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Virtual Pediatric Hospital: CQQA: Adolescence

Pediatrics Common Questions, Quick Answers

Adolescence: A Guide for Parents

Donna D'Alessandro, M.D.
Lindsay Huth, B.A.
Peer Review Status: Internally Reviewed
Creation Date: February 2002
Last Revision Date: February 2002

Common Questions, Quick Answers

What should I know about adolescence?

What kinds of changes can I expect?

What limits should there be?
Your child will want more freedom and independence. Trust him to make some of his own decisions. However, certain behaviors are never okay for a child of any age. Your child does not have a choice when his health, safety, or future could be hurt. For example:


Other issues are negotiable (you and your child can decide what is okay and not okay) such as dyeing his hair purple or not making the bed.

How can we communicate and deal with conflicts?

What are some issues we should discuss?
Don't avoid talking about drugs, alcohol, smoking, sex, and the latest trends. Bring these issues up before your child asks and before they become a problem.

Piercings and Tattoos
Drugs, Alcohol, and Smoking

What are some warning signs that my child is in trouble?
During adolescence, common problems include depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, stress, or problems with school, friends, or family. If your child shows one of these signs, find out what's going on.

What are some tips for parents?

What can I do to make the relationship better?
If you're having problems with your child, try changing your own behavior instead of trying to control your child's. The following questions might help you:

When should I call the doctor?

Quick Answers


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