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teenagers

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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Communication

MY MESSAGE TO ALL PARENTS

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Dear Mum / Dad

 

Over the course of this week I have come in to contact with a number of parents.  What has struck me is how hard parents are on themselves.  Only yesterday a mother was berating herself for not doing a good enough job at getting her teenager out in the sunshine.  The day before another mother was annoyed at herself for not knowing how best to communicate with her daughter.

 

In all of these encounters it is clear that us parents are very hard on ourselves.  I am writing this post to tell you that I know it’s not easy being a parent.  There are joyous moments.  Moments that we treasure for a lifetime.  There are also challenging times that cause us no end of emotional turmoil.  Often these challenges can be on a daily basis. It’s not as if there was a manual given to us with our child!  So we all try our best to raise our children as best we can. This is often based on how we were raised as children ourselves and what we have gleaned from books and the internet.

 

So, I just want to tell you – yes you mum and yes you dad – that you are doing great.  I know we worry,we get angry, we get frustrated, we continually second guess ourselves at every turn, we worry about the decisions we have made and we worry about the future and the decisions we have yet to make.

 

Please remember you are doing great.  Remember also to be in the hear and now and continue to embrace your relationship with your child.  But above all else, remember to give yourself a break!

 

Love and happiness to you x

 

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Communication

HOW TO HELP YOUR TEEN WITH HOMEWORK

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When our boys went from primary to post-primary I was staggered at the sheer volume of homework.  Did anyone else notice this?

 

Teens have so much to cope with and added to this homework and it can end up a recipe for disaster!  So, I’m passing on some of the things I’m doing to help my boys:

 

A Place to do Homework

For us it’s the kitchen table.  They are free from distractions – like their consoles and phones and I’m there if they need help.  We keep the TV off so it’s a distraction-free zone!

 

My supporting role

I often ask what they are working on and if I can help.  Most of the times they don’t need help but it’s always good to ask – even if they just tell you what they have to do.  This part is a routine which I’ve got in to and it seems to work well.

 

Organisation

With so many homeworks and different topics we discuss what they should do first and what they can leave for another day – depending on their calendar. This is a great way of instilling some organisational techniques which comes in handy for exam time!

 

When they don’t know and you don’t know either!

While it doesn’t happen every day, there are times when the homework has not been made clear by the teacher or my son hasn’t quite understood it correctly.  We often discuss this where I encourage him to go to school the next day and ask the teacher to explain.  It’s a great way of getting kids to ask questions and to ask for help without feeling inadequate.

 

Do your kids have homework issues?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

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6 SECRETS EVERY PARENT SHOULD KNOW ABOUT TEENAGERS

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Teenagers can be a mystery at times and as a mummy to two lovely boys, one is a teenager, the other a tween, life can be fun!

 

Approaching the teen years my hubby and I were a little scared to say the least but we have found that friction between teens and parents is not inevitable.

 

If you take time to read up on what your teenager’s body is going through and why they act the way they do then you too can take courage knowing it doesn’t have to be scary.

 

Of course, we are not perfect parents but we have tried our best to be honest, open and loving so that the teenage years allows our son to find his way in the world and define his own path with the honest answers to questions he asks.

 

We let him know how much we value his opinions, how much we respect his views even when there are times we don’t agree with them.

 

I hope the following 6 ‘secrets’ help you on your parenting journey as your child reaches the teen years.

 

A teenager looks grown-up but they are not

The part of the brain to do with planning and organising is very much unfinished during the teen years.  This is the reason so many teenagers become distracted or forgetful during this period.  Knowing this will give you as a parent the empathy to guide your teenager during this time rather than shouting at how forgetful they are being – truth is they really can’t help it!

 

No matter how much you feed them, it is never enough!

The teenage body is developing more during this period than at any other stage of life so this growing and developing requires a lot of nutrients, hence more often than not teenagers eat more during this period.  Of course every teenager is different but this has been our experience.

 

Teenagers are messy

What can I say; it is a fact of teenage life.  This often goes for both girls and boys in my experience.  Again this is emblematic of the teenage years and is a personal disorganisation brought about by the growing and as mentioned about the part of the brain to do with planning and organising being unfinished.  Of course the untidy room will drive you as a parent nuts but my advice is to relax – it is not an affront to your own personal domestic prowess nor is it about disrespecting you as a parent – it is simply a fact of teenage life.  My advice is not to allow the messy room to become a power struggle between yourself and your teenager.  Instead make it part of earning extra money for extra chores but remember – give them one task at a time!

 

Teenagers want to be understood

There are times when teenagers want to be left alone, they throw out words such as stay out of my business or leave me alone.  While there are times your teenager does need space they do however want their parents to know how they are feeling and what drives them.  Teenagers will continue to challenge you as a parent but remember this is all part of them growing up and finding out who they are.  My advice is to stop and listen to your teenager, be patient and you will learn more about your teenager than you ever thought possible.

 

 

Teenagers are under a lot of strain from peer pressure

There are times when I laugh this off but it is serious for teenagers. Peer pressure is a big thing in their life – from school, from friends.  It is important to steer your teenager through the peer pressure but do it with a bit of sensitivity.  I’ve found involving your teenagers in a club or sport will divert their attention at times.  I would also encourage you to praise your teenager as much as possible which will encourage them to continue to do the action they are being praised for.

 

Teenagers are night owls and not early birds

There are times when teenagers won’t go to bed at a reasonable hour and of course you can’t then get them up in the morning.  Did you know there is a biological basis for this?  During the teen years the circadian clock is programmed differently from adults – it is usually about 3 or 4 hours difference.  So don’t worry about this it will pass but as a parent you should be aware that your teenager may be grumpy and sleep deprived so perhaps if they argue with you it has nothing to do with you at all just the mood your teenager is in.

 

I do hope you have found these tips helpful.  There is no manual on how to raise children, but as parents we try our best to understand how our children act as they do.  We also try to guide, love and cherish them through all stages of their lives.

 

I would love to hear your thoughts on raising teenagers.

 

Lisa x

 

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