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fun questions to get the conversation with your teenager 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


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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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Health / Relationships


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Round our dinner table is the perfect opportunity for us to relive what has happened during the day.  It’s where we can discuss our achievements, our dreams and have a laugh.


You can probably gather that the best way to make that connection with your teen is having dinner together. Research has shown that kids who eat dinner together with family members are less likely to be involved in drugs or alcohol or indeed suffer from depression.


Having dinner together on a regular basis is important and I would encourage you to do it and stay connected or help reconnect with your teen.

Here are my top tips to help you get started.


  • Turn off your TV & Smart Phones

    We give so much attention to the TV and our smart phones these days.  It’s important to protect family time together.  So prioritise having dinner together as a family after all the world will still be there after 30 minutes!

  • It’s not just about the food

    You don’t have to knock your pan in to cook the ‘perfect’ meal.  Pick an easy recipe and get everyone to help out.  This is especially important if you’ve been working all day or are exhausted.

  • Remember to listen

    Do you know that your teenager wants to talk to you?  Remember to listen to what your teenager has to say. Don’t offer advice unless you are asked.  I know it is difficult as a parent not to go in to advice mode but it does make for a better relationship if you hold off until asked and just listen.


  • Make it fun

    It doesn’t have to be a serious chat if it isn’t needed.  Take turns to select music or choose dessert.  It really doesn’t matter as long as you chat and spend time together.


  • Make a plan

    Agree on which nights will be family nights to have dinner.  Protect those nights too.  Of course plans can change but make this a priority for all the family and don’t miss this important time.


So do you have family meal times?  I’d love to hear how you stay connected to your teen.



connect to your teen



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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.


teenager conflict


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.



 sibling conflict


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Health / Relationships


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Disciplining is difficult as a parent at the best of times.  It becomes even more difficult with teenagers.  Having a balance between instilling independence in your teenager to setting boundaries means as a parent we have a fine line to tread.


Below I’ve listed some ways to help you with discipline for your teenagers.


Stay calm & don’t overreact

In the heat of the moment this is the most difficult thing to do but it’s also important.  If you need to give yourself time to calm down, remove yourself from the situation for as long as you need.  Also, do you need to say anything at all?  For example you may not agree with your teenager’s haircut or fashion so let it be.  Of course talk to your partner but some things are best left alone as saying something can cause more problems.


Be clear & precise

If you have rules make sure your teenager knows about them and they are clear and fair.  This means if your teenager breaks the rule they know exactly what the consequences are.  I would also suggest you make the ground rules together and talk about what is fair and unfair consequences.


Listen first, act second

Don’t go rushing in to a judgement or a punishment without listening to what your teenager has to say.  They may have a valid reason for something but you won’t know until you listen.  Hear what your teenager has to say and then take time to respond in a calm manner.


Appropriate punishment

Be fair with your punishment and let the punishment fit the crime.  Of course it will depend on the seriousness of what they have done but again have in your mind what kind of punishments would be suitable for different situations.


Follow through

I find this is tough, not just for me but for most parents.  Believe in the ground rules you have set and always follow through.  If you don’t then your teenager will start to take advantage.  Consistency is key to this.   Ask for your partner’s help with this.


Don’t forget to praise your teenager

If your teenager has done something good or has consistently kept within the rules, praise them.  This will help your teenager’s self esteem.


Related posts

Tips on How To Talk to Your Teenager about Alcohol

How 30 Minutes A Day can help you stay connected to your teen

Ways to Keep Your Children Safe Online


I hope these tips will help you with disciplining your teenager.  Remember teenagers will want to do different things from what we want them to.  They will also want to find their own way in the world and will rebel against you.  It’s a normal part of growing up.  Before you do discipline your teenager, remember to ask yourself if the situation warrants it.


Good luck, let me know how you get on.




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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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Health / Relationships


parenting mistakes
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I know my son is no longer a child but it’s difficult sometimes to catch up as a parent when they enter the teenager phase.  That is true of both my teenager and my tween!

Hindsight is a wonderful thing!  Below are some of the mistakes I’ve made.


Reading too much

Since my children were born I’ve read many, many parenting books.  To the point I thought there was something wrong with me!  Sometimes it is best to go with your instincts then you can follow this up with having a look on the internet.  You can do this to arm yourself with more information – but don’t overdo it!



Expecting the worst

You hear so much and read so much about how difficult teenagers can be.  I started off expecting the worst until I realised that I would be a complete and utter nervous wreck if I continued on this path.  So now, I expect the best and if that doesn’t happen then we deal with it as a family.



Being anxious over small stuff

I would often be concerned about my son’s choice of hair cut or what he wore until I realised that I had to let him make his own decisions.  In fact, that’s why I decided to let him dye his own hair.



Forgetting about the big stuff

I recently discovered my tween has seen porn, it was a reminder to me to continue to focus on the bigger picture of guiding and protecting my sons as they go through what is a difficult time for them.  It also reminded me to stay involved in their lives – even if they don’t want me to.



Not too much and not too little

Too much or too little of anything with a teenager is tricky.  In terms of discipline, a fine line is required.  I don’t want to push my teenager way so balancing discipline with guidance is key.  There are times when I get it wrong but at least I will know for the next time.




parenting mistakes





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