides immediate emotional support and signposting where appropriate.

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Coronavirus Supporting your teen Pre-teen (9+ years)

Last updated: 25 Feb, 2021