Tuning in to Teens – a must do course for parents of children aged 9-19yrs!

This “Tuning into Teens” course which starts in March 2020 is ideal for parents with children aged 9-19 years.

This course is one of the best courses for helping parents I have personally come across.  It is evidence-based and by the end of the course you should:

This “Tuning in to Teens” course is ideal for parents with children aged 9-19 years and you need to come to all the sessions to make the most out of the course.  I like to limit this course to only 16 parents which allows plenty of time for discussion.

This course is approved by the NHS and is one of the best courses for helping parents I have personally come across. It is evidence-based and by the end of the course you should:

  • Have a better understanding of what “normal” adolescent behaviour is!
  • Have a reduction in family conflict
  • See a reduction in your children’s anxiety and challenging behaviour as well as an improvement in their mental health
  • Feel more connected and empathetic towards your child and the less reactive to their emotions
  • Have seen an improvement in the quality of family communication and relationships
  • Ensure your children feel that you really do listen to them
  • Have an improved awareness of your own emotional needs and well-being and how you can support yourself as you parent your children

The course focuses on helping parents become emotionally intelligent parents, better able to manage their own and their children’s emotions and behaviour which ultimately helps to improve and build stronger family relationships.

This course covers 4 sessions which run at Company Spaces, Taunton from 7 PM-8:45 PM in 2 week blocks on the following dates:

Tues 3 & Tues 10 March

Tues 24 & Mon 30 March

Each session is taken by Ruth who is a qualified facilitator and has an extensive knowledge of parenting and parenting challenges. Each session includes:

  • An opportunity to meet other parents in a warm, friendly, non-judgemental space.
  • Support and encouragement as you go through the course.
  • A total of 58 handouts by the end of the course
  • Refreshments!
  • Options for individual or ongoing support

The sessions:

Session 1: The foundations for emotional coaching teens  

  • An introduction to the programme and emotional intelligence
  • An introduction to the concept and skills of emotional coachin
  • Becoming more aware of your own and your teens’ emotions
  • You begin to explore ways to connect with your teenager around emotion

Session 2: Connecting, showing empathy and emotional acceptance

  • Exploring types of emotion dismissing parenting and why we might have developed these parenting styles
  • Increasing your capacity for connecting with your teenage
  • You learn how to increase your capacity to feel empathy with your teenager
  • You also learn to strengthen your skills in empathetic responding
  • You learn to develop skills in recognising and reflecting emotions in your teen including developing language to use in reflecting emotions

Session 3: Emotional coaching fear and anger

  • You learn to improve skills in your own emotional awareness, regulation and self-care
  • You consolidate your skills and emotional coaching and explore the 5-step problem-solving process
  • You learn about managing your own angry feelings and behaviour including feelings of rejection
  • Learning the difference between angry feelings and behaviour
  • Developing emotional coaching skills around teen anger
  • Understanding the need for boundaries and negotiation

Session 4: Emotion coaching now and in the future

  • This session reviews everything you have learnt around emotional coaching
  • It extends your understanding of the different parenting styles and their impact including exploring emotions or specific issues not already covered

Use this code to book your place

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Failed again… Overreacted for the second time this week, not a great achievement.

Why is parenting teenagers so hard at times? And I am the one who has spent the last 7 years trying to understand teenage behaviour and how to manage it so why do I seem to have the knack of upsetting my daughter this week by overreacting?

Unfortunately, sometimes it is just how it is but the guilt of not handling something well with your teenager takes a little more getting over. Particularly when it happens twice in 3 days.

The problem is we can all justify our own behaviour and blame the other person, however, usually there is a trigger either in our world or in theirs. If I am honest, behind my overreaction was fear and wanting to protect her – being afraid for the consequences of some of her decisions/lack of decisiveness and I suppose hormones are also a reliable source of blame as is this time of year… but it still isn’t an excuse.

Whatever the reasons, I just didn’t handle the conversation well.

Learning to manage family emotions is probably one of the hardest things to learn as a parent. It all comes down to our ability to regulate our emotions because we can’t change someone else all we can do is change our reaction to them, easier said than done as I have found out this week.

Learning to stay calm and not react despite everything going on is hard but unless we, as parents, learn to do this, our teenagers will start modelling our behaviour and we don’t want this to be an unintended consequence of not managing our own emotions. 

I know it isn’t easy but I do know that talking to other parents helps which is why my Parenting Café on 27 January will be looking at managing their emotional reactions and learning to stay calm, to book your place please go to: https://januaryparentingcafe.eventbrite.co.uk

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Have a calmer family life in 2020!

Emotional reactions can make family life stressful and exhausting for parents, having had 3 children I knows this only too well!

Which is why I want to help parents understand how they can have a calmer family life in 2020 at my Parenting Café on Monday 27 January at 7 PM at Company Spaces, Bridge Street, Taunton when I will be exploring ideas to help parents manage your children’s emotional reactions and learn to stay calm.

This is my 4th Parenting Café, all ideal for parents with children aged 9-19 years. This is what parents have said about previous Café’s:

  • It’s a great learning experience in a safe environment, a good mix of theory and practical examples of how to help your children.
  • Great to feel that you are not alone. It was very welcoming and non-judgemental.
  • This is my 2nd Café, I would definitely recommend it to others. Give it a try!

So far, all the Café’s have all been fully booked so please book early to avoid disappointment. To book a place, please go to https://januaryparentingcafe.eventbrite.co.uk

I am planning to organise Monthly Parenting Café’s throughout 2020, each one focusing on a different area of parenting, from managing boundaries and behaviour to coping with stress, revision and exams. To find out more, please email me at parentingcafe@outlook.com

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Use Christmas 2019 to surprise and encourage your teenager!

At the heart of each of us is the need to be loved, accepted and to belong.

In 2019 giving environment friendly Christmas gifts is important. However, equally important is using Christmas 2019 as opportunity to show how much we love and appreciate our child in a unique way which connects with them and it isn’t about the money.

Unfortunately for my family, “gifts” is not one of my “love languages” and I can’t say that buying Christmas presents as ever been a highlight!  So I started thinking about how could we use Christmas presents to invest in building up and encouraging our children rather than just spending money on a quick fix present which is appreciated in the moment and then forgotten…

My suggestion is a “Christmas Love Box”.

A Christmas Love Box is not about money, it is about thought and time. Each of our children is unique and we often don’t tell them how much we love or appreciate them, particularly as they get older when sometimes we may not even like them at times.

The research on building positive family relationships focuses on how we should be more encouraging than negative, nagging, criticising, reminding, shouting etc. Being encouraging can be difficult, particularly through adolescence and often our children do everything they can to undermine our relationship with them.

Therefore, this Christmas is your opportunity to tip the Christmas present scales in your favour and hopefully open a door to building a more positive relationship with your child in 2020.

So, what is a Christmas Love Box:

  1. Get a box – you can either buy a ready-made box or use a shoebox and cover it.
  2. Spend time thinking about each child, list what they mean to you, what their interests are, what you appreciate about them, how they receive encouragement.
  3. Write a letter/card to them summarising the above.
  4. Write a list of small gifts that really mean something to them e.g. special chocolate/sweets, can of their favourite drink, unique pair of socks, notebook + pen, voucher, stationery, tickets to the cinema, 1-2-1 special day with you, gloves, moisturiser, hair gel, photos of you together + family photos, charger cables, headphones, torch, hat/beanie, special pain, aftershave/deodorant/perfume, shower gel, soap etc. Most of these don’t have to cost a fortune – it isn’t about the amount you spend it is about the thought you put into it.
  5. You can wrap up each present or not – your choice and then put them in the box, wrap it up with your card/letter and wait for Christmas Day.
  6. You could also do this for any significant others e.g. your parents, partner, best friend etc.
  7. Surprise them on Christmas Day

Here are some ideas for your letter/card:

NOTE: Final tip, please make sure that all your words/comments are authentic and genuine – children see through tokenistic comments/disingenuous words of appreciation etc. Try to focus on how hard they worked, their approach, perseverance etc. rather than simply listing achievements as this will help them develop a Growth Mindset.


I have put this Christmas Love Box together for you because I/we just wanted to do something a little different this Christmas to show how much I/we love and appreciate you.

I/we know that life has been challenging at times, however, I/we are proud of how you have coped/managed etc.

I/we love seeing how you… (Help your sister… Play football with… Help around the house…)

I/we appreciate your thoughtfulness and kindness to…

I/we enjoy your positive outlook and life and appreciate your enthusiasm for…

I/we know how hard it is been for you to…

I/we enjoy seeing you grow and develop into the person we always knew you could be…

I/we see the potential within you and appreciate how you have worked to…

I/we were proud when you achieved… However, we were more proud of how hard you worked and how determined you were to…

I/we know how you struggled with… But are proud of how you coped/persevered etc.…

I/we would like to say thank you for being you for your…

I/we enjoy spending time with you – think about what you might like to doing 2020 as a family

I/we would like to have a regular (activity) – think about what you might like to do together and we will book some dates in

We hope you have a great 2020!

Happy Christmas everyone and let me know how you get on!

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My moment at 8.49am on Tuesday 30 October

Day-to-day there are 1000’s of moments during which we have choices and make decisions, from the mundane to those which can change how we feel about life and what we do.

Sitting on a beach at 8:49am in Moraira, Spain on Tuesday 30 October, I had such a moment.  Enjoying the peace and warmth of the morning sun, I decided I would go for it and start the process for setting up a micro-business to support and encourage parents. I have been surprised at the difference this decision has made, having a new focus has made me happier!

Having finished work at the end of August, I have been enjoying a new life of being “a lady who lunches”! I have loved the novelty of having time to do stuff I want to however, if I was being honest with myself, I did feel a little lost.

I felt myself drifting and struggling with not having a focus – you can only clean and tidy the house so many times and I had even started rolling clothes, watch out Marie Kondo!

During September, as my energy levels returned so did my mojo and I knew there was something missing but wasn’t convinced I had the energy or motivation to set up a new business because life at home was so easy.

As I am discovering, it is a very different experience being at home full-time, I used to dream about it when I worked full-time and now recognise that it has its own pressures and it isn’t quite what you expect it to be.

So, even though I was enjoying myself, if I was being honest, I didn’t find it as satisfying as I expected and found not achieving much frustrating.

I knew that if I was going to keep going I would need to include the things I enjoy doing, which include:

  • Parenting with all its challenges and rewards.
  • Managing staff and seeing them flourish and thrive, making a positive difference in people’s lives in the workplace.
  • Leadership development and coaching (remarkably similar to parenting).
  • Reading, researching and understanding people and behaviour – trying to understand why we and others behave the way we do and how we can change behaviour using the latest research and evidence.
  • Developing and running my own parenting workshops.
  • Having cups of tea/coffee and chatting with family and friends!

So, why wouldn’t I take the next step to set up my business and make my hobby my Plan A. Combining all the things I enjoy into creating a face-to-face focused business aiming to encourage parents and providing common sense advice over cups of tea/coffee and cake (of course!)– focusing on helping them feel better about themselves in their day-to-day parenting.

I know I have so much I can share to help parents get a better understanding of why their children behave the way they do as well as why they parent the way they do, practical advice to help when things go wrong as well as how to build resilience and cope with anxiety and other mental health challenges.

Everything I talk about and share is always grounded in evidence – I do the reading research, distil the key learning points, apply common sense and then share my learning with parents during my Parenting Cafés and hopefully future courses.

I want to create something parents want and look forward to! I know that putting parents at the heart of everything I do is key, which is why I am planning to write a regular blog about my experiences in setting up my new business.

So, this week I have started setting goals for myself and filling in my new weekly planner. 

In my study, I now have a bowl of 365 marbles and take one marble out each day so I can reflect on what I have achieved as well as lessons learnt. I don’t know where this exciting journey will take me but at least my days should no longer drift…

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