Thank you both so much for two really great days - I really felt I got so much out of your course.

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Teenage Ups and Downs

It was an eventful summer in our household with the aftermath spilling over well into this term. I had good intentions of posting at least 3 blogs last month but what with juggling work/family and making a small start on our book (fingers crossed!) – all blog ideas have been gathering dust. I was (fortunate?) to have some quality time in the summer holidays, sitting back observing and really reflecting on my teenagers (due to a personal accident which saw me uncharacteristically immobile and reasonably silent!)

During this time a couple of teenage issues reared their ugly heads – involving “recreational” activities. These events caused us to have to really hone our parenting skills in order for us to try to deal effectively with, and learn from, the incidents and I ended up using much of what I know (in theory) from delivering parent courses via Teenagers Translated in order to inform what I actually DID in the heat of the moment.

Part of the rite of passage of moving from child to adult involves pushing the boundaries and taking risks – I know that…… in theory, but when your own child is involved, rationality flies out of the window and I know I will inevitably shoot from the hip and react BEFORE thinking it through. But this summer was different, I was laid low with depleted tanks, and I reacted in an uncharacteristically calm way. As a result I noticed that my child was able to process what had gone on and genuinely chat through and reflect on what they had done “wrong”. I am not saying there will be no more “recreational” issues, or any other issues which involve us, as parents, to be shocked into action. But in the aftermath there was a sense of their accountability, they knew they had overstepped the mark and they felt bad. I do know that at some level this will act as some sort of a deterrent for next time, by helping them to develop that moral compass which informs them when they may need to apply their own brake pedal. But rather like learning to drive a car, pointing out speed restrictions and the need to use the brake pedal is something you need to keep re-enforcing, it is not a one hit wonder.

During August I was really struck by the incredible spirit generated by the Olympic Games, I wonder if it was the potent combination of high morale, human endeavor and an “I can do” attitude which was palpable by others I talked to? What a stark contrast to the previous summer where we watched helplessly as London lay siege to rioters and the threat of societal anarchy felt tangible. At that time I experienced feelings of helplessness, deep fear, despair, not to mention anger and resentment, what has our generation been up to?

I would like to bottle up this Olympic potion and administer it to my children when they are facing difficult times, exams or personal setbacks. As a result of this tonic my children would roll their sleeves up, grit their teeth and push on when facing challenges, despite the adversity.

In actual fact our children DO have their own in-built medicine cabinet, which can cause them to feel motivated and enthusiastic about their personal experiences, alternatively this medicine chest can work against us because it can cause us to slip into an apathetic decline grounded in fear or rage. Our parent Talks try to give parents a sense of what they can DO in order to assist the release of their child’s very own Olympic Potion.