The Problem with Teens

The problem is that we usually go into raising teens with so much anxiety about their future that we actually forget about raising them in the present. There is no stage more important in all of development for securing a relationship with your child than in the teen years. Yet, most of us lose the relationship with our child during this time. Our anxiety and fears turn us into demanding, threatening, and controlling dictators rather than into the compassionate, understanding, and flexible guides that are needed, and oftentimes required. It's funny to think that if we really wanted to understand the essence of teen parenting all we really need to do is reflect back on our own needs during that stage and time. Not compare your child to you at that age but rather ask yourself, "When I was a teen what did I need most from my parents?"

Because society places so much emphasis on the teen years and due to the fact that it is the stage before adulthood, we typically enter it with all sorts of parental fears and hopes. It's the final stage before we unconsciously determine whether or not we have successfully taught our child everything they need to know about the world. Well guess what? We haven't. The very act of determining whether or not you have equipped your child with all the lessons he'll need throughout life is a distortion. In fact, the teen years is much like a college education, it's not till after you get the piece of paper that you are actually really going to learn.


  1. Hi Bryan, I’m looking for some advise, I have 2 boys 17 and 6, I split from my first partner when our son was 2, we were young teens when we got together and my partner really didn’t want to be a father {didn’t know how} I got together with a new partner when my son was 2 1/2 and we are still together 15 years later, my first son and knew partner had the best relationship for 11 years they did everything together, he became his father financially and emotionally, every school play, doctors, hospital, soccer you name it he was there… then baby number 2 came, baby number 2 came with his own problems… baby didn’t sleep for 4 years, my first son hated that he had to share us with a new child and that child took up a lot of our time… 17 year olds real dad was around but not full time and he moved to the other side of the world just before xmas and that’s when everything went down hill, my son started to hate us, staying out all night not coming home for days and when he did come home he would break the house up if I didn’t give him money…when I asked him what the problem is he says I want to come and go as I please , don’t want to go to school, I want money, but don’t want a job, I want a car and I want you to pay for it..i had no words for him. we told him that he has to be home at half 9 on a school night and half 10 on weekends and when he comes in he has to turn his phone off, he can look at tv or use the internet till 11 and then its bedtime… this is the rule in our house and has been the rule for the last 4 years. if he wants to stay out later he needs to ring and ask before hand and sort out times and lifts home if needed, with no problem, but when we give a inch he takes a mile, now we have a big problem my mother has takin his side on things {she says that he should be allowed to stay out later and should be allowed to use his phone at night} I say its none of your dam business how we bring our son up and to stay out of it, my mother does not like my partner and lets my son know how much she hates him {she tells him he is not your dad he cant tell you what to do}my son broke our house up 2 weeks ago in front of his little brother and now his brother is afraid of him, and he was told he could come back into the house when he cools down he still has not come home, and tells everyone we kicked him out, he only down the road in my mothers house but he wont talk to us and try to sort it out, my mother lets him skip school and stay out till 4 or 5 in the morning, she says that’s ok because he don’t drink and do drugs so what harm is he doing? I know if he stays with my mother he will only get worse because she has never been a good role model for kids, I don’t want to call the guards[police] on him for the damage he caused as it would be on record and he wouldn’t get a job with a record, we were trying to starve him of money so he would come home but my mother gives it to him so he don’t ask us for it, I brought him for some hypnosis for anger the other day but wouldn’t do it, says its us that has the problem not him, and the only way he will come home is if I leave my partner… he has had a great upbringing never wanted for anything has never got smacked and grounded only a few times, where have we gone wrong and what are we to do?[ my son is a great kid you cant ask for a better kid but I don’t know how he is going to get out of this funk he is in] I’m afraid we wont be able to come back from this…

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