Parenting can feel like an extended battle at times. A war of attrition, with children pushing back against unreasonable parental demands such as wearing a coat when its raining, and putting the damn phone away at the table. To paraphrase the song, from the time they could talk, we ordered them to listen … and to do what they were told.
Last week, I really enjoyed Rebecca’s post on how to apologise. She talked about how apologising even when you don’t feel you are in the wrong may aid communication. It’s not just a colleague or a friend that this works well on, but also with our kids. Some parents have a feeling that if they let their kids win, that they’ve lost, but in actual fact everyone wins.
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.
Here’s a question from a mum on our Facebook Group
My older daughter (age 8) has, over the course of the last school year, developed a hatred of maths. We think she is capable, but she now panics and often gets very simple things wrong that she used to know. Worse (for us), she kicks off if we try and broach the subject. Part of the problem is, I think, the fact that she is the only girl in her set, and the others can get quite competitive, which she finds difficult.
The answers from the group were so helpful, we’ve collected and summarised them here for you.
The worst thing that any parent can imagine is the death of a child. It is the stuff of nightmares, the kind that wake us at 3am, and send us to give our children a quick kiss, and a stroke of their hair. Just to know that they are safe. It was a dream, just a bad dream.
Sadly, for some parents, this isn’t a nightmare. It is reality. When the worst happens to a friend, it is difficult to know what to do, what to say, as no words can make things better, or heal the pain. No platitude can lessen the heartbreak, but still we are often consumed by the feeling that we must DO SOMETHING! Anything. It was this feeling of helplessness and empathy that lead to the foundation of the Woolly Hugs charity.