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Development

Teenagers can have mood swings and can display extremes of independence and dependence. They become more active intellectually, which can make them more argumentative. They also become more introspective, making them more sensitive to comments made by those around them.

Teenagers are learning to understand themselves and may feel unable to discuss their feelings with you, however good a parent you have been to them. They may be so mixed up that they donít even know what their feelings are. This is a period of transition in which they are neither a child nor an adult, and the prospect of adulthood can seem both scary and exciting.

Parenting a teenager is undeniably difficult, but it does have a positive side! As teenagers your child and their friends can become very good company. There are also advantages to the more difficult sides of adolescence, for example showing that they are growing up and becoming more independent and aware (albeit slowly!). It can be stimulating to watch them develop their own views, and their increasing independence may bring them into contact with new and interesting experiences such as school trips abroad, youth groups and an increasing social circle.

Although these changes can seem negative at the time, they are all essential in helping shape children into young adults. Everyone makes mistakes at times, but the important thing is that they can learn from them. It can be difficult, but please try to see the teenage years as a challenge rather than an impossible hurdle.