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.
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