Back at the end of March, I was invited down to London to have a chat with Nadia Sawalha and her daughter Maddie. Sarah Newton, a youth expert, was also there to help us talk about the difficultly in talking about the more “difficult” conversations that parents have to have with their children. I’m not going to be coy about it, how parents talk about puberty, periods and all the other “fun” stuff that happens between about 12 and 18 years old.
The focus was with a campaign called #TeenTalk, launched today in Boots. Parents and teenagers can go in and pick up a pack which helps the communication flow around something that is, usually, very awkward. Research has found that the teenage years signal the end of an open two-way conversation between parent and child. The campaign aims to help make the conversation easier and gives you some gentle guidance on how to approach the difficult subjects with your children.
Whilst we feasted on some delicious cake; Nadia, Maddie, Sarah and us bloggers talked about how our experiences of being a teen has influenced us and how we will, or have already, had the conversation with our kids.
Knowledge really is power, when it comes to talking about this. Maddie openly talked about what worked when her mum had “the talk”, and the consensus was that being open and approachable is, obviously, key. Being available and unembarrassed about the issues that may come up, is another major point. It’s no longer a taboo subject and something that we shouldn’t treat with shame. It happens to us all, lets get on with it!
Around the table we also discussed how to best help our children move through the teenage years. A time I would never want to repeat. It was really thought provoking to hear about the hormonal changes we go through and how that affects the lives of teens so drastically. They may be moody, argumentative and surly, but they truly can’t help it. As parents we can easily get frustrated with this, but as hard as it may be, the best response is to remember what they are going through and be lenient on the outbursts and open to asking our teens how they are feeling. By helping them explore this, parents can feel more involved with the process and the children know they’ve got someone they can go to to talk about it.
The campaign, starting today, means that parents can get the guide (pictured above).
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