Prepare for an Awesome Road Trip with Teens

“Are we nearly there yet?!”, is the cry of millions of children, generally when you are only two roundabouts from home. As the children get older, they get more able to amuse themselves in the car, and understand and estimate how long the trip is going to take, but how can you better prepare for an awesome road trip with teens and tweens?

Neuroscience of the Teenage Brain – The Changes of Adolescence

What is Adolescence?

Although we often use the words adolescent and teenager interchangeably, they actually refer to different things. A teenager is a young person between the ages of 13 and 19, while the start of adolescence is marked by the onset of puberty, and its end is generally accepted to be around the age of 19 or 20. While teenagerhood is a social idea, adolescence is a period of biological development common to all human cultures, and one that is also found in many non-human species.

During adolescence young people begin to pull away from their parents and to assert their independence and individuality. At the same time they start to explore their identity and how they fit in with their peers as well as society as a whole. The opinion of their peers is likely to matter more to an adolescent than that of their parents or other adults. They may behave more impulsively and take more risks than before without thought of the consequences, while their sleep patterns change drastically. You’ll be relieved to hear that there are reasons for all this! Our science editor Samantha Gouldson investigates the neuroscience of the teenage brain.

Bringing up a Child in a Non-Native Language

Is it possible to bring up a child speaking a language that is non-native to either parent?
The global population is becoming increasingly mobile, and it’s not unusual for a family to consist of parents speaking two languages, sometimes even living in a country where a third language is spoken. Sometimes it might even be the wish for a child to learn a third language, that the parents feel will be beneficial to their development and future career.
Let’s take an example – one parent is from Germany, the other parent from Venezuela. They meet and fall in love in Paris, but don’t speak each other’s language, so talk to each other in English, even though neither of them are native speakers. What language should they speak to their child? Or consider the case of a couple from Slovenia. Both are Slovenian, the native language of both is Slovenian, but one speaks English to a very high standard. They decide to bring up their child speaking English.
I spoke to Millie Slavidou, Jump! writer, linguist and mother of bilingual children to find out what she thinks about bringing up a child in a non-native language.

Being a Non-Resident Mother – Lyndsey’s Story

When a couple split up, the divvying up of possessions starts. He gets the sofa, she gets the dining table and chairs. Neither of them really want the vase they got as a wedding present from Great Aunt Issy, and there is a short disagreement about the artwork they bought on honeymoon. Deciding who gets what is the easy part – where it gets really difficult, and often distressing is when it comes to the children.

In 90% of the cases, the children stay with their mother. Like it or not, our society is built on mothers being the main care-givers, regardless if they are doing this alone or with the support of a partner. What does it feel like to be one of the 10% – the non-resident mother. Lyndsey knows only too well, and has agreed to share her experiences with us.

Simple Tastes 5 – Banana Pancakes

What is better than a plateful of pancakes, on a cold and windy day, to warm the kids up when they come home from school? Asha is back with another #SimpleTastes recipe, and this is one we can’t wait to try out.

I know this series was supposed to be about ideas for weekday dinners, but I couldn’t resist putting this one in. And, to be honest, if you try it, you will see why. So many pancake recipes – and I’m talking about American-style thick pancakes here, not your thin French crepes – seem to involve multiple processes like separating eggs, melting butter and carefully spooning mixture into ring moulds, and, quite frankly, who has time for that, let alone the ensuing washing up? This recipe is simplicity itself, involving little more than forking together a few ingredients in a jug.

What is the Right Age to Start Wearing Makeup?

This is a question that my father would answer with the words, “How long is a piece of string”. There is no right age to start wearing makeup, but there is the age that is right for you and your daughter. The question is – are you in agreement?