How To Help Teens Dealing With Change

by | Jul 25, 2023 | Activities, Family, School, Tips

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No one experiences changes in life quite like teenagers! Adolescence is a phase filled with changes: physically, emotionally and socially. Teens find themselves experiencing changes in their bodies, relationships, self-image, and even their roles within their families and schools. 

Change is an essential part of growing up and becoming independent, but it can also be challenging to navigate, leaving teens feeling overwhelmed and unsure of themselves. It’s crucial to support your teens during these times. And help them develop the necessary skills for dealing with change effectively.

Self-Image in Dealing with Change

As teens undergo numerous changes, their self-image plays a crucial role in how they handle these transitions. They are also greatly influenced by social media, peer pressure and family pressure. A positive self-image provides a solid foundation for tackling the challenges that come their way. It even fosters resilience, confidence, and a healthy outlook on life. You can encourage and nurture a strong self-image in our teens by acknowledging their strengths, celebrating their achievements, and supporting them during their failures.

teen girl with a photo of a face held in front of her face. She's holding 2 more photos in her hands.

Dealing with Change

Dealing with change involves adapting to different phases of life. For teenagers, this often means transitioning from childhood to adulthood. During this time, teens may become defiant, and argumentative. This comes from feelings of uncertainty and fear of the unknown. This defiance can manifest as anger, irritability, and even resentment towards parents and authority figures.

Ideas for Parents to Help Their Teens

Open Communication

Encourage open and non-judgmental communication with your teen. Let them know that you are there to listen, understand, and support them during times of change. Acknowledge their feelings and support them as they process those feelings. 

Showing empathy and even sharing your experiences helps teens open up to you. Avoid being overly critical or dismissive of their feelings, as this may cause them to withdraw and resist seeking help when they need it most.

Offer Guidance When Requested

Your guidance is essential, but it’s crucial to strike a balance between being involved and being overbearing. Ask your teen if they want you to just listen or are they looking for advice. By giving them a choice, you are honoring their independence. 

Give your teen some space to explore and learn from their experiences, allowing them to build their problem-solving skills and self-confidence.

Be a Positive Role Model

As a parent, you are your teen’s primary role model. Demonstrate healthy coping mechanisms and adaptability. Let them see that it’s okay to experience setbacks and challenges. These are opportunities for growth and learning.

5 teens jumping and cheering

Encourage Healthy Friendships

Peer relationships play a significant role during adolescence. Encourage your teen to surround themselves with positive and supportive friends who share their values and interests. Healthy friendships can provide a strong support system during times of change and uncertainty.

Teach Stress-Management Techniques

Change can be stressful, and teens need to learn effective stress-management techniques. Encourage them to engage in activities that promote relaxation and well-being, such as mindfulness exercises, physical activity, or creative pursuits.

Acknowledge Achievements and Efforts

Recognize and celebrate your teen’s accomplishments and efforts, no matter how small they may seem. Positive reinforcement boosts their self-esteem and motivates them to embrace change with a positive attitude.

Be Patient and Understanding

Remember that your teen is going through a significant transformation, and it may take time for them to adjust. Be patient and understanding during their journey, and avoid passing judgment on their emotions or actions.

Seek Professional Help if Necessary

If you notice that your teen is struggling significantly with change and showing persistent negative behaviors, consider seeking professional help. A mental health professional can provide additional support and guidance to your teen during this challenging period.


Change is inevitable, especially for teenagers. As they navigate through the various transformations that adolescence brings, teens experience defiance, anger, and uncertainty. Your duty is to provide a supportive and nurturing environment that fosters resilience and adaptability. By encouraging open communication, modeling positive behavior, and helping them build a strong self-image, you’ll equip our teens with the tools they need to face change with confidence. 

6 stacked wooden blocks with the word "change" written on them. dealing with change

How To Help Teens Dealing With Change

By Lisa Reichelt, M. Ed., Parent Coach

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