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10 FUN QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR TEENAGER TO GET THE CONVERSATION STARTED

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There are times when talking to your teenager can be difficult.  There are often times when all you get are one word answers.  However, sometimes that is all you need to get the conversation started.  Below are 10 fun questions to ask your teenager.  These are a guide to help you start the conversation.

 

However, these are just the start, it is your job to listen to your teenager without jumping in or trying to defend your actions or beliefs.  It’s not about you, it’s about your teenager.  So why not give them a go?  Don’t shy away from them, let your teenager express their opinion and lets see where the conversation leads!

 

Related posts:

5 Mistakes I have made as a parent of a teenager

When is the time right to take a step back and let your teenager take the lead?

5 Things my teenager needs

How to stay connected to your tween

 

 

Oh and don’t lecture, this is about giving your teenager the space to talk.  These will give one or two word answers but that’s ok.  See where the journey takes you.

 

  1. What do you like about our relationship?

  2. How do you think we could improve our relationship?

  3. Do you tell me everything?  Why?

  4. What are the most important things I have taught you?

  5. What is your earliest memory you have?

  6. What makes you smile?

  7. If we changed places for one day what would you do?

  8. If you got in to trouble, how do you think I would react?

  9. Describe yourself in 3 words?

  10. Do I ever embarrass you?

 

Give these fun questions a go and let me know how you get on.

 

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Health / Relationships

I’M NOT OK, BUT I THINK IT’S OK

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I suffer from mummy guilt.  Heck I suffer from all kinds of guilt to be honest.  There are days when all I seem to do is work extremely hard to gain perfection, even if it runs me in to the ground.  I often chase my tail with this quest for perfection.  I berate myself for not doing enough.  I wonder why I can’t be the perfect parent, have a spotless house, redecorate the house.  And so the list goes.

 

Not surprisingly, research has shown that beating myself up doesn’t work.  It has also shown that perfection doesn’t work either.  These might seem obvious but when I’m in the middle of feeling these things, I often dismiss everything else.

 

In my attempt to move away for this guilt I am trying to work on it.  I am trying to acknowledge the guilt when it raises its ugly head and then let it go.  I have started to work on this and it is tough.  Making a conscious decision to even acknowledge the guilt is so difficult but I know so much will improve if I continue to do this.

 

 

 

I honestly don’t know why I try and be a super-parent.  Do you?  I guess acknowledging that I’m not ok, acknowledging the guilt and releasing surely will have a positive impact on my parenting.

 

Giving myself permission to make mistakes is something I’m not used to but it’s something that I know must be continued.  I need to let go of trying to be perfect.

 

I need to get back to appreciating time spent with my family and stop worrying about the little things (like untidy bedrooms!).  After all, my family means so much to me, being with them is a pleasure.  Things go much more smoothly when I’m in a happier mood.  My kids also feel the benefits.

 

I know dealing with guilt will be an ongoing exercise but I’m sure over time it will become easier.

 

 

Do you suffer from mummy guilt?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

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CAN I BRING CALM TO SIBLING CONFLICT?

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Just when I thought most things with my tween and teenager were going well the sibling conflict and fighting escalates!  I am exaggerating but it does seem to happen all the time!

 

I’ve researched a little and wanted to share with you the approach which I am going to try to use to try and sort it out.

 

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I know it’s a normal part of growing up for my sons to fight.  They fight over all kinds of things.  There’s the ‘Get out of my room’ fight.  The ‘Stop looking at me’ me.  The ‘Did you take my…’ fight.  And so, it goes.

 

As a parent, it can be stressful at times for me but I know it is part of growing up and I also know that it is also positive because if I handle it correctly they will be able to solve problems, deal with different opinions and learn how to compromise and negotiate.

 

It’s so funny how some days go.  They can be fighting all day then the next they are being supportive and protective of each other!

 

I am trying my best to leave the boys to it and let them try and resolve the issue by themselves.  While this may take a bit longer than if I stepped in – and less stressful – it’s not really teaching them anything.  If they can come up with solutions themselves all the better.

 

It’s also an issue for me not knowing who started it.  So, I guess if I focus on what the conflict is about perhaps I have a chance to help them solve it.

 

Another problem is that I don’t want either of them to think I am taking sides.  One of them will probably feel they have been unfairly treated or worse, think I’m showing favouritism.  So, my go to strategy will to see if I can motivate them to resolve the issues themselves.

 

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Health / Relationships

MY NEGATIVE BIRTH EXPERIENCE

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When I was pregnant it seemed like a breeze.  I didn’t suffer morning sickness, no real swelling to talk about and the only craving I had was pure orange juice so that was good!

 

I thought my GP was great, that was until the birth. I knew very little about what my GP should have been doing.  However, I can tell you now that he wasn’t measuring my growing belly, he wasn’t checking my weight and on one occasion when the nurse said there was protein in my urine, he didn’t refer me to the hospital.

 

I did everything I was supposed to.  I went to classes to find out about the birth and what I needed to do to stay healthy.  My husband and I talked at length of wanting a natural birth with maybe a TENS machine.

 

My pregnancy seemed ideal in those early days but my labour was anything but.  I went to the hospital for my 32-week scan.  I can still recall as if it were yesterday. The doctor examined my bump and placed the ultra sound machine on my belly to listen to the heart beat.  I could tell right away something wasn’t right.

 

The only thing going through my mind was “Is my baby ok?”  Those were the only words that would come out.  All the doctor said was he was going to get the consultant.

 

Looking back, it could only have been 30 seconds he was away for, but to me it seemed like a lifetime.  The consultant came and did some checks, he said that they needed to deliver the baby right away.

 

It was like I was in a dream.  All I can recall is being whisked to the labour ward, several nurses round me, hooked up to a machine and worried faces on them all.  In between this time my husband arrived.  I remember being given an injection – what it was for I have no clue but I started to burn.  My husband took off my necklace and he dropped it because it was so hot.

 

They tried to induce me but no luck.  What still sticks in my mind is the look on my husband’s face and the medical staff.  Later my husband told me he could see the heart rate of my son on the monitor and it was dropping really low.

 

The doctors made the decision to deliver my son by C-Section without any further delay.  The actual operation went well, he was 4lb 4oz when he was born and immediately whisked away to the children’s hospital in an incubator while I remained in the local hospital.

 

I had been suffering from pre-eclampsia for weeks.  They couldn’t move me because they thought I was going to die, they thought my son was going to die too.

 

It traumatized me. It took me a long time to talk about it and a long time to put what happened to me down on paper.  I changed GPs immediately after my son was born and wrote to him expressing my concerns at my treatment.

 

Indeed, when in hospital I can remember the consultant coming to talk to me and saying that he couldn’t believe the state in which I was in.  I explained about the GP and how I had been treated.

 

I have no idea if this particular GP improved his practice and how he dealt with other pregnancies but I do wish there had been companies like Your Legal Friend to have helped me with submitting a medical negligence claim.  Not just for the situation I experienced but to make sure it never happened to anyone ever again.

 

There are nearly 2 million patient safety incidents reported in England in 2015/2016.  My question is this – why can’t they just do a good job and stop playing with people’s lives?  Because at the end of the day is really is a matter of life and death.  I am just so blessed that my son is now a wonderful teenager but the scars of that day will remain with me for life, all because a GP failed to do his job.

 

 

This post is in collaboration with My Legal Friend.

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Health / Relationships

THINGS I DO AS A PARENT WHEN I NEED TIME OUT FROM MY TEENAGER!

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Yes I admit it, there are days when I need a time out from being a parent.  Family life can be overwhelming and parenting a teen can be even more so at times.  I am not alone as I know other parents feel like they are treading water at times.  Which is why taking some time to focus on yourself is so important.

 

Self Care

Self care is extremely important.  Think of everything you do as a parent for your children, these steps of care need to be taken for yourself too.  Whether you have a newborn baby or are a seasoned parent, taking care of yourself is extremely important.  I don’t just mean physical care, I also mean social, psychological and even spiritual too.

 

Physical Self Care

There are ways to take care of your physical self.  These are just a few of the things I do on a regular basis when I can.

  • Eat healthy meals
  • Take some exercise
  • Try to get enough sleep
  • Spend some time outdoors in the fresh air
  • Disconnect from your phone, text and email for a bit!

 

 

Psychological/mental Self Care

There are things you can do to ensure your mental health is well.  Again I try and do as much of these as possible.

 

  • Stay in touch with family and friends
  • Talk with family and friends and express how you are feeling
  • Take time to reconnect with your favourite activities
  • Don’t take on any extra responsibilities

 

Spiritual Self Care

This isn’t about religion, it’s about self reflection.  Give yourself time to reflect on your feelings through some quiet time.  Take walks to give yourself space to think.  Write things down in a journal too.

 

 

 

As parents we often feel under a lot of pressure.  At times we even feel guilty doing something for ourselves.  However, if we neglect to take care of ourselves, this can lead to further stress.  This stress puts our bodies under strain and can impact on our immune system or lead to mental health issues.

 

 

Our role as parents involves teaching our children about looking after themselves so it’s extremely important that we do the same.  When we look after ourselves we can take on the role as parent with renewed energy and optimism.

 

What do you do to help with your self care?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

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THINGS YOU CAN DO IF YOU CATCH YOUR TEENAGER LOOKING AT PORN

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I am writing this as a parent who has experienced this lately.  Despite my best efforts, my teenager gained access to pictures.  To say I was shocked was an under-statement.  I was alarmed that with all the safeguards I had put in place, in this internet age it’s getting increasingly difficult to protect my teenager all of the time.

 

Of course, my first reaction was panic, anger, annoyance, shock, and a sudden urge to rant and rave at my teenager.  Being a mummy to a teenager I had to harness all my strength to sit calmly and decide how to deal with the situation.

 

First port of call was my husband to chat about the situation.  Together we came up with a solution we were both happy with and which I wanted to share with you now.

 

Normalising the situation

Before approaching our son, we talked about how we both wanted to normalise the situation.  Sex and curiosity about sex is a normal part of growing up and an important part of relationships.  While we didn’t want to endorse the behaviour, we didn’t want our teenager to feel there was any shame or anything dirty about being curious about sex.  So rather than making him feel shame, we talked about his curiosity being expressed in another way.

 

Getting our emotions under control

This was the most difficult part for me.  Of course, having distance from the problem was great, in that it allowed me to calm down.  Having strong feelings about what our teenager had been looking at brought in to question my skills of being a parent.  I realised that being angry was not going to get my son to listen, having the time to calm down certainly helped me to formulate what I had to say.

 

Explaining porn

We felt it was important to talk about our reasons for not wanting our teenager to view porn.  Let’s face it porn sites are not about sex between a loving couple, they contain content that no-one would want a teenager to learn from.  We talked about the exploitive nature of porn and how it isn’t a portrayal of real life.  We also talked about loving relationships.

 

What next?

After the process of normalising the situation, getting our emotions under control and explaining our reasons why we didn’t want our teenager looking at it, we emphasied again what the boundaries were in terms of looking at porn.

 

Of course, we also refreshed and increased our internet controls too!

 

 

Have you had to deal with this issue?  Are there any hints or tips you would like to share?

 

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