Growing Up Happy – What do Teenagers Want?

Happy Teenager

Happy Teenager + Happy Parents = Happy Home

Lots of people are searching for happiness, at any age! There so many sites, books, courses and workshops all dedicated to finding health and happiness. Here are some practical points for you, that I have taken from the wealth of information out there!

  • To be happy, you need to feel in control of your own destiny.
  • Shape your life and environments to make the most of your personal strengths.
  • Figure things out yourself wherever you can, pursue your interests and passions, make choices for yourself and plan your next steps.
  • Simple things in life are the best.
  • High standards of well-being are related to good habits: healthy eating, physical exercise, plenty of sleep, moderate use of media/ internet rather than excessive use, regular quality family time and friend time.

Happy Teen

When I read about the pressures on the young people of today, this resonates with me and I want to help!

I think all of us can think of times in our lives when we were trying to decide upon our purpose and identity.  If your happiness is completely dependant on other people it will feel uneasy…Constantly checking the phone for messages, fretting over every line of a text, wondering why a certain person seems to be ignoring you.. doesn’t sound like a recipe for happiness does it?

If I could change anything about myself, I would like to be stronger in myself. To know better when things are not good for me, or not quite right, and to trust my intuition more. Ultimately, to be more confident in myself and not reliant on other people’s approval for happiness.

To be honest, this has happened more and more with age! I would even go so far as to say, I’m pretty strong in myself now, but there’s always a part of us inside that still feels like a teenager! Now I’m more interested in how to help my children grow up with self confidence..

So whether you are a teenager, a parent of a teenager or neither, this might be relevant to you?! Take steps towards gaining a sense of self belief and building your confidence, irrespective of whether your friends think it’s cool! I can promise you, you will NOT regret this!

Self Help Books for Teens

I love a self-help book! These are a couple that are worth a read:

  • The Art Of Being a Brilliant Teenager by Andy Cope.
  • The Self- Esteem Workbook for Teens: Activities to Help You Build Confidence and Achieve Your Goals – by Lisa Schab
  • Blame My Brain: the Amazing Teenage Brain Revealed by Nicola Morgan. This explains the physical changes in your brain and helps you make sense of puzzling situations that you might be experiencing. It’s packed full of examples, advice and most importantly it’s designed to give you information about what happens to you during your teenage life. Information is power my friend!!
  • Who Moved My Cheese – Dr Spencer Johnson. A quick, easy read providing a metaphor on accepting change. You might even come across it in school. This message can make you think about life in a more positive way!

You will be able to get at least one of these at your local library, or if you are super-keen you can click on the link to buy it.




Angry Teen

Why do Parents Suck?! – Teenagers Guide to Parents 😉

Ever wondered why your parents say all the wrong things, ask annoying questions, stick their nose in your business when it’s not wanted, try to get you to do things that you don’t want to do, criticise your bad behaviour, ask you to help around the house and remember your manners, make you get home at a certain time, eat your greens, go to bed, get up for school… the list is endless, but I am sure you are beginning to get my drift. And you know the answer deep down right? They do all of these things because they want what is best for you. They want you to have the best life you can have. Because they love you.

I know, I know! You were hoping this would be a little rant about how annoying your parents are, how they should leave you alone etc. But hopefully they are trying to get better at knowing how your life is changing, and maybe they need a little help to understand! Maybe if you forgive your parent for not getting it right occasionally, they will forgive you too when you mess up?! The best thing is if you can manage to talk about this without turning it into an argument. Your parents are actually, believe it or not, on your side!… Good luck!

Naughty Step Blues

If you are a parent, maybe you are looking back at the “naughty step” with fondness for a time when your children were little, that now seems easy by comparison?! I’m hoping that the fact you are here to read this article means that you are keen to connect and understand more about how to be a parent of teenage kids.

Why are we Stereotyping Teenagers?

I would hate to feel that any negativity or reluctance on my part, would have an impact on my children’s happiness, and this is partly why I am researching all of this now! I guess we are all a little guilty of using stereotypes, and having been teenagers once ourselves, I suspect we sometimes feel that we know what our children are going through, but of course they are becoming young adults and are individual, not simply following in our footsteps! As with every generation, the pressures and the world we live in now, are both very different to the world we grew up in ourselves.

It is quite a hard step for us as parents to take a little step back, but sometimes that might be what is needed. Our teenage children, want to be taken seriously and I suppose at times, given the respect of an adult, as they are beginning to have strong feelings and emotions, views and desires of their own. On the other hand, there are probably just as many times when we should be taking a step forward again, to be there and support through times that seem hard for our kids!

Precious Children


As I have said before, we all could do with a little self-help now and then! If you have any issues of your own that you think might relate to when you were growing up, it might be worth trying to deal with them now! Inadvertently, I suspect at least to some extent, we can pass on our bad as well as our good traits! So if there is stuff you know that could come up with your teenage children, think about it now!

– relevant parenting/ self books

  • How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk – Abele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. This has some useful exercises to fill in, which really get you thinking about your own parent-child relationships, as well as some funny cartoons to give you examples. There is another version specifically aimed at teenagers, however the concepts in this can be applied to any child really. It is about how to communicate effectively, and most definitely worth a read.
  • No-Drama Discipline: the whole-brain way to calm the chaos and nurture your child’s developing mind (Mindful Parenting) – Daniel J. Siegal and Tina Payne Bryson. This is great! I love a bit of psychology and it is applied perfectly in this book. I think this book really helped me to stop, try to pause before reacting and to re-connect as often as possible. I learned a lot from this book, and I certainly have reduced my shouting since!! Can’t say I never shout, but I hardly ever do. This can most definitely be applied to older children, and I think I need to read it again in a couple of years.
  • Girls Uninterrupted: Steps for Building Stronger Girls in a Challenging World – Tanith Carey. This is a must-read if you have daughters. Prepare yourself, it’s not all stuff that you want to think about, but I certainly learned a thing or two about the modern world, and I highly recommend.

Following the above recommendation, try this one to take some positive steps towards helping your girls.

Steve Biddulph has a number of really good Parenting books, including Raising Boys, but this one is different in the sense it is almost like a workbook for you to personalise your development on your way through the book.

  • Sane – Emma Young. This one is just for you to enjoy, it’s a personal account of someone trying to make herself feel just a little better in everyday life. It’s an enjoyable read and for many of us who take an interest in health and well-being, there is plenty to relate to.



I have touched on a few different aspects related to family health and happiness here, but I hope there is something that inspires you to work on your own well-being, your family bonds or even just making sure you give yourself a little more “me-time” whatever your age!

If you have any thoughts about what we have touched upon here, I’d love to hear from you, so please leave a comment below.





10 Replies to “Growing Up Happy – What do Teenagers Want?”

  1. Hi Jo! I think this is a good article for everybody, not just teenagers. A lot of people today are wondering around without sense of purpose. If that is the only thing changed or to be figured out by a individual, everything else will change automatically. Great post! Ivan

  2. My teenagers are not troublemakers per se, however they are a bit introverted when it comes to trying to have real talks with them. Sometimes it is hard trying to “parent” when they always say they are good and they don’t have much on their minds. Either way, hopefully one of these books will help with that. Thanks!

  3. I love this! I think this is advice that really resonates with teens because they are in a phase where they are trying to figure themselves out. But, we can all use this advice in some areas of our life as well. We live in a time where things are confusing and there’s a lot going on. Forgiveness and understanding is important. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks for your comments Daybe. I’m getting some wonderful, positive thoughts from my readers and it’s so great to hear that some of what I am saying feels relevant to people. Like you said, we could all use a little advice some times, and I’m loving these comments. Thanks so much 😉

  4. Such a good read. I have one teenager in the house and one soon-to-be teenager (he’s quite the challenge at times). I’m pleased to see you mentioned the book “Who Moved My Cheese”. I actually took a “Change Management” course at work and it was all based on this.

    This post and the section about “Who Moved My Cheese” resonated with me as a parent about how I need to manage “my own change” and not theirs. Theirs is their own change to manage, not mine. I’m there for guidance, support, encouragement and a shoulder to lean on when things take a different path.

    1. Thank you Dave, it’s good to hear that some of this felt relevant to you. Your philosophy sounds spot on, some great advice for all of us parents. Thanks again.

  5. Well, this post certainly resonates with me. I have two teenagers, and I can tell you it is challenging at time, and they are really good kids. Yes, I am on my son all the time about getting his school work done, AND actually turning it in. Yes, I have to remind them multiple times to pick up after themselves. They are really good kids though and sometimes the things I get irritated about are so not important.

    You are right though, we do these things as parents because we want what is best and we love them. I think this article is a great reminder for me, thank you so much for sharing.

    1. What a lovely comment Steve, thank you. I appreciate your honesty, as we all want to be perfect parents but of course get irritated etc. Sounds like you are doing a great job with your two, all the best 😉

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