03-16-2017 10:18 PM
Hi. I'm a mother of three, owner of a restaurant, compulsive uni student (just completed an MBA) and person who is passionate about youth mental health. We opened the restaurant two years ago but before that I worked as a teacher's aid and just loved connecting with the kids. I also ran a pre-school movement class (my first uni course was a BA in Dance) and was a coach with the Australian Sports Commission's 'Active After School Program', teaching dance, movement and general physical activity in after school care programs in my region. My son is in his last year of high school (that's fun!) but my twin daughters are 14 so we're really getting into the eye-rolling / you're so embarrassing phase (more fun!)
What made me laugh? I recently fell over whilst walking down a main street in town and my daughter was, no, not concerned, she was mortified. It was, apparently, REALLY embarrassing for her the poor thing. Don't worry about me or my knee. The first thing I thought of was how I had the same reaction when my mother fell, we were both probably about the same age as me and my daugher. Aaaagh. I'm turning into my mother and my daughter is just like me. Yikes. Although I guess the joke's on my daughter.
I've finally discovered the art to keeping my stress levels down is to just worry less about the small stuff. Forgot your school books? You'll get by for a day - use your initiative. Don't like what I've cooked for dinner? Don't eat, it won't hurt to miss one meal. I'm no fun/not fair/mean? I can live with that, now clean your room please.
I saw ReachOut on FB and it appealed to me. I'm enrolled to do the training and looking forward to hearing new ideas and tips on parenting.
My top tips for parents entering the teen years? Where do I start? Don't take it personally, I think that's the key. Be confident you've laid a foundation based on love cos now you may have to get tough but if they know you love them they'll eventually resign themselves to your "crazy" rules. Never assume your child "wouldn't do that". I'm really open and honest with my kids but it never ceases to amaze me how many times they do something that I think we've agreed is a bad idea - like live snapchat sessions or sewing up the hem of a school dress to the point that it's more a belt than a dress. It's amazing what a little peer pressure and a commercially produced YouTube clip will convince your angel to do. Just remember they're still young and their brains are still developing. There'll be many mistakes between now and adulthood and most of them are completely normal so don't crucify yourself when they happen.
Best thing about weekends? Well, to be honest, weekends are my busiest time as taxi driver to my three but I guess I like Saturday afternoons when we have nothing on (rare) and can just catch up. We're big on food in our house so when we have a spare Saturday afternoon it usually involves a big cook up, a good movie and lots of lying around on the couch talking about what's good and bad about life, politics, school and friends. It's a great way to touch base and see who's up to what.
Looking forward to hearing more from everyone.
03-17-2017 11:50 AM
Wow @Bubbles74 and @mum2twins I am amazed by both of you! I have always struggled to add further education to parenting / working / living and as a result have progressed in that area at a snail's pace. I am both incredibly envious and impressed by your respective accomplishments.
You've clearly learnt some amazing parenting lessons and skills along the way.
This is how excited I am at the prospect of you sharing them with the community!!
03-20-2017 11:05 AM
I have three children ages 15, 12 & 8. My youngest has added a couple of her own words to her vocabulary & it makes me laugh. My middle child shows me funny clips on social media that we usually have a good belly laugh at & my oldest has very ticklish feet!
When I feel stressed I just have to stop, take a seat and talk to my children. Or take a minute to myself with a nice glass of wine.
I'm struggling with my oldest (15yr old) boy who often seems to be frustrated/angry, lack of motivation and just generally unhappy. I would like some advice on how best to help/support him.
if you have children entering teenage years, a good tip would be to communicate with them regularly about how they feel & just listen without judging.
Weekends are great for sleeping in a bit and watching our children's sport.
03-20-2017 12:46 PM
Welcome @AnnAnn So wonderful to have you here! Haha, ticklish feet on kids is always so hilarious.
My eldest has ticklish feet too and the running joke in our family is that although she is the most gentle, pacifist vegan you can imagine, when her feet are tickled she loses all control over her reactions and will start flailing her lims maniacally. It's very funny. Dangerous, but funny.
This is a great place to pick up tips on supporting a teenager through their struggles. If you click here you can have a read about a new service ReachOut Parents is offering. It's free and online, so super flexible and easy to fit around other commitments. Or you can click here and post about you and your son in more detail, which will allow other parents to offer their support and and insights into what's worked for them.
If you're new to forums and would like to get a bit more info on how to use them, then click here for our walk through. And please don't hesitate to ask questions. We are a very friendly bunch.
03-20-2017 08:10 PM - edited 03-20-2017 08:13 PM
03-20-2017 08:37 PM
1. How old are your kids and what is one thing they've done recently that made you laugh?
19, 15, 10, 7 & 3. Their concern over a dead fish recently was sweet, and the arguements that ensue over naming rights of each new fish (there's about 50 in our tank) leaves me chuckling, because they'll never remember them all!
2. Parenting can be really stressful - how do you try to keep those stress levels down?
Until recently, I was letting this slip off the radar when money was tight and husband worked odd hours, but I'm trying to make it more of a priority this year. I make time every month to meet up with my book club friends, and try to go to a craft night every other month. And walking the dogs has become a great outlet for me, which I didn't expect.
3. What led you to ReachOut Parents today?
volunteer forum training... and hopefully some new ideas to support my teen
4. Whats your top tip for parents whose kids are about to enter teenage years?
Try to keep them talking. I wish I'd mastered this with my 15yo before we got this far.
5. Whats the best thing about weekends?
not having to make lunchs!
03-21-2017 12:32 PM
03-21-2017 12:34 PM
03-21-2017 11:00 PM
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