5 Tips for Parenting Tweens and Teens During Junior High

The junior high years can be a perplexing and difficult time for both teens and parents alike. As your teen develops academically and socially, they will be experiencing significant changes to their hormonal makeup and brain chemistry as well.

5 Tips for Parenting Tweens and Teens During Junior High

Due to these physiological and mental developments and changes happening in your teen’s body and mind, they may experience times of confusion and outburst during their growth. As you parent your teen or tween through their junior high experiences, you can rely on these five tips to ensure that you are offering solid support and guidance that build up your teen’s character and personality as they undergo drastic changes in their mind, body, and life.

Consider the adolescent years as a period of growth and learning for your teen, and yourself.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the human brain goes through a period of rapid transition during the adolescent years. These changes account for many of the typical teenage behaviors such as seeking independence, developing strong social bonds, and increasing their capacity to learn. However, many of the connections in the brain are not fully formed until a person reaches their 20s. This may explain why teens tend to behave erratically and irrationally during the junior high years, and understanding these natural, normal behaviors can help you more quickly identify if your teen is progressing normally or if they may be at risk for mental health issues.

Play an active role in your teen’s education.

According to School Family, an important way to stay involved as a trusted guide in your teen’s life is to play an active role in their schooling. You can become more involved in your teen’s education in numerous ways, including:

  • Find a way to help out at your teen’s school
  • Get to know your teen’s teachers and school administrators
  • Attend school meetings and events
  • Chaperone dances, field trips, or school events
  • Know your teen’s assignment and test schedules
  • Designate a home work spot in your home, and help if needed
  • Talk to your teen about their schooling

Encourage and practice open communication on all aspects of your teen’s life.

Your teen will be experiencing many changes during their adolescent growth and development, and it is important for them to understand that they can come to you and speak about everything that is going on in their life. Communicate openly with your teen, and make sure they know that you are always available to listen and advise them when they need you.

Don’t avoid having the more difficult conversations about sex, alcohol, and drugs.

Family Life encourages parents of middle school teens to be bold and brave in speaking to teens about difficult or awkward topics such as sex, drugs, and alcohol. Your teen will be experiencing many changes during junior high, along with a growing independence, so it is vital that you have all the hard conversations to keep them informed, safe, and healthy as they grow.

Monitor mobile activity and social media interactions.

Most teenagers will have a cell phone and a social media presence by the time they are in junior high, so it is really important that you monitor the interactions that take place through texts or online social channels. While these pass times can be a great source of communication, bonding, and entertainment for your teen, they can also be dangerous due to bullies and predators. Keep close tabs on all of your teen’s online and mobile conversations, and also make sure they understand how to stay safe when they are having fun online.

As a parent it is important to understand that the natural changes that come along with adolescence can act as underlying causes for your teen’s perception of their world, and shape how they react and experience it as well.  Always treat your teen with respect, and consistently guide and enforce the development of strong morals and virtues. If you begin to consistently notice concerning changes to your teen’s behaviors, and struggle with reaching them and helping them through them, you can rely on the help of a professional teen counselor to help you.

 

 

 

 

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