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CDC Has Positive Parenting Tips for Parents of Teenagers

A mom is talking to her daughter at a breakfast table. The daughter is holding a phone and looking at her mother. The mother wears glasses and gestures at teen. Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their positive parenting tips. There are several different categories that parents can read – depending upon the age of their children. Here are the recommendations for parents of teenagers between ages 15-17.

According to the CDC, this is a time of changes for how teenagers think, feel, and interact with others, and how their bodies grow. Most girls will be physically mature by now, and most will have completed puberty. Boys might still be maturing physically during this time. 

Your teen might have concerns about their body size, shape or weight. Eating disorders also can be common, especially among girls.

During this time, your teen is developing their unique personality and opinions. Relationships with friends are still important, yet your teen will have other interests as they develop a more clear sense of who they are. This is an important time to prepare for more independence and responsibility; many teenagers start working, and many will be leaving home after high school.

Emotional/Social Changes:

Have more interest in romantic relationships and sexuality

Go through less conflict with parents

Show more independence with parents

Have a deeper capacity for caring and sharing and for developing more intimate relationships

Spend less time with parents and more time with friends

Feel a lot of sadness or depression, which can lead to poor grades at school, alcohol or drug use, unsafe sex, and other problems.

Thinking and Learning:

Learn more defined work habits

Show more concern about future school and work plans

Be better able to give reasons for their own choice, including what is right or wrong

Positive Parenting Tips Include:

Talk with your teen about their concerns and pay attention to any changes in behavior. Ask them if they have had suicidal thoughts, particularly if they seem sad or depressed. Asking about suicidal thought will not cause them to have these thoughts, but it will let them know that you care about how they feel. Seek professional help if necessary.

Respect your teen’s opinion. Listen to them without playing down their concerns.

Respect your teen’s need for privacy.

If your teenager engages in interactive internet media such as games, chat rooms, and instant messaging, encourage them to make good decisions about what they post and the amount of time they spend on these activities.

Complement your teen and celebrate their efforts and accomplishments.

Encourage your teen to get enough sleep and exercise, and to eat healthy, balanced meals.

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