Teens (13-18)

Understand the parenting skills you need to help guide your teen.

Helping an adolescent become a caring, independent and responsible adult is no small task.

Having healthy relationships is a key factor in our overall health and well-being. Adolescence can be a very exciting time but for many it can also be a time of turmoil particularly when it comes to relationships. Keeping the channels of communication open is very important for a young person so that they will feel that they can talk to you if they need your help or support. Read more HERE

Foróige provide a personal development and sex education programme known as the “Real U”. This is about equipping young people with the skills, knowledge and confidence to develop healthy relationships and delay the onset of early sexual activity. Contact Susan McLoughlin 086 606 4291

BreakOUT is a Donegal Youth Service project for young LGBT people which provides one-to-one support, peer support, weekly drop-ins, training and more. Contact Sinead Murray on 086 124 7968

Loving Our Out Kids is a support service for parents of LGBT children offering phone support, and resources for parents about understanding LGBT and how to best support their child www.lovingouroutkids.org

Belong To is an Irish service for young LGBT people who also provide information and resources for parents. www.belongto.org

Intimate Partner Violence can happen in any relationship at any age. If you are concerned about violence in your young person’s relationship contact Louise or Frankie on 074 912 9630 at Donegal Youth Service who provide a Listening and Support Service linked to Donegal Domestic Violence Service and Amen.

Are you aware of the dangers of drug and alcohol use among teens? Read more HERE

How can I try and deter my son/daughter from experimenting with drugs? Educate yourself, look up drug educational sites like www.drugs.ie this site has all information on drugs from the types, the dangers and the effects. Once you know the facts, talking to your young person about drugs will become a lot easier.

What do I do if I find my teenager in possession of drugs? You need to be supportive and listen very carefully to their reasons for experimenting with the drug. Help can be provided by the Foróige Drug and Alcohol Prevention and Education Programme for both the young person and their parents/guardians. Contact Cara Currid 086 048 1977

If my child has taken drugs or alcohol? Sit with the young person. If you think their state is deteriorating phone 999. If you can, tell the medical professionals what the young person has taken. When the young person has recovered discuss the situation in a calm and supportive way. You may want to contact Cara Currid 086 048 1977 at Foróige’s Drug and Alcohol Prevention and Education Programme for support.

Useful resource for parents:

Dealing With Drug Use

Ask About Alcohol – 10 top tips for parents

Being part of a youth club has many great benefits for young people. It improves their confidence and self-esteem, and it also gives them great opportunities to avail of training, make friends, learn new skills and really feel a part of their community. Youth clubs encourage young people to be active members of society and reach their potential. Read More HERE

Donegal Youth Service has 21 affiliated youth clubs around the County. For information on locations, opening hours, activities, and opportunities please contact Charlene Logue, DYS Youth Outreach Manager, charlene.logue@donegalyouthservice.ie or 086 381 7959

Foróige gives young people the opportunity to get involved in Citizenship projects, Youth Leadership Programmes, Youth Entrepreneur Programmes and youth clubs. To find out more contact Susan McLaughlin at Foróige on 086 606 4291 or have a look at the website www.foroige.ie

Donegal Youth Services’s Worldwide Voices project aims to bring together people of a diversity of ethnic backgrounds to work together. Contact Frankie McGreevy on 074 912 9630

Young Carers Youth Service run a Young Carers’ Project for young people aged 12-24 whose life is affected by providing significant care, assistance or support to a relative at home. The caring role can impact on school, social life, developing other interests etc. This support group gives peer, and one-to-one support, respite and fun activities, school support and training. Contact Frankie McGreevy on 074 912 9630 for more information or to refer a young person.

Parenting influences children’s social and emotional development as well as their behaviour, education and physical health. Supporting parents leads to improvements in children’s well-being. Parenting programmes help parents and those in a parenting role to develop the skills, strategies and resilience they need to help their children thrive. Read more HERE

Parents Plus Adolescent Programme promotes effective communication and positive relationships in families with adolescents aged 11 to 16 years. Contact the Parent Hub Coordinator on 087 173 6667 or email parenthubdonegal@gmail.com. Programmes also advertised on www.parenthubdonegal.ie and Facebook Parenthub Donegal.

Common Sense Parenting (CSP) a practical, skill-based parenting programme to build good family relationships, prevent and correct misbehaviour, use consequences to improve behaviour and teach self-control. For more information contact Susan McLoughlin in Foróige 086 606 4291

The Strengthening Families programme comprises three life skills courses including Parent Skills, Child / Teen Skills and Family Skills. Each weekly session lasts 2 ½ hours and the family attend as a whole. To help reduce barriers for families to attend the programme SFP provides transport, childcare and evening meal as part of the overall programme. See Strengthening Families Programme

The Teen Parents Support Programme is a support service for young people (aged up to 21 years) who are pregnant or parenting. The service is open to the young mums & dads and also the grandparents. Contact: Project Worker Michelle Maguire 086 818 6345 michelle.maguire@forogie.ie or Project Worker Jacqueline Doherty – 086 837 1335 Jacqueline.doherty@foroige.ie

Donegal Youth Information Centre, run by DYS also supports parents with information on issues that their children are experiencing. Contact: Gareth Gibson, Youth Information Manager on 074 912 9630

For more details on all these services click HERE

Useful Links

Tusla Parenting 24-Seven

Whether our child is experiencing bullying or doing the bullying it is an issue that has to be addressed. Read more HERE

Foróige Against Bullying (F.A.B.) programme explores issues of bullying and support young people to develop the skills needed to deal to with bullying. After completing the programme young people will be able to recognise and deal with bullying behaviour in a positive way. For more information contact Susan McLoughlin 086 606 4291

Useful Link: Teenagers coping with bullying

Cyber-bullying and Internet Safety

Donegal Youth Service offer one-to-one support for young people and parents who have concerns about cyberbullying and internet safety, as well as seminars and age appropriate workshops for young people, schools, youth groups, teachers and parents. For more information contact Gareth Gibson, Youth Information Manager on 074 912 9630

There are many issues that can impact on the health and wellbeing of our young people. It is important that they are physically active, eating healthily, sleeping well and looking after their physical, mental and sexual health. For more information on these click HERE

Foróige runs a Health and Wellbeing programme which helps young people develop the health behaviours which are crucial to their health and wellbeing and provide that strong foundation for their adult lives. For further information contact Susan McLaughlin 086 606 4291.

Useful Links: Teenagers Wellbeing

Click the links if you think that your young adult is being affected by

Coping with a death

Coping with Separation

Coping with Domestic Abuse

Parents’ Drug Abuse

Mental Health

Donegal Youth Service provides a free and confidential one-to-one support service for young people aged 12-25 years called Teen Talk. This service is specifically designed to meet the developmental needs of young people and offer them support in a way which respects their needs. For more information or to refer a young person contact Louise Lynch, Teen Talk Coordinator on 074 912 9640 or add Teen Talk on WhatsApp at 085 255 3816

Jigsaw Donegal provides a free and confidential support service for young people aged 15 – 25, with a drop-in centre on Pearse Road in Letterkenny.  As a parent Jigsaw can inform you of how to support a young person yourself or how to help them access Jigsaw or other supports that they might need. For more information: www.jigsaw.ie. Another very useful link is: ie.reachout.com

If you or your young adult have concerns about eating healthily or about eating disorders here are some useful links: weight issues – Healthy eating at different ages, Eating for health – Buy well, be well, eat well

Sleep is a vital ingredient in our health and wellbeing. See more here: Teens and Sleep

If you have concerns about your teenager’s sexual health, their level of understanding and their ability to make informed choices here are some websites that may help:

Talking to teenagers



Donegal Youth Service offers programmes with a focus on sexual health, tailored to the age range of the young people attending. For further information contact Sheena Boyle-Laverty on 074 912 9630

Early or Potential Early School Leavers

Some young people find it difficult to continue attending school, and have either dropped out or rarely attend. This can be a difficult issue for parents to address as there are many reasons that this may happen including dyslexia, ADHD, social anxiety, low self esteem, and confidence to name just a few. If you are a parent of a young person attending first year through to Junior Certificate and are concerned about your child leaving school early, or if they have already left then Donegal Youth Service have an individually tailored programme called Daybreak which supports young people to remain in education, and supports their personal and academic goals so that they can reach their full potential. The programme also offers education and training for stress management, sexual health, study skills, self care, body image, positive mental health, anger management and cookery skills. For more information call Michelle Wylam on 074 912 9630

If you have a teenager who wants to apply for third level here are some useful links

How does the CAO system work? CAO

How does the SUSI student grant scheme work? Student Grants

If a young person has additional needs Higher Education- Access and Disability

Doing a degree is not the only way to a brighter future. Apprenticeships and internships offer young people a way to build their skills and increase their employment prospects. (DLDC leaflet on apprenticeships still in progress)

The Irish Government want Ireland to be ‘one of the best small countries in which to grow up and raise a family and where the rights of all children and young people are respected, protected and fulfilled; where their voices are heard and where they are supported to realise their maximum potential now and in the future’.

The aim is to support children, young people and their families so that all children and young people can:

• Be active and healthy

• Achieve in learning and development

• Be safe and protected from harm

• Have economic security and opportunity

• Be connected, respected and contributing to society

Donegal Children and Young People’s Services Committee works to make these goals a reality. You can find out more about that HERE.

One of the ways that support is offered to parents is through Parenting24Seven – Top Tips for Family Wellbeing offering evidence based key messages on what works best for children, young people and families at different stages and in different situations. Find out more HERE.

Find out how having a positive parenting style can benefit your family life HERE.

What supports and services do you need for family life? Contact us through our Facebook Page or by emailing us parenthubdonegal@gmail.com

Through positive parenting and supporting family life at all its stages the hope is that our children will have better outcomes and brighter futures.

For more information to support your parenting with your teenager click here.