20 June, 2024

How Puberty Contributes to Parent-Teen Communication Barriers

Teenagers running on track on school campus

Family Bridges is a student-led program dedicated to provide new insights into parent-children communications.

Latest Updates

We are very pleased and honored to expand Family Bridges to the other international schools in Chengdu, Changsha, and Suzhou. This article was a collaborative effort by Ava from the international division of The NO.1 High School in Changsha and me, Susan from Dalian American International school. We hope to include more students from various schools in joining our program and actively contributing their insights!

For more detailed updates, please take look at our Family Bridges website.

Results From the Second 30-Day Challenge

The overall feedback we received was exciting because many parents said they indeed employed the strategies we shared with their children and the communication process was optimized.

We will keep track of the third 30-day challenge response form and will provide further updates in the following post!

Main Focus of This Article

In the previous workshops and articles, Family Bridges focused more on the parental side. Because of this, we will discuss more about one of the major factors based on teenagers which is how puberty leads to communication barriers.

We hope this balanced view for both sides will provide you with a better understanding of this issue.


Puberty is defined as a transition from teenager to adulthood. During this period, adolescents undergo physical and psychological development and transformation, and here, we would like to specifically focus on the anxiety and irritability that teenagers typically experience due to hormone secretion.

Adolescents may usually feel anxious and even stressed about changes in their bodies as well as changes in their environments (ex. transitioning from middle school to high school or entering new social groups). Because of this, the huge emotional ups and downs make the communication process harder. More importantly, research has shown that teenagers typically develop a higher self-esteem during this period, meaning that they tend to be more self-centered which makes them reluctant to listen to teachers and parents.

(*information provided by The Nemours Foundation)

Changes your son may be noticing during puberty

Image source: https://www.parents.com/


We propose the following solutions for parents to cope with this circumstance:

  • Do not set up an over-dominant or even commanding tone; instead, try to communicate with your children as equals and respect their ideas.
  • Instill your children with the correct values in advance (ex. clearly distinguish between what is the right thing to do and what is not).
  • Help them develop healthy learning habits, such as exercising and reading, which may help mitigate their overall anxiousness during puberty.

New Activity: Padlet

After reading so much text, you may ask: how can I express my insights or ask questions regarding the communication barriers that I encounter? That is why Family Bridges proposes this PADLET link in which you may leave a message about any of your questions/ideas/concerns. We will respond to each one of them carefully and thoughtfully. Please do not worry about your privacy being leaked as this Padlet was designed to be anonymous, meaning that your name and email address will not be shown to anyone. Please click here to access the Padlet.

(If you do not have any specific questions or concerns, you may also provide any suggestions about what Family Bridges may do in the future to further improve this program. Your advice will be highly valued, and we sincerely believe that it will help more parents and teenagers solve their communication issues)


In this article, we mainly covered how puberty contributes to parent-teen communication barriers. Moreover, 3 suggestions are provided for mitigating the communication issues during teenagers’ puberty period. We hope this article is useful for both parents and teenagers to realize how multifaceted communication barriers are.

In addition, I would like to say THANK YOU to Ava who actively participated in the writing process. With more collaborative efforts, I believe Family Bridges will eventually expand its influence to a greater scope and help more people resolve their communication issues.

Please stay in tune for our next article!

Written by: Susan Li (Dalian), Ava (Changsha)