We were all teenagers. But parenting one is much harder than being one.

Parentshop founder and psychologist Michael Hawton, a leading Australian behavioural expert, coach and educator, is helping parents navigate this challenging period of adolescent development.

Mr Hawton says it’s a misconception that “teenager’s minds somehow go ‘off-line’ for a period of time – and that somehow they are unable to exert some self-control”.

“The way I see it, if they are growing in maturity and if their brains are developing as they should, their ability to contain their behaviour should be improving. That is, they can think better before they ‘lose it’, compared to in their childhood,” he wrote on his blog site.

Mr Hawton, a former primary school teacher, says parents have a role to play in helping their teenage sons and daughters assume and exert greater self-control.

“Most of what we see in teenagers who behave badly is because it’s become a habit and not because they are not capable of containing their frustration. Sometimes we need the people who love us, to help us to do our best and this is not the least at times when we look ugly.”

Mr Hawton shared his extended experience, insights and practical advice into adolescent behaviour with parents in a free parent webinar on 8 August. He took parents through practical strategies to help them harness and maximise their teenager’s ability to exert self-control | WATCH THE WEBINAR