Campaign to help parents understand their teenagers

County council wants to improve relationships between parents and teenagers
County council wants to improve relationships between parents and teenagers

Hertfordshire County Council is promoting a campaign to prevent relationship breakdowns between parents and teenagers.

Relationships between parents and their teenagers can break down, leading to things becoming more difficult and strained at home.

The county council has developed the My Teen Brain campaign, in partnership with Family Links and Prof John Coleman, to improve understanding of what happens during the teenage years and help parents give young people the best support during this time of change.

Developments in the brain can affect many aspects of teenage behaviours, including emotions, attitudes to relationships and sleep.

The council has created a free online resource for parents to help them understand more about their teenagers’ behaviour.

Specific parenting courses are also on offer to give additional support for those who find it hard to build relationships with their teenagers.

Cabinet member for children’s services, Richard Roberts, said: “As adults, we can struggle to communicate with young people. We worry what they are doing and can often be baffled by their behaviour.

“We want to encourage parents and carers to use our free My Teen Brain resource, to help understand why teenagers behave the way they do.

“We hope that this information and advice will help parents to become more understanding and help to build their relationships with their children, which will in turn prevent family arguments and further problems.

“We also have some specific parenting groups and courses for those who continue to struggle to build relationships with their teenagers.”

One parent who benefited from the resource, said: “I now find other ways to communicate with my teen and understand that there is a physical reason why teens behave as they do.”

As well as the online resource and the parenting courses, the council is offering the following tips for parents with teenagers to help keep relationships on track:

There is a biological reason why young people’s sleep patterns are different from those of other age groups. Don’t give them a hard time about sleeping in and, where possible, let them catch up on sleep at the weekend.

Teenage behaviour will not always be consistent or sensible, so make allowances for this in your reactions.

Be clear about rules and consequences, but always explain your reasons.

Ask your teenager’s opinion. Listen to and respect their views, and if you agree with them, take them into account. If you don’t agree, explain why.

Teenagers don’t always want to talk, but communication is a two-way process. The more one person is prepared to listen, the more the other will be prepared to talk.

Follow the #MyTeenBrain campaign on Facebook and Twitter. For the online resorce see www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/myteenbrain

For parenting classes, see www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/parentingsupport