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  • Writer's pictureDena Lampert

Five Tips for Parenting Teens in 2022

Updated: May 3, 2022

As if parenting wasn’t difficult already, the last 2 years during the covid-19 pandemic were an incredibly stressful time for all, especially parents. With the added pressure of having to semi-homeschool our children, being increasingly concerned for both their own and their children's physical and mental wellbeing, and managing the challenges of online learning, parenting in the 2020s has been incredibly difficult for most.

Over the last 2 years, parents, like most, have experienced a wide range of emotions, including anxiety, anger, sadness, and uncertainty. And these feelings are completely reasonable and a normal response to such an unbelievable situation.

Parents of teens have had an especially difficult time. Teens are transitioning back into a life where they are being held accountable in school, connecting with friends in person again without masks, and are likely expected to perform at a certain level while missing out on the normal development that should have occurred over the last 2 years. Stress levels are high for teens and parents and the question being asked is, how do I keep my cool when things are heating up?

Here are five tips for how to positively parent your teens in 2022.

1. Create and maintain healthy communication strategies

We all know that communication is the key to a healthy relationship. As your teen gets older and gains more independence, the way you communicate with them will need to change to reflect that. The way that you communicated with them a few years ago might no longer be appropriate, and not adapting to their growth can place a strain on the relationship.

Some effective communication strategies that you can use to encourage positive and constructive conversations with your teen include being genuinely interested in what they’re talking about, giving them your full attention, showing empathy, and avoiding giving them instructions unless they directly ask for them.

2. Create a supportive environment

When your child was younger, your main concern was probably creating a physically safe environment for them. But now they’re growing up, creating a safe and supportive environment for your teen is done in other ways. Being a supportive parent means having your child’s best interests at heart while being present and helpful, while avoiding being intrusive or forceful.

Creating a supportive environment for your teen can be done by actively encouraging them to pursue their interests, listening to them and helping them without judgment, supporting them through their difficulties, treating them fairly, and developing a trusting and open relationship.

3. Validate their feelings

Parents can sometimes appear dismissive of teens' reactions to problems, and the problems themselves because they might not seem like a big deal to us. But validating your teen's emotions and not brushing off their reactions is an important part of creating a supportive relationship. Teens may struggle to deal with stressors of high school life due to lots of factors, including continual brain development, so the added stressor of the pandemic has made things especially difficult. They need to feel that you ‘get’ them and that what’s happening and how they feel about it is valid. Encouraging them to talk about what’s going on for them in a collaborative way is an important step in maintaining a healthy relationship.

4. Manage your own stress

The importance of looking after yourself can’t be overstated. Yes, it’s possible to support your teen even if you’re feeling stressed yourself, but it will be much easier, and more beneficial for your teen if you are able to manage your own stress first. The stronger you are, the better able you will be to help your teen.

In-person connection is especially important now, so taking the time to leave the house and reconnect with others in-person is a crucial way to look after yourself. The pandemic has created a world where many of us were working from home (and maybe still are!) and don’t have many outside connections. The best way we can support the transition of our teens back into normal life is by working on transitioning back to being in-person ourselves.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Sometimes it’s easy to feel that we have to do everything ourselves, especially when it comes to parenting. But it’s ok to need help. We all need some help every now and again! If you’re looking for some extra support in supporting your teen, reach out. Our professional therapists and counselors are here to help. You don’t have to do it alone!


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