Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"When will my child outgrow his teen issues?"
My son has been talking back and being an introvert since he was 13. Now he's 18. Will he ever grow up? Sometimes I am really worried about him.
The teenage years are a very difficult time for children. During adolescence, children are learning how to be adults. They are negotiating their own self identities, and they are experimenting with authority boundaries and with independence. This can be a trying time both for the child and for the parents! The most important thing, as a parent, is to maintain a clear, consistent parenting strategy. It is also important to maintain open lines of communication with your child. This includes respecting their autonomy as you are able. It should also include continuing to offer yourself as available for discussing openly any issues your child may be experiencing. You should not be discouraged when your child rejects these efforts from time to time. Sometimes, children in their teenage years are suffering from psychiatric problems, such as problems with depression or anxiety. They may also be experiencing stress or bullying at school or may be under pressure to engage in high risk behaviors such as substance abuse. If you suspect that your child has any of these problems, a good place to start is with your child's doctor. Make sure to give your child space to talk privately to their pediatrician without you being in the room.
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