“I have no idea why they yell. Every suggestion I give is met with complaints, arguments and many times tantrums. It’s almost as if once I open my mouth to say anything to them, they’re waiting to tear my words apart. Parenting teenagers is hard! Why is no one talking about this?”


Sounds familiar? You thought the twos and threes were bad. Now you’re dealing with the horrifying thirteens—and it’s even worse. When she was two, she cried, kicked, and screamed. At 13, she’s yelling, slamming doors, storming out of the house, and screaming, “You can’t control me!” Teen temper tantrums are one of the many dilemmas we face as parents.

Is there a particular thing we as parents must do to successfully engage our ever tantrum-spewing adolescent? Might there be anything, in particular, we might be doing wrong as parents that set up teenagehood to be a difficult time for us? From our wealth of research and experience, the answer is both yes and no. There are times in life when we can control certain outcomes. But in situations where outcomes cannot be controlled, being equipped with the requisite knowledge helps one to go through with minimal scarring. Such is the adolescent dilemma.

So as parents, Yes!

There are principles we need to be cognizant of to guide our relationship and communication with our teens. These skills can be learnt and perfected over time as they greatly help in successfully engaging and managing teenagers and adolescents. If we violate these principles, what we get is a serious emotional lash out from our youngsters. Unfortunately, the traditional model of parenting constantly violates these principles. It’s no wonder there are never-ending squabbles and ever-present complaints while relating to our precious adolescents. Check out our free resources here on how to transmit instructions using our unconventional parenting principles. Adolescents can be groomed with certain cultural values that are necessary to sustain a high moral code and internal moral compass using 21st-century parenting skills.

And we also say No!,

Because there is a place in the physiological wiring of the typical adolescent that makes them into very emotional beings. In a previous article, titled ADOLESCENTS; WHY THEY ACT THE WAY THEY DO, we talked in detail about the physiological wiring of your adolescent. As you are aware, hormones are greatly beyond our control and as such, it is crucial we understand the hormonal changes that go on in your adolescent’s body so as to better understand the way they view life.

One major principle to successfully engaging your adolescent is in the art of communication. Adolescents are in a transitory phase of their lives and this puts them in an emotionally and biologically unstable state. They are at a phase of life where they seek independence but traditional parenting makes it somewhat difficult for us to either accept that they are no longer our little babies who need to be ‘controlled’ but our emerging adults who need room to discover themselves. So, in communicating with your teenager or adolescent, here are simple tips on what to avoid as we believe this will make a whole lot of difference when communicating with your adolescents and will help manage the never-ending heap of teenage tantrums.

But before you start, understand that you need to take these steps when things are calm and no one is being confrontational. Don’t try this in the middle of a full-blown tantrum when you are both on edge as it will end up counter-productive.

  • Teach Your Adolescent to Earn Your Trust

During an ongoing tantrum, what you see is an adolescent who looks totally and hopelessly out of control. And your adolescent in return sees you, the parent, as so unreasonable that you’ll never give her any control over her own life. But this isn’t the case. In reality, you’d probably give her more control if you felt you could trust her to make good decisions.

When trust exists in your relationship with your teen, she has a positive influence on you. And you have confidence in her. And you’re more confident about giving her more freedom. But your teenager doesn’t realize how much influence she could have on you if only she worked to build your trust. And a tantrum doesn’t build trust.

For example, let’s say you tell your 15-year-old daughter that she can’t go to a party on Friday night because you know there won’t be any adults present. And you suspect they will be drinking. If your daughter reacts by screaming, sulking and slamming the doors, it does more than make you angry. Her poor reaction erodes your trust in her. When adolescents learn to accept “no” for an answer and not have a tantrum, it builds trust and positive influence with parents. Your adolescent needs to understand this.

You can role-play with your adolescent to teach her how to build your trust in her. Still on the party example. After your daughter calms down, you can show her a better way to respond that gives her influence. You can coach her to say:

“Mom, I’m really angry and disappointed that you’re not letting me do this. But I want you to know that even though I’m angry, I’m going to follow the rules. I hope at some point you’ll reconsider.”

When adolescents manage their emotions gracefully and honestly, it has a positive influence on parents. Also, as you teach the difference between positive and negative influence—and manage your own emotions calmly—you’re modelling the behaviour you want to see in your child.

  • Teach Your Adolescent How to Influence You

Oftentimes, when your adolescents act out, beneath the outburst is something legitimate that they crave. But the way they’re going about getting it is completely inappropriate. When I work with adolescents who act out excessively, I ask them questions like:

  • “What exactly do you want? More power to make your own decisions? More freedom?”
  • “How are you trying to make them accurately understand you without any iota of misinterpretation?”
  • “Are you getting what you truly desire?”

In most cases, the teenager will admit that it’s not working very well. Try asking your teenagers these same questions [during a calm time]. Then, you can shift the discussion into coaching mode by saying:

“Do you have any idea on how to get me to say yes to your request? Would you like me to teach you?”

Seek their opinion with genuine curiosity. Don’t attack or criticize them. Speaking to your teens this way helps them to see why their behaviour prevents them from getting what they want. It also helps with the proper development of the pre-frontal cortex. And, most importantly, you are providing them with an opportunity to learn to do better and to mature into wholesome adults.

  • Learn to Praise Them

As parents, we are constantly catching our adolescents doing something wrong. But we can also be deliberate in catching them doing something right. Let them know when they do something that builds trust with you. It makes them feel more confident in your love for them and that you see them as adults not as little children. Here’s an example. Let’s say your son wants to stay overnight at a friend’s house but you say no because you know there won’t be adult supervision. If your child respects your decision without a fight, reward him with positive praise. Say this to your child:

“I know you’re disappointed that I would not let you stay over at John’s house. But, I appreciate that you showed your disappointment politely. That shows maturity and respect.”

Here are some other examples of how teens can earn the trust of their parents:

  • Behave with integrity
  • Accept responsibility for mistakes
  • Volunteer information about everyday activities that are even seemingly mundane
  • Abide by the house rules
  • Try to do excel academically

When your teen talks to you about the details of her day—without you having to pry it out of her—tell her that you appreciate her openness. When you see her being compliant with your rules, notice it and say something. Noticing the behaviours you want to promote helps to build trust. And it reinforces the preferred behaviours.

  • Look For Pointers to Stressors

Adolescents get pretty stressed up too. Oftentimes, because we see them as children, it is difficult to come to terms with the fact that they can be stressed emotionally, socially, physically, mentally, etc. Peer pressure can take a toll on them and impact their moods. Their relationships with friends, crushes, etc can do the same. When they’re in a bad mood because of a bad day, they can end up being more irritable than usual. You know this is a normal phenomenon because it happens to you too. So, the next time your child has a tantrum, ask yourself what the tantrum is really about? Is it really about cleaning the sitting room? Or is it about some other stress in his life?


Tantrums, especially those displayed by teenagers, can be viewed as part of a normal adolescent development process. Teenagers, like us all, are works in progress. Your adolescents’ success as an adult will depend on how well they can identify and advocate for their own needs and resolve to persist when facing obstacles. It’s important to recognize that your teen is practising behaviours that, when refined, can be very useful as an adult, even if they’re currently inappropriate. That’s where emotional intelligence will help them out.


Happy International Youth Day 2022 from us all at TSAGE and TBOG Consult









One particular lunch break, I realized that all my peers had noticeable breasts but me. All I had was a lump. The girl with the next smallest breast to me already wore top bras. I remember the shame I felt. I remember how withdrawn I was. I remember how embarrassed I felt. I was the tallest in my class but it did nothing to comfort me. I felt even more ashamed because my body ensured that even with my incredible height, my marker for womanhood was barely existent. I had begun my period at this time but my breasts just refused to mature. I admired how our uniforms fit the other girls and desperately wished my height could have been traded for my breasts’ size. Anyways, I had no such luck! The end result? All my classmates had boyfriends but me. It was a stigma for me for so long. Until I eventually gave in to peer pressure towards the end of high school and had my boyfriend. Need I say I was very insecure in my new found relationship because I felt I was not feminine enough to keep a boyfriend.

  That was my adolescence journey in High school. When I remember the emotional trauma it caused me, I sometimes cringe because we many times forget our own personal adolescence experiences when interacting with our adolescents. There is a general consensus that adolescence is an important stage in the life cycle. This is because our little humans are most vulnerable in this phase and understandably so. For girls who go through puberty early, the immediate consequences are that they tend to have greater independence, and they tend to be very popular with the boys. Unfortunately, it’s also a period of much more conflict than normal. Even though this can be totally minimized using our unconventional parenting tools available for free!!! We all know that puberty is not just the onset of height, for girls, they grow breasts, hips, and all sort of things like that. Early adolescence in girls predisposes them towards getting poorer marks in school, with some increased delinquency too. These girls tend to have earlier sexual experiences, and kind of like the boys, more substance use, more depression, and more body image issues. As parents, we strongly advise that before your female child hits puberty, ensure that you must have gone through all our TRAIN UP curricula [which is highly subsidized] so that you are better equipped to handle the demands that come with the early onset of puberty. On the other side of things, girls who go through puberty late, maintain their good marks in school, so they don’t seem to have that issue. They start dating later, possibly because they’re not as popular with the boys. Interestingly, this was my story. I was the best student right from Junior School till Senior School up until I got really deep in my relationship and lost my position to someone else. I couldn’t bring myself to focus on classwork because I was always wondering who else my boyfriend was seeing.

My grades dropped drastically as a result and I lost the position of the best graduating student. So, those are the immediate consequences that adolescents experience in the moment. As adults, girls who go through puberty early tend to have difficult social relationships, and lower levels of education completed. These girls tend to drop out of school earlier. And they tend to have more mental health issues and substance use issues. Again, some of this may have to do with where they were in the social hierarchy in high school, and if they carry those skills to the adult world, the adult world will kick them out. For girls who go through puberty late, one of the major consequences is that they complete higher levels of education. They maintain good marks in high school and then continue to do well academically later in life. How do you help your female child go through these pubertal changes with as much precision as you can muster?

  1. Be Open and Vulnerable: Nothing breeds trust and emotional safety like vulnerability.
  2. Be a Friend: It is amazing how the traditional model of parenting finds friendship with their adolescents as taboo. I have come in contact with parents who strongly believe that being friends with their adolescents water down the dominating effect they have over their children. While this is not only wrong, being domineering is one of the poorest ways to raise a child in the 21st-century social clime.
  3. Be Empathetic: Remember what your adolescence felt like. Bing back to memory what you liked and didn’t like. What you felt your parents should have done differently and weigh the consequences. Growing up in no way detaches you from your childhood and adolescence. The true art of ‘growing up’ is being able to make logical decisions without losing your sense of wonder.

As parents, what’s the biggest thing you’re struggling with right now that I can help you with? You can leave your comments or send me a mail at TBOG@tsageandtbog.com. If you enjoyed reading this, don’t forget to share it with other parents.



As a counsellor to adolescents and adolescent managers, I’ve seen it happen. Suddenly, the little boy you’ve raised and loved looks different. Changes in his body have him asking questions, or he may be seeing his friends changing and wonder when it will be his turn. I actually have friends who waited eagerly to grow beards! Even though we are familiar with the markers of puberty, are we well versed in the consequences of an early or delayed onset of puberty in the behavioural patterns of our teenagers? Of course, as parents, we all went through puberty ourselves — though it feels like eons ago! For children starting puberty, understanding the changes they will experience before they happen can be somewhat reassuring. In today’s article, we shall beam the light on how puberty affects boys (now and in later life) and how we can as parents be well–equipped to handle the demands of puberty on both our teens and ourselves.


Jones conducted a research that gave insights to the challenges boys face when they begin puberty earlier or later than their peers. Boys who go through puberty early [when compared to their mates especially within their circle] tend to have greater self-assurance. They tend to be rated as more attractive and more masculine, and they tend to be more popular with their peers. These are all bonuses for boys who go through puberty early. But it also turns out that the boys who go through puberty early tend to have increased substance use, more delinquency, and more psychological issues. So, there are some pros and cons to going through puberty early. This should serve as a guide for us as parents in gaining insights into the peculiar struggles our boys face with respect to their changing bodies and how we can act as guides as they go through.

Teenage boys in school uniform smilingAs a high school class teacher for a number of years, I have personally observed my shorter male students appear more troublesome than their taller peers. At the time, I had no scientific explanation for such segmentation but I was curious. Here’s what I found. For boys who go through puberty late, they tend to be socially awkward. They tend to misbehave in class a bit more than boys who go through early, possibly because they’re trying to get some attention, or trying to set themselves apart. And they do display some anxious behaviours. But, it’s not just the immediate consequences of early and late puberty that are important. There are some later consequences in adulthood that seem to be related to going through puberty early or late.


For boys who go through puberty early, later on, they tend to be more domineering but also more responsible. They tend to have a lot of self-control, but that can also make them rigid and a little bit conforming. They tend to be more advanced in their career but have some difficulty coping with stress, and they can tend to have more intimacy difficulties. Many studies show that most pre-adolescents want nothing more than to fit in so, anything that makes them feel conspicuous tends to have a subtle but definite long-lasting effect on mental health. It could also be that the anxious things they learn in the social hierarchy in high school do not work serve them very well the adult world. So, these boys have to come up with new ways of dealing with other people and social interactions if they’re going to participate in the adult world.


For boys who go through puberty late, later on in life, they tend to have a good sense of humour, clearer insight into issues, a sophisticated understanding of themselves, and good intimate relationships. It could be that not being the top of the social totem pole actually helps them out later in life. As parents, we need to be well equipped with the tools for navigating the 21st-century adolescent social space because what tended to work in our time, might be redundant in this clime.


How do we help our adolescents through this period?

  1. Listen: We should be curious about what’s going on in our teen’s life this period. Asking direct questions might not be as effective as simply sitting back and listening. listen to your adolescents. What they say and what they don't sayTeens are more likely to be open with their parents if they don’t feel pressured to share information. Remember even an offhand comment about something that happened during the day is her way of reaching out, and you’re likely to hear more if you stay open and interested — but not prying. This gives you a clear picture of the struggles they might be dealing with or insights into possible problems that might arise.


  1. Participate in TRAIN UP: There is an alarming outcry by many mental health organizations over the sudden surge in reported cases among teenagers. If nothing is done about this, the future of our society is in jeopardy. TRAIN-UP is a capacity-building exposure that unveils unconventional but foolproof strategies for adolescent engagement in the 21st-century technology-driven social space by equipping Parents, Teachers, Administrators and Counsellors (PTAC) with tools for creative adolescent management. We designed TRAIN UP as a free resource to ensure that all parents have access to cutting edge knowledge for unconventional parenting in the 21st century. In this course, you learn how to create a psychologically safe haven for your children especially adolescents among others.


  1. Validate their feelings. It is often our weakness as parents to try to solve problems for our teens and adolescents or to downplay their disappointments. But saying something like “She wasn’t right for you anyway” after a romantic disappointment can feel dismissive. Instead, show them that you understand and empathize by reflecting the comment back: “Wow, that does sound difficult.” And if possible share your heartbreak experience(s) and how you dealt with it (them) without outrightly telling them what to do or not.

  1.  Be Trustworthy: Yes that simple. Be worthy of being trusted! It is often easier for an adolescent to listen to another adult who they feel is on their side even if that adult is passing across the same message their parents have been trying to pass across for months to no avail. I know right?! If you recall your adolescence, it should come very clear to you how you would rather listen to another adult you trust and respect over your parents even though they were both saying the same thing. What’s the difference? Adolescents are emotional creatures. It means, to transmit instructions and values to them, you must target their emotional core. Many parents find this difficult because we have been wired to parent conventionally. We are in unconventional times, it will take an unconventional means to target your adolescent’s emotional core. You child will remain emotionally receptive to any adult who targets this core. Unfortunately, our teenagers many times believe that we [parents] are not on their side. It is one of the perks of conventional parenting and also a major reason that parenting teenagers seem tough! While it is very tempting to want to make them ‘understand’ why they act the way they do or to show them scientific reports on what’s ‘wrong’ with them, it’s best you place them in the hands of professionals who can in partnership with you, guide them.