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Routine Checkup - Tips for Parents of Teens: Care Instructions

Your Care Instructions

The natural changes your teen goes through during adolescence can be hard for both you and your teen. Your love, understanding, and guidance can help your teen make good decisions.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

Be involved and supportive

  • Try to accept the natural changes in your relationship. It is normal for teens to want more independence.
  • Recognize that your teen may not want to be a part of all family events. But it is good for your teen to stay involved in some family events.
  • Respect your teen's need for privacy. Talk with your teen if you have safety concerns.
  • Be flexible. Allow your teen to test, explore, and communicate within limits. But be sure to stay firm and consistent.
  • Set realistic family rules. If these rules are broken, set clear limits and consequences. When your teen seems ready, give your teen more responsibility.
  • Pay attention to your teen. When your teen wants to talk, try to stop what you are doing and really listen. This will help build your teen's confidence.
  • Decide together which activities are okay for your teen to do on their own. These may include staying home alone or going out with friends who drive.
  • Spend personal, fun time with your teen. Try to keep a sense of humour. Praise positive behaviours.
  • If you have trouble getting along with your teen, talk with other parents, family members, or a counsellor.

Healthy habits

  • Encourage your teen to be active for at least 1 hour each day. Plan family activities. These may include trips to the park, walks, bike rides, swimming, and gardening.
  • Encourage good eating habits. Your teen needs healthy meals and snacks every day. Stock up on fruits and vegetables. Have fat free and low-fat dairy foods available.
  • Limit TV or screen time to 2 hours or less a day. Check programs for violence, bad language, and sex.


The influenza (flu) vaccine is recommended once a year for all people age 6 months and older. Talk to your doctor if your teen did not yet get the vaccines for human papillomavirus (HPV), meningococcal disease, and tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. Ask your doctor if your teen is up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines.

What to expect at this age

Most teens are learning to think in more complex ways. They start to think about the future results of their actions.

It's normal for teens to focus a lot on how they look, talk, or view politics. This is a way for teens to help define who they are.

Friendships are very important in the early teen years.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:

  • You need information about raising your teen. This may include questions about:
    • Your teen's diet and nutrition.
    • Your teen's sexuality or about sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
    • Helping your teen take charge of his or her own health and medical care.
    • Vaccinations your teen might need.
    • Alcohol, illegal drugs, or smoking.
    • Your teen's mood.
  • You have other questions or concerns.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.