Parent’s Hub

This section provides parents and caregivers resources to support teens through their development with information on the following topics:

  • Body Odormedicalplusicons
  • (Cyber)Bullying
  • Common Skin Problems
  • Communication
  • Emotional Development
  • Growth
  • Healthy Teen Relationships
  • Self Esteem and Body Image
  • Social Media and Technology Use
  • Safety and Risk Behaviors
  • Sexual Orientation

Body Odor

Even with good hygiene, body odor can be an unpleasant reality during the teen years. Most often noticed under the arms, body odor can also emerge from the feet, the hair, or the breath. Modeling and encouraging your teen to practice daily hygiene is a way to support them through this stage of development. The website pages below answer questions parents of teens often have when it comes to this topic:

Help Your Teen’s Body Odor Disappear

Smelly Teen? Let’s Talk Teen Hygiene

(Cyber)Bullying

In the US, between 20-40% of high school students experience cyberbullying and 95% of states have a law prohibiting this type of harrassment.* Whether your teen or another source, such as a teacher or counselor, has spoken to you about being (cyber)bullied, it is important to know how you can help your teen through what they are experiencing and provide them with feelings of security and support. The links below provide these tips:

Youth Bullying: What Does the Research Say?

LGBT Teens, Bullying and Suicide

What You Can Do, Parents

Common Skin Problems

Skin problems, such as acne, pimples and spots, often make teens feel embarrassed and even uncomfortable about leaving the house. It may be difficult to know how to approach your teen about these issues. The links below offer ways to talk to teens about common skin problems and to work collaboratively with them on treating breakouts:

6 Steps to Help Treat Your Child’s Acne

Zits are the Pits, How Parents Can Help

Communication

They say the same boiling water that hardens an egg, also softens a potato. This could mean a simple suggestion or question from you to your teen might result in argumentativeness, eye-rolling, or thoughtful consideration, depending on a number of factors (what happened earlier in the day, personality, their mood in the moment, etc). Teens’ natural tendency is to push for more independence, and at the same time, parents are trying to guide, teach, and protect them. We recommend the links below for some strategies and ideas for how to face intense emotions, build trust with your teen and develop positive communication habits:

5 Secrets for Communicating with Teenagers

Staying Connected to Your Teen

Getting the Silent Treatment From Teens

Emotional Development

During adolescence, you might be noticing your teen developing a stronger search for identity, seeking more independence, and experimenting with new behaviors. Skills for making safe decisions are developing for your teen as they concurrently learn about positive and negative consequences of their actions. The nature of the teenage brain’s development can make it difficult for parents to feel like they are able to effectively communicate and provide support to adolescents through these emotional changes. The resources below provide information on what to expect as a parent, warning signs to keep an eye out for and tips to communicate through challenges:

Center for Disease Control’s Developmental Milestones

Family Doctor’s Understanding Your Teen’s Emotional Health

Growth

Whether your teen girl or teen boy is going through the early stages of coping with puberty or is well into the process, parents play an important role in the support system they can count on when new thoughts, bodily changes and behaviors take over. Listening to your teen talk about their experiences can help empower them to mature through these changes with a healthy understanding and outlook. Read more about scenarios you might encounter, how to maintain open discussions, and help your teen cope with these changes:

Seattle Children’s Growth and Development

Physical Development, What’s Normal? What’s Not?

Healthy Teen Relationships

The adolescent years unfold with social interactions and companionships that often have life-lasting impacts. Parents are in a unique position for providing support to teens, shaping their understanding of what components make up healthy friendships and relationships. Many teens are reluctant to discuss relationships with their parents, but keeping the door open for when they do want to share is important. We recommend these sites for more information and insight on this topic:

Teaching Teens About Healthy Relationships

Self-Esteem and Body Image

Adolescence is a time when teens can feel overwhelmed by demanding academics, peer drama, emerging romantic relationships, and the expectations of family. Some teens become dissatisfied with the way their bodies look as they undergo so many changes, and media imagery may further contribute to unrealistic expectations. These pressures can make it easy for teens to be hard on themselves and to harbor self-critical thoughts. Restricted eating and isolation may be a sign that mental health resources may be needed.

What Kids Wish Their Parents Knew (Teem Esteem)

Helping Your Teenager Build Good Self Esteem

Understanding Teen Depression

Social Media and Technology Use

The ability to connect with others instantly is an intriguing aspect that draws many teens to social media. However, teens need parental guidance about what, when, and how to use technology appropriately, so as not to cause harm or interfere with sleep. We recommend the following links to learn more tips on how to keep social media use positive and create a family media plan:

When You Should Come Between Teens and Their Phones

Pew Research Center: Teens and Technology

How to Make a Family Media Use Plan

Safety and Risk Behaviors

Studies show that teens who communicate and feel safe discussing topics like alcohol and other drugs, sexual activity, and emotions with their parent(s) are at lower risk than those who do not.* We provide links below to help spark conversations about topics like substance-use, safe driving and peer pressure with your teen.

How Can Parents Ensure the Safety of Their Teen 12-17 Years of Age?

The Teenage Brain and Peer Pressure

Sexual Orientation

It is normal for teens to begin to have feelings of attraction during adolescence, whether that is directed to boys, girls or both. Sexual orientation is not something that is chosen, though one’s sexual orientation is not always clear during the teen years, and experimentation is common. It is important to keep an open dialogue with your teen about their concerns and questions.

Ten Tips for Parents of a LGBTQ Child

Parent LGBT and Questioning Kids

Other websites and blogs we recommend for learning about teen health:

Seattle Children’s Hospital Teenology 101 Blog

Center for Disease Control – Teens

Public Health of Oregon- Youth

[HealthyChildren.org] Teen Age Stages

Kidshealth.org

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