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5 Changes in Teen Boys That Can Affect Parent-Child Relationships & Suggestions to Help

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As parents, it can be challenging to watch our teenage boys go through the changes that inherently come with adolescence. From physical changes to hormonal changes, teenagers go through various transformations that can affect their relationships with their families, particularly with their parents.

At Katy Teen & Family Counseling, we specialize in providing teen therapy and counseling for young adults and understand the unique challenges they face.

Our research-based approaches, individualized treatment, and collaboration with parents throughout the therapy process ensure that our clients receive the support and resources they need to thrive.

In this blog post, we'll discuss the normal changes that occur in the brain of a teenage boy and what in the brain and body is causing the changes.

We'll also provide five common changes that teenage boys experience and how these changes can affect their relationship with their parents.

Additionally, we'll suggest ways parents can manage these changes in their teen son.

Normal Changes in the Brain of a Teenage Boy

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During the teenage years, the brain goes through a series of changes that can affect behavior and mood. Specifically, there is significant development in the prefrontal cortex, amygdala, and hippocampus.

Prefrontal Cortex

The prefrontal cortex is responsible for decision-making, reasoning, and planning, among other cognitive processes. During adolescence, this area of the brain undergoes significant development, particularly in the connections between neurons.


The amygdala, on the other hand, is responsible for processing emotions, particularly fear and pleasure. During adolescence, this part of the brain is more active, which can explain the increased emotional reactivity that teenagers experience.


Lastly, the hippocampus, which is responsible for memory and spatial navigation, is also undergoing significant development during adolescence.

Five Common Changes Teenage Boys Experience

1. Physical Changes

One of the most noticeable changes during adolescence is physical changes. Teenage boys experience significant growth spurts, which can lead to increased hunger, fatigue, and clumsiness.

These changes can make it challenging for parents to manage their son's physical needs and may lead to disagreements or misunderstandings.

Research suggests that parents should ensure that their son is getting enough sleep, exercise, and healthy foods to support his growth and development.

Also, parents should encourage their son to communicate about any physical discomfort or changes he is experiencing.

2. Emotional Changes

As mentioned earlier, the amygdala, responsible for processing emotions, is more active during adolescence. As a result, teenage boys may experience heightened emotional reactivity, mood swings, irritability, and increased stress levels.

For parents, it's essential to approach these changes with empathy and understanding. Try to validate your son's emotions and create a safe space for him to express himself.

Additionally, it's essential to teach your son effective coping mechanisms, such as breathing exercises or meditation, to help manage his emotions.

3. Cognitive Changes

As the prefrontal cortex develops, teenage boys may experience changes in cognitive processes such as decision-making and reasoning. Teenagers may become more impulsive, take more risks, and make less-informed decisions.

Parents should try to remain patient and avoid reacting negatively to their son's behaviors. Instead, provide guidance and support, and encourage more significant involvement in decision-making processes.

Additionally, keep communication open and honest to facilitate effective decision-making.

4. Social Changes

During adolescence, teenagers begin to place more importance on their social lives. They may prioritize spending time with friends over family activities, which can lead to feelings of rejection among parents.

To help manage social changes, parents should try to maintain an open and honest line of communication with their son.

Encourage your son to invite friends over to your home, participate in group activities, and maintain a balance between social activities and family time.

5. Sexual Changes

As teenage boys mature, they may experience sexual changes that can be uncomfortable to discuss. They may begin to experience sexual urges, curiosity, and sexual thoughts that can be confusing and overwhelming.

It's crucial for parents to maintain an open-door policy that allows their son to feel comfortable discussing sexual changes. Encourage your son to ask questions, provide him with accurate information and resources, and maintain an age-appropriate level of communication.

How Parents Can Manage Changes in their Teen Son

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Teen Counseling

At Katy Teen & Family Counseling, our specialists in teen counseling and young adult therapy can provide an invaluable resource for parents.

Our parent coaching can help parents develop effective communication strategies that can help lower defensiveness and resistance in teens, manage conflicts, and provide tools and resources to navigate adolescent changes successfully.

Monitor Changes

By paying close attention to changes in their son's behavior, parents can take proactive measures to manage these changes. Keep track of mood swings, academic performance, sleep hygiene, and social interactions to identify any worrisome patterns.

Set Realistic Expectations

By setting realistic expectations for teenage boys, parents can help them manage academic, extracurricular, and social obligations effectively.

Encourage positive behavior by noticing and commenting on the behavior when you see it. And when there is less than positive behavior and they know better, natural or logical consequences are important. This can be one of the hard parts of parenting.

Katy Teen & Family Counseling: 70+ Years of Combined Experience in Teen Therapy & Young Adult Counseling Katy, TX & Houston

While we only described a few of the changes that teen boys experience that can affect their relationship with their parents, these changes are often normal.

If your teen begins struggling with emotional challenges that can sometimes come along with these changes, teen therapy can help. And better to address is now than let it persist.

We also have our Sugar Land location. Sugar Land Teen & Family Counseling is located in Sugar Land, TX. We are conveniently located off of US 90 and Dairy Ashford Road.

At our Katy, TX location, we have therapists with evening hours available. If you are ready to meet with one of our teen counselors or young adult therapists, all you need to do is follow these three simple steps:

  1. Contact Katy Teen & Family Counseling

  2. Talk with one of our caring therapists 

  3. Begin the healing process today!

Other Therapy and Counseling Services Offered at Katy Teen & Family Counseling

At Katy Teen & Family Counseling, we provide a variety of therapy approaches that are supported by research and shown to be effective. Some of the teen therapy and young adult counseling we offer are:

Board Certified Neurofeedback Therapy

Peak performance (optimal academic brain performance)

Peak performance (optimal athletic brain performance)

Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART)

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR Therapy)

Group Therapy for Teens

Body Image

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Couples Therapy & Marriage Counseling

Couples Therapy and Marriage Counseling can be very effective. The secret ingredient to success is each person willing to look at themselves and work to do things differently, together.

When a marriage counselor or couples therapist has this to work with, the success rate can be very high.

Sometimes life will throw challenges at us that create situations that put strain on our marriage or relationship. It may be due to:

  • Choices and actions that have been made by one partner.

  • Financial downturn in the economy creating financial strain.

  • Feeling like you're growing apart.

  • Feeling like you don't have as much in common as you used to.

Whatever the reason may be, marriage counseling and couples therapy can help. Couples therapy and marriage counseling has also been found to work in less time than individual therapy.

If you've worked hard for this relationship and find that there are now barriers in the way of maintaining a healthy relationship, contact us at Katy Teen & Family Counseling. 

About the Author

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Jason Drake is a Licensed Clinical Worker - Supervisor (LCSW-S), Board Certified in Neurofeedback, EMDR trained, and a Certified Brain Health Professional through the Amen Clinics. He has provided therapy to teens, young adults, and families since 2003 and is the Owner & Lead Clinician at Katy Teen & Family Counseling, Sugar Land Teen & family Counseling, and Katy Counseling for Men. 

He specializes in leading teams of high performing therapists who also specialize in teen therapy, counseling young adults, and family counseling.

Jason is also a leader in the field of teen, young adult, and family counseling providing expert coaching and technical assistance to teen Residential Treatment Centers across the country.

Jason is also a regular contributor to various magazines and publications lending his expertise to various mental health related topics. You can check these articles out on our "Featured Articles" service page on our website.

He has also been a guest on Fox 26 Houston and on a podcast, "Grow a Group Practice" with Alison Pidgeon.

If you are ready to start teen counseling or young adult therapy call, text, or email us today!

Phone Number: 281-519-6364

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