Helping Your Teen Navigate Through the Ups and Downs

Sometimes, it might be hard to understand your teen. When that happens, step back for a moment and shut your eyes. Remember your teenage self, at say, age 15. What did you look like? Who were you friends with? Did you have any challenges? The answer is probably yes.

From acne, to breakups, to finding out who your real friends are, teens have a lot on their plates. They are still figuring it all out. While you can’t exactly put yourself in your teen’s shoes, you can do your best from a parent point of view to help them navigate through life’s changes and challenges. Here are a few they might face.


Teens today aren’t just dealing with bullying at school, but online, too. Encourage your teen to be open and honest with you and always take the time to listen. Depending on the severity of the bullying, it is usually best to not give the bully a reaction. Teach the importance of confidence and ignoring petty comments. If your child is being severely bullied at school, make a teacher or administrator aware of the situation.


If your teen is going through a breakup, they may likely distance themselves and can sink into a state of depression. It’s important to give him or her time to grieve, but also to show sympathy. Never downplay the emotions they are going through, as the pain is quite real for them. Offer to listen when your teen is ready but don’t force the conversation. Avoid giving advice until they’re ready to talk.

Being Left Out

Teenagers can be mean at times. If your teen is being left out, listen to the problem at hand and try to come up with a solution. Encourage him or her to invite other friends over or plan a fun outing or party. You should also make it a point to be a friend to your teen, too. Do fun things together such as going shopping or for a bike ride, just as a friend would. Friendships and groups often shift and change through the teenage years.


Puberty brings a lot of changes into your teen’s life. Expect that he or she will want more privacy during this time, but be sure to reassure them that the changes they’re going through are normal and that they’re not the only one. Be open to letting your teen try new products that will help them to feel better about themselves, such as facial cleansers, deodorant and razors.

There will be days when your teen wants nothing to do with you, but it will pass. For those days when your teen doesn’t want to talk, remind them that they can always turn to the Just for Teens section for advice on tough topics.