Bringing up Bronte

I love Parenting Teens

603515_4294531731067_62293604_nMy eldest is now 17 and I think I may do a merry dance when I finally get her to 18, mainly because people will perhaps stop looking at me in a sympathetic way when I tell you them I have a 17 and a 13-year-old and saying with a sarcastic smile, “Never mind, it gets better!”

What are they talking about? I have absolutely loved and I mean loved the teen years! Before I go on, even though I have written parenting books and appeared as a parenting expert on TV, I do not consider myself one, nor do I want to be one! In fact, I even hate the word parenting! I am, I believe my daughter’s guide in life, her guide to adulthood, her mentor in becoming an adult and that is how I have always seen myself. I have never felt I owed her or it was my job to tell her how to be or how to think. I never felt the need to tell her how things should be. I have let her fail, let her make mistakes, let her make her own mind up, and let her figure out who she is. I have very few rules; don’t swear, don’t hit and don’t put anything fake on your body until you are 16. She has, since she was 12, picked her own bedtime! I have never covered for her, never got her out of trouble and never written a letter to school to cover up for something she has done (or not done). I have talked to her, asked her questions and had her come to her own conclusions. Yes, there has been times (13-14) where things were a little challenging, times when I haven’t liked her friends, times when I haven’t cared much for what she was wearing or how she was speaking to me, but I hardly even shouted or did that victim parent thing, you know the one – “Don’t talk to me like that, blah, blah, blah!”

The teen years for me have been the most enjoyable years with my daughter, and the relationship we have now is like nothing I could have ever imagined. We have so much fun, so much in common; so many special moments together and yes, I am still her parent.

Why do we dread the teen years as parents? Why do we make them so difficult?

If we could only stop thinking we own our children and therefore must control them and have them agree with us every step of the way, I am sure that everyone else could also enjoy these years as much as me.

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How To Prepare Your Teenagers for 3 Less-Publicized Dangers of College Life

college lifeAs a responsible parent, you have already spoken with your teenagers about the dangers of over-drinking, drugs and date rape. Have you also spoken with them about some of the less-publicized dangers of college campuses? How your children eat, how they protect their information and how they deal with stress can drastically shape their college experience and their lives beyond school. Read on to learn how to prepare your teenagers for a healthy, safe college experience.

Dietary Habits

The phrase “Freshman 15″ has become commonplace, but when discussing the challenges around diet at college be aware of focusing on weight gain — especially with young women — for fear of triggering eating disorders or obsessions with exercise.

However, with the abundance of food in dining halls, late night snacks and alcohol that ramps up calories for college-age students, it is important to teach young adults how to fuel themselves in a healthy way.

Consider sharing common-sense tips about eating slowly, realizing how full they are and teaching them how a healthy, well-balanced diet can boost moods and foster healthy brains.

Identity Theft

For your teenager, falling victim to identity theft can be as easy as leaving a purse on the table to say hello to a friend. Off goes your daughter’s credit card, identification and cell phone — and it is very difficult to get life back in order.

Teach your children to regularly use the free credit reports authorized by Federal law on www.annualcreditreport.com. You can get a report from each agency every 12 months for a total of three per year to ensure that all information is correct and up to date.

Another way to protect your credit is to use an identity theft protection program. Companies like Lifelock offer resources to protect against identity theft and fraud using Internet monitoring, credit alerts, address monitoring, intuitive threat detection and more.

Stress

The latest survey from the American Psychological Association (in August 2013) shows that 30 percent of teenagers reported feeling depressed or sad, and 31 percent felt overwhelmed.

It is important for parents and children to know that chronic stress can cause anxiety, high blood pressure and a weakened immune system, leading to obesity, heart disease and depression. New college students will be missing their support systems at home and must develop new habits they can rely on for the rest of their lives.

One of the most effective ways to reduce stress is through physical activity. Encourage your children to get involved in social clubs, get a gym buddy or join intramural sports. Getting involved in activities where they can make friends will help them stick to it.

While it can be difficult to get sleep in college, it is one of the biggest buffers against stress. Encourage teenagers to cut back on TV in the late evening, and not to drink caffeine late in the day.

When stress gets a little too much to handle, ruminating on one’s own is likely to make the problem worse. Encourage your teenagers to write things down — a positive experience, or as a way to step back and examine their behavior — or to reach out and connect with you or a friend.

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The new Bird’s Eye advert makes me so mad!

How can this be communication?

I go to the cinema a lot and as such I get to watch the adverts again and again. There is one advert that makes me want to shout at the screen and I have now noticed it making its way to my TV screen as well. To me, this advert is all that I hate about modern day parenting and people! When I watch it I always turn to my daughter and say, “If I ever speak to you like that you can kill me!”

On the surface this advert looks pretty normal and is promoting family eating and communication, which of course I approve of.

Watch it for yourself and see if you can find any problems…

 

You might have watched it and wondered what is wrong with it. Why has it got Sarah so mad?

[Read more...]

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