Browsing Tag

teenagers

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

fun questions to get the conversation with your teenager started
Share Button

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.

 

PLEASE PIN THIS POST

Share Button
Health / Relationships

I’M NOT OK, BUT I THINK IT’S OK

Share Button

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.

 

PLEASE PIN THIS POST

MUMMY GUILT

Share Button
Health / Relationships

CAN I BRING CALM TO SIBLING CONFLICT?

sibling fighting
Share Button

 

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.

 

PIN THIS POST

 sibling conflict

 

Mummascribbles
Share Button
Health / Relationships

6 TIPS FOR DISCIPLINING YOUR TEENAGER

teenagers
Share Button

 

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.

 

PIN THIS POST

 

Share Button
Communication

TIPS FOR HOLIDAYS WITH TEENAGERS PLUS OUR HOLIDAY PICTURES

Share Button

We are just back from a family holiday to France and Germany with our teenagers.  I wanted to share with you some tips I have come back with!  It wasn’t all plain sailing to be honest but I do believe we all had a good time.

 

Below are some suggestions if you are planning a holiday with teenagers.

 

EVERYONE NEEDS SPACE

Of course they are still young but we opted for some of the trip to have the teenagers in their own hotel room.  It seemed to work well and not just for our boys but for us too!  Having the space after dinner certainly helped us and them.  As we all know teenage years are difficult, so having space for them to go to their own room is a great solution.

 

IT’S ALSO ABOUT SPENDING TIME TOGETHER

It doesn’t have to be an expensive holiday or you don’t have to fork out a small fortune to keep them entertained.  The majority of our favourite things on holiday were spending time talking and going for walks in the forests and taking pictures.  It also helped one of the hotels had a swimming pool for the boys to go and get a good work out!

 

 

GUIDE YOUR TEENAGER

Just like at home you will need to guide your teenager.  We found that being allowed to have free reign over the buffet was not the best thing we could have done!  This resulted in an upset tummy!  It might be helpful to guide your teenager through the food options and while they may wish to be adventurous, hopefully they won’t feel too bad after eating something they don’t normally eat!

 

BE PREPARED

The key to our success on holiday was being prepared, packing together, talking about what everyone should bring and allowing the boys to take responsibility for their own items and luggage.  My advice is to be prepared but also involve your teenager in the decisions – including times and places to visit!

 

HAVE A GOOD TIME

Your teenager will be free from all the usual pressures they normally have at home.  They will also be without their favourite games console so be prepared for a little grumpiness!  Having said that being on holiday with teenagers is a great time to reconnect and talk about things without the pressures of home life.

 

If all else fails you can console yourself that soon you will be able to holiday without your teenagers!

 

 

PIN THIS FOR LATER

tips for holidaying with teenagers

 

Share Button
Things to do

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

Share Button

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.

 

PIN THIS POST

parenting

Share Button
Health / Relationships

5 MISTAKES I’VE MADE AS A PARENT OF A TEENAGER

parenting mistakes
Share Button

 

 

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.

 

PIN THIS POST

 

parenting mistakes

 

 

 

 

Share Button
Communication

WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME TO STEP BACK AND LET YOUR TEENAGERS TAKE THE LEAD?

teenagers
Share Button

 

 

It is a fact of the parent/teenager relationship there comes a time when your role as a mother or father changes.  I must say for me it was something I have found hard to cope with.  My feelings were ones of not being needed or wanted.  Of course, the reality is that my teenager is growing to be an independent loving boy who while he still wants a connection to us, he also wants to find out where his place in the world is.

 

Recently I have been wondering what the next stage will be in our relationship and at what point he will be taking the lead and I will be the one following?

 

I can see some of that now and then at age 14 when he isn’t that interested in chatting for long periods of time.  However, I constantly remind myself that it will ebb and flow like this until such times he heads off to University or work.

 

What I’m saying now is that I miss him and he isn’t at that stage yet!  I guess as I see my teenager growing in confidence and independence every day I am trying my best to navigate the changes and the separation as he becomes more independent.

 

The truth is that letting go of our children at whatever stage of development is extremely hard.  I know with my logic head on it has absolutely nothing to do with him not loving me as a parent.  The reality is that my mother isn’t that central in my life today, of course she is part of it but not as much as when I was young.

 

At the moment I’m finding it difficult letting my teenager take the lead.  But I know that it is part of being a parent, after all we successful got through to the teenager journey by allowing him to take the lead.

 

It is only right that I continue to follow his lead no matter how difficult it is for me as a parent.  It’s just that it all seems to be happening so fast.

 

Is there a ‘right’ time to let your teenagers take the lead?  What are your thoughts?

 

PIN THIS POST

TEENAGERS

 

 

 

 

Share Button
Communication

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

teenager
Share Button

 

 

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?

 

PIN THIS POST

teenager

 

 

Share Button
Health / Relationships

5 THINGS MY TEENAGER NEEDS

parenting teens
Share Button

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.

 

PIN THIS POST

parenting teenagers

 

Share Button
Communication