Last year was very stressful for Sophie, AS exams were a nasty shock. She had worked really hard for her GCSEs and we hadn’t appreciated the demanding, unrelenting workload and pressure for AS’s. Consequently, we went through several months of managing an intense situation when I felt quite isolated.
I was very worried about Sophie and didn’t really know what to do other than provide support and encouragement and do what I could to help her manage her stress.
I hadn’t appreciated that this was “normal” until almost the end of Year 12, when speaking to other parents whose children had had a similarly “horrendous” year, what encouraged me was that in the light of other stories about teenagers, Sophie had actually done quite well, even though it was a struggle.
When children go to primary school you meet other parents and share stories, challenges and get a certain level of support or at least ideas on what else you could do to tackle a specific issue.
As soon as you will children go to secondary school, you no longer have this “network”, therefore parenting teenagers can be a lonely experience.
I am setting up my “Surviving Teenagers Programme”, because I want to provide opportunities for parents of pre-teens and teenagers to network both online and face-to-face. For me, it is about helping parents build stronger relationships with their teenagers. Networking can be practically helpful as well as fun!