“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?
If you have a teen or tween, then you are likely aware of YouTubers Zoella, Alfie, Louise, Jack and many others. The popularity of YouTube channels may be a bit of a mystery to some parents, and at times, a bit of a worry. What channel are they watching, who are these young video stars, and how are YouTubers influencing our kids?
An even bigger mystery is why kids want to watch YouTubers live on stage. What do they DO for two hours? Why would kids want to see them, and is it worth taking them? We went along to one such event to get some answers to these and other questions. The LouiseLive show in Edinburgh with Louise Pentland aka Sprinkle of Glitter.
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My daughter comes home with a badge pinned to her school uniform: DEPUTY, it says in proud capital letters.
“I’m a deputy teacher”, she tells me. “Miss Jamieson* moved me to sit next to Jack and Max because they don’t behave and I do. It’s mostly the boys who don’t behave so we need to model good behaviour for them.”
She’s not wrong: it is the boys. “Boys will be boys”, they are told. It is the boys who talk during quiet time, wrestle when it comes time for silent reading, tear the art supplies and shout out at assembly. The girls’ learning is interrupted again and again while the teacher deals with their male companions. They are asked to change seats to calm the boys. They are asked to lay down their advanced reading books to help their male friends catch up.
Meanwhile, my daughter is proud of her role as gatekeeper. She stops what she’s doing to shush the boys when they get rowdy. She reports to me after school that Jack is sounding out longer words now, but she’s worried because Max had to sit in the quiet corner and maybe the teacher will take her coveted title away.
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.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert?* Jo is the latter, and her daughter the former. She writes for us today to tell us what it is like being an extrovert parent to an introvert child.