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teenager

TOP TIPS ON HOW TO TALK TO YOUR TEENAGER ABOUT ALCOHOL

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As a parent I am extremely lucky that my eldest teenager who is 15 is not interested in taking alcohol.  Whether that is by design or because we talked about alcohol from a young age, I don’t know but I thought it would be helpful to give you some hints and tips on how to start these conversations with your teenagers.  Indeed, don’t wait until they are teenagers, have the conversations early and keep revisiting the topic as your children gain new levels of understanding.

 

Below are my top tips, let me know how you get on:

 

TALK TO YOUR CHILD EARLY ABOUT ALCOHOL

Start talking to your child when you feel the time is right, you don’t have to tell them everything whatever is appropriate at the right time.

 

ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS YOUR CHILD HAS ABOUT ALCOHOL

Be ready and willing to answer questions that your child has about alcohol.  Read up on the effects of alcohol and what the legal limits are.

 

GET THE FACTS RIGHT

Read up on facts about alcohol and be ready for any question.  For example, know how drink impacts on children and the developing brain.  Know the legal limits and when the law says you can drink.

 

SET YOUR CLEAR EXPECTATIONS

Know what you want for your child at specific ages.  You wouldn’t want your 7 year old drinking alcohol at all, however you may allow your 16 year old to try a glass of wine with their dinner.  Be clear and concise as to what your expectations are.

 

KEEP YOUR COMMUNICATION CHANNELS OPEN

It is important to let your teenagers know that you are there for them and they can come to you at all times and ask questions or tell you things.  If they do come to you, don’t jump to conclusions, remain calm and answer with a consideration.

 

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

 

STEER YOUR TEENAGER RATHER THAN CONTROLLING

As a parent I know from experience that you can’t control them.  The best you can do is steer them in the right direction hoping the values you have instilled in them will be enough to help them make the right choices.  Talk to your child and try and steer them in a positive direction.  You will also have to listen to what they say too!

BE A ROLE MODEL FOR YOUR TEENAGER

I have to admit to not drinking at all.  I could never stomach the stuff.  However, even if you do drink be a role model for your teenager.  Research shows that children can be influenced by their parents’ drinking so if you do drink, don’t drink in excess around your teenager.

I do hope these tips help you with your teenager and alcohol.  Let me know what you think below.

 

 

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Need help to talk to your children or teenager about alcohol? These top tips will help you on your parenting journey.

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A GAME PLAN TO HELP YOU PARENT YOUR TEENAGER

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I don’t know about you but there are days when I need a little bit of help parenting.  I try my best to have a great relationship with my teenager as it seems to help with everyone in the household being happy and content.

 

I’ve pulled together what I’m calling a game plan for anyone who needs that little bit of support parenting a teenager.

 

Game Plan Priority 1:  Eat dinner together

Meal times, especially dinner is a great opportunity to catch up with my teenager and talk about what has happened during the day and whatever other things are going on in his life.  It’s also a great opportunity to spot any problems that might arise.  I find this connection to be an important part of staying connected to your teen.

 

Game Plan Priority 2:  Establish together time

As well as meal times, I try and check in a few times a day.  I find that open communication seems to help especially if my son has any issues.  Of course there are times when he doesn’t want to talk but I try and go with the flow on that one!  Also, there are times when I go for a walk with him.  This is a great opportunity for a chat but I just wish he would walk slower!  You can find more ways of communicating with my blog post here.

 

Game Plan Priority 3:  Appropriate Parenting

This has been the most difficult aspect of parenting a teen.  Having an appropriate way to deal with the issues which are sometimes presented.  Understanding that you teenager is growing up and needs more freedom is the first step to being able to parent in an appropriate way without over-reacting.  An example of this was when my teenager wanted to dye his hair – I decided to let him and also help him do it!

 

Game Plan Priority 4:  Keeping the communication going

No matter what is going on in our lives, I try my best to keep the lines of communication going with my teenager.  It’s an important tool to know what is going on – after all if you know then you can help them.  At the moment I am trying to be a better listener and ask open ended questions to encourage my son to continue engaging with us.

 

 

 

I hope the game plan helps you parent your teen.  This is an exciting and challenging time for us as parents.  It’s especially challenging when teens shift their focus from us as mummies and daddies to their peers and other passions.  It is critical then to ensure we remain connected to them and continue to guide them.

 

I’d love to know what challenges you are facing as a parent of a teen.  Feel free to get in touch.

 

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5 THINGS MY TEENAGER NEEDS

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I absolutely adore and love my boys.  There are days though where it is challenging.  I often forget how difficult it is being a teenager with all the stresses and strains of growing up.  When I look at my boys I still see them as children.  I feel for them and the struggles they face as they try and find their place in the world.

Below I’ve listed some things that I believe every teenager needs.  I’m doing my best to provide these to my two boys.  I would love to know what you think.

 

My Teenager needs privacy

I can remember at that age I wanted to spend most of my time in my bedroom with the door closed.  That seems to be the same for all teenagers.  As a parent I’m trying my best to give my teenagers their privacy.  At that age they often need a lot of space so I’m not going to take it personally at all!

 

My teenager needs love

While the hugging at the school gates is no longer welcome, I try my best to give my boys a hug or two every day.  I also find it important to tell them how much I love them and think they are great too!  Teenagers still need support and guidance, I try my best to offer when it’s asked for.

 

My teenager needs to be listened to

There are times when he needs time to himself.  But there are time when he wants to talk.  I try to be there when he needs to talk.  My job is to listen and ask questions and take an interested in what is going on in his life.

 

My teenager still needs boundaries

While I respect my teenagers need for privacy and I completely understand the changes in his body, he still needs boundaries.  For example, staying safe online is extremely important.  We have certain boundaries but we also explain why we have them in place.

 

My teenager wants/needs to be different

My son recently asked me to help him dye his hair.  My first reaction was to say no!  But that was more to do with my issues than his.  So I decided to say yes, in fact I helped him!  I guess this reaction to doing things different is him trying to see where he fits in this big world.  I am doing my best to be supportive of that.

 

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HOW TO STAY CONNECTED TO YOUR TWEEN

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I am more relaxed as a parent with my youngest son as he enters the tween stage and heads to being a teenager.  Probably because it’s not new, second time around is easier but no less fearful at times!

It is so easy to dismiss the tween years and get in to an argument with your tween thinking they are more challenging or not behaving as they used to.  Again, your tween is becoming more independent and becoming interested in their social life and where their place in the world is – it is extremely important to continue to guide, support and show love as they venture forward.

 

What may happen

Well, all tweens are different but generally what is happening with our tween is that there are times when our views and guidance are not needed.  Again, as a mother it’s hard to accept but your tween will probably start to chat things over with their friends more often and there will be times when they will head to their bedroom and close the door because they need space.  Just like I do at times!

What I would say is this, whatever is happening be that answering you back or not listening – it is not personal – in fact it is never personal.  These are all signs you have a tween who is growing up to become independent and that is to be welcomed.  However, don’t just think ‘oh my parenting is done’ or ‘oh so you don’t need me’ – this is not true, your child needs you in a different way so continue to offer guidance, support, and love – just be prepared for how your tween acts.

 

Things that might help

As with our teenager, we do things that often improve communication, here are some ways that may help you:

 

Meal times – spending quality time is very important especially when your tween may want to spend more time in their room.  We make sure we have at least one meal a day together – that’s normally dinner.  It’s lovely sitting together and all chatting together.  Even if your tween is reluctant to join in stick with it.

 

Quality time – I go for walks with my tween, it’s a great time to chat.  There are times the conversation is hard but again stick with it.  There are also times though where my tween would talk forever, take this time, and appreciate that your tween is going through a lot.

 

Bedtime – we have a bed routine still which we established when the boys were little.  Your tween will start to need more sleep so you may need to establish a new routine.  We continue with the same routine now but the times have changed.

 

Affection time – continue to show affection to your tween even when there are times they don’t want to.  It doesn’t have to be a hug or kiss but saying I love you or I’m proud of you goes a long way.  As a parent, I try my best to say this at least once a day.  I think it gives kids a sense of being secure and loved.

 

I hope these tips help you.  I’d love to hear your experience of communicating with your tween.

 

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4 WAYS TO SAY CONNECTED TO YOUR TEEN

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It can be difficult to stay connected to your teen as they grow and become more independent.  The relationship we as parents once had is different especially as they grow from being a child to a teen and that can take some getting used to!  I know this from experience – it took me a while to realise that my kids still needed me but in a different way.

 

For me, it was and continues to be extremely important to stay connected and communication on a regular basis with my teenager.  Below are 4 ways I’m attempting to stay connected to my boys.  I hope these tips help you stay connected too.

 

Ask questions AND listen

There are times when my teen just doesn’t want to communicate but it’s important that I show him how much I’m interested in what he does.  I often ask how his day at school has been and I also ensure I pay close attention to his answer.  I often give him my undivided attention.  It’s counter productive if you ask a question and don’t listen or sit on your phone while your teen is talking.

 

Watch movies or a TV programme together

We do this as a family – we watch the Walking Dead and when that’s on a break we watch a movie.  I feel it is extremely important to spend time together and watching a TV programme or movie and discussing it afterwards is an excellent way of doing this.  It also gives my a way of forgetting about the stress of homework or exams that may be coming up!

 

 

Doing Chores together

There are chores I hate to do, and chores I know both my kids hate to do.  I try and do some of these together.  For example my tween and I mowed the lawn the other day together.  It was a great way to bond and it’s a great lesson to show how to maintain a home!

 

 

Give them a Hug everyday & remind them you love them

It can be difficult to get your teen to hug you but I highly recommend it!  It’s important for us as a family to hug each other every day and to express how much we love each other.  This is a great way of bolstering your teens self-esteem and a hug also helps you relieve stress!

 

Are you finding it difficult to communicate with your teen?  I’d love to hear your views.

 

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