11 – 19 years old

Parenting teenagers can be challenging and many parents find it hard to adapt to changes in their child’s behaviour as they grow up. Some parents see changes in their teenager almost overnight whereas others see gradual change. Here you’ll find lots of links to practical advice on how to deal with common teen issues.
f you are aged 14-25 and live in East Sussex i-Rock can offer you the chance to talk in confidence about any problems you may be having. They offer advice and support on emotional and mental wellbeing, jobs, education and housing. During Coronavirus our sites are closed but we are still offering help to young people by providing a virtual offer.

Please contact us by emailing the team who can then offer a telephone or video consultation. Please find the details on our Support in your area page.

11 – 19 Safety

Drug and alcohol

Some teens may be tempted to experiment with alcohol , drugs or smoking and as a parent that can be frightening.

Local: Drugs and alcohol
National: Talk to Frank
Other: CGL | Change Grow Live – health and social care charity

Internet Safety

Young people are very tech-savvy so it is important to protect our children from harmful material and teach them to use the internet safely.

Local: Staying safe online
National: Thinkuknow
Other: O2 and NSPCC

Keeping Safe – Knife Crime & Exploitation

Exploitation is a hidden crime which often happens out of sight, leaving victims at serious risk of harm. Within East Sussex increasing numbers of vulnerable children are being identified as victims of exploitation. If you suspect it, report it. We all have a role to play in keeping people safe from harm.

County lines is a term used to describe gangs and organised criminal networks involved in exporting illegal drugs into one or more importing areas within the UK, using dedicated mobile phone lines or other form of “deal line”. They are likely to exploit children and vulnerable adults to move and store the drugs and money and they will often use coercion, intimidation, violence (including sexual violence) and weapons.

Sussex police continue to see children being exploited by criminal gangs to supply drugs in Sussex. Intelligence from you is key to the police taking out the gangs responsible for this exportation of crime and exploitation of the vulnerable.  We would encourage anyone who has concerns about vulnerable people being targeted in this way to come forward and speak to police 101 or in an emergency 999 or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

Keeping SAFE Leaflet for Young People

Knife Crime and Criminal Exploitation Information for parents

11 – 19 Eating and Nutrition

Eating Disorders

If you thought you’d left worries about food behind when your child stopped being a toddler, think again. Teenagers are more vulnerable to eating disorders than any other age group.

Local: Sussex Partnership
National: Eating Disorders
Other: Types of eating disorders | Mind

11 – 19 School and Learning

Return To School

All young people in all year groups are returning to school and college full time from 8th March 2021.
Returning to school is vital for children’s education and for their wellbeing. We know that many children and young people are eager to return to school to see their friends, but we completely understand that others will be anxious about going back and being away from their families after spending so long at home.
The benefits of being back in school far outweigh the very low risk from coronavirus. The risk to children themselves of becoming severely ill from coronavirus is very low and children transmit the disease less than adults.

Schools and colleges reopening in East Sussex on 8 March – East Sussex County Council

Explaining about Coronavirus

Exam Stress

Exam time can be very stressful for everyone in the family. Your child may not want to sit all of their exams, or perhaps getting them to revise has become an uphill struggle.

Local: C360
National: BBC Bitesize – GCSE
Other: Exam stress and pressure | Childline

Next Steps

Careers East Sussex

Issues at School

Teenage problems in school can be a very daunting time for families as they struggle to deal with the issues their child may be facing.
Local: ESBAS
National: Issues at school – Family Lives
Other: Youngminds

11 – 19 Health and Hygiene

Mental Health

Mood swings are normal in teenagers but some teens could be coping with something more serious.

Local: Connexions 360
National: YoungMinds
Other: MOODJUICE – Self-help Resource Site

Sexual Health

Talking to your teen about sex can be challenging no matter how old they are. On-line resources can provide a way to springboard into important conversations.


National: Brook
Other: Sexual health

11 – 19 Behaviour and Discipline


Teens come with a whole new set of parenting concerns and knowing how to talk to them can be tough.

Local: Communicating with your child

National: NHS Talking to your teenager


Setting boundaries for your teen is an essential part of parenting. If your teen is being regularly verbally aggressive or even physically violent, this can cause real problems in your home.

Local: Teen violence at home
National: Teen aggression and violence

11 – 19 Sports and Fitness

Body Issues

During adolescence young people often think a lot about how their bodies look. They also compare their bodies to others. A positive teenage body image is an important part of healthy self-esteem.

National: National Centre for Eating Disorders » Body Image
Other: The Be Real Campaign – Body Confidence for Everyone

Body Issues

Local: Active Hastings

National: One You

Other: Sport England

11 – 19 Child Development

Self Esteem

While it can be normal for a teenager to lack confidence, at times teens with low self-esteem issues often view themselves as unworthy. Low self-esteem can be particularly hard for young people as it’s a time when they’re exposed to new life events, like starting secondary school and forming new friendships and relationships.

Local: Helping your child build self-esteem – Family Lives
National: Building confidence and self-esteem | Childline
Other: Raising low self-esteem

Sexual Identity

It’s a common source of anxiety for parents to know how to support a child if they come out or have questions about their sexual identity.

Local: Allsorts Youth Project
National: Sexuality | Childline

11 – 19 Parenting with Additional Challenges


The variety and complexity of family life today means that new skills are needed all the time. Step-parenting is one of those new skills.

Local; Family Lives
National: Stepfamilies
Other: Gingerbread

Divorce & Separation

Sometimes, when there’s nothing else for it, marriages and relationships end in divorce or separation and couples have to go their separate ways. If you have children, it’s important that your break-up goes as smoothly as possible to have as little impact on them as you can manage.

Local: Mediation
National: Citizens Advice

11 – 19 Debt & Money


No debt problems are unsolvable. It might not be easy or quick, but there’s always a route. And the earlier you deal with them, the easier they are to deal with.

Local: Benefits
National: Christians Against Poverty | Debt Counselling Charity
Other: StepChange Debt Charity – Free Expert Debt Advice.

We’re continually updating this website in light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with a list of helpful links for parents.