Adolescence brings many changes as children begin the transition into adulthood. It is during this time that many parents experience challenges in parenting – especially if the transition period is not an easy one.A psychiatrist can help prepare parents for the changes that may come in adolescence, as well as help parents cope with the difficulties in the midst of this time period. Part of that support involves examining the changes from the perspective of the child and his or her pursuit for greater independence, all the while learning how to manage those changes appropriately with boundaries and respect.During the teen years, changes in hormones can cause children to experience heightened emotions, as well as facilitate greater exploration of themselves. A parent’s job is to make this process as smooth as possible by providing an open, honest and nurturing environment. Trust is of utmost importance in opening up communication between parent and child.
A healthy relationship sets the groundwork for navigating the teenage years, and parents and children who value their relationships will protect them even in the midst of conflict. Parents can help create a healthy parent-child relationship by spending one-on-one time with adolescent children, listening to problems and concerns and setting clear boundaries.
Sometimes, teenagers can experience especially difficult circumstances and emotions during adolescent years. A psychiatrist can help a parent learn the warning signs of mental health problems. They may include poor grades, anxiety, depression, changes in appetite, continual aggression or threats to harm oneself. If these symptoms arise, mental health evaluation and treatment may be necessary.
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