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Parenting Teens and Parents Week

Posted Oct 26 2012 7:00pm
With the intentions of getting ahead in this game of 'parenting teens' lark, I've recently attended a school-run parents information evening and have also embarked on a 5 week local parish-run parenting course. I mean business, you see!

The information evening was interesting as is the course, the latter fleshing out the golden nuggets of the former.

In the 3 weeks that I have attended the parenting course I have found some statements made to be very insightful. Such as
'They have difficulty processing emotions, they don't see that their actions cause upset.'

'Their bodies are re-arranging and their brains are growing and developing.'

'Brain growth around puberty is in the emotional and memory areas'.

'The 'Brain Policeman' is in the front part of the brain... It can take many years for them to develop their 'brakes'!'

'Let home be their sanctuary from a tough school day.... Don't take things personally.'

'They are a work in progress ..... Enjoy their teenage years.'

We have touched on such things as ' The Five Love Languages' which is an interesting exercise in communication to do with your children, or your partner!

This week we did the much awaited 'setting boundaries' section! Yet again there were more affirming statements including one that resonated with me: 'move from controller to consultant' and also 'it's okay to change your mind'. I breathed a huge sigh of relief at the latter! I often do that but usually only when he's put up a good counter-argument and I've listened to him. See, I haven't changed my mind as such, rather I've inched ever so slowly towards being his 'consultant'! And that's another good parenting tip right there: listening.

There was even a graph on parenting styles, inspired by Sue Palmer :

            My dreadful scribbles are decoded as Authoritive,
            Authoritarian, Indulgent and Neglectful.

What really struck me, with both courses, was how we're not alone and how close we are, particularly those of us who've had a tough journey, to authoritive parenting and how much we actually know about this parenting lark, without even realising it! We should pat ourselves on the back, instead of self-berating and doubting, and retrain as Parenting Gurus!

The other message that came across loud and clear, from the teenagers chats to camera on the course DVD, was how vitally important it is to them that their parents give them the gift of time.

It was with these thoughts in mind that I read my blogger friend Deb's post and and was made aware of  Parent's Week which, this year, runs from October 22nd - 28th. Coincidentally the theme for 2012 is 'Make a Moment', to share with your child/children.

Although most self-respecting child would never admit it, special moments shared with parents and family can mean more to them than presents! I love this quote on The Parent's Week Blog :

'Evidence shows that children most value the simplest moments they spend together with their parents. Time costs nothing yet can make the most significant difference to our children's development and overall well-being." Professor Tanya Byron, childcare expert and FPI charity ambassador'

So, in following with Deb's post, here's my 5 favourite 'Make a Moment' moments
  • Spending time in the swimming pool with him on some golfing days, bonding and having fun (his words!) swimming lengths together and chatting, culminating in a leisurely family lunch.
  • Our age old family tradition of 'pub for tea' every so often.
  • Our equally age old family trip to our Holiday Haven , allowing an en-famille re-charging of batteries and some fun and chats.
  • The relatively rare walks in the park or on the beach.
  • The daily drive home from school and a semi-planned family cinema trip, to a non-animated movie!
It's nice to sit back and smell the roses sometimes, isn't it?

Or maybe I'm wearing those rose-tinted glasses again?


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