Press releases


Cllr Lawrence with Ruth James 06

Cllr Christine Lawrence, Chairman of Somerset County Council and Ruth James

Quality Marsk






Local mum gets CANParent Quality Mark for “Surviving Teenagers” workshops

Surviving Teenagers is delighted to be one of only 48 providers nationally to have achieved a new national CANParent Quality Mark for the workshops they run for parents of teenagers.

Ruth James, a working mum who lives near Taunton, set up Surviving Teenagers in 2013 to help parents survive teenage challenges. Having 3 daughters between 13 and 20 Ruth understands the pressures on families so her workshops focus on helping parents to build resilient teenagers.

Ruth is currently working with Heathfield Community School to support their parents and over the last 8 months delivered workshops on managing behaviour, building self-esteem as well as surviving revision and exams.

Her workshops have been popular with over 40 parents being at the last session, this is what parents say about them:

  • Very worthwhile – would definitely recommend
  • Good to see we are not alone with teenage issues!
  • Very helpful – like the rest, they are great! 

“I would like to congratulate Ruth on achieving the CANParent Quality Mark. I can see real benefits resulting from her work, understanding how to build more positive relationships between parents and their teenagers can only be a good thing for local families.” said Cllr Christine Lawrence, Chairman of Somerset County Council.

“We have been pleased with the feedback from parents about the difference Ruth’s workshops have made and we are looking forward to continuing with the workshops in September.” said Karl Husband, Assistant Head, Heathfield Community School.

“I love working with parents and hearing about the positive difference that coming along to one of my workshops can make in family relationships. With this Quality Mark parents can now be confident that my workshops will give them the right advice and support they need in parenting their teenagers.” said Ruth James, Director, Surviving Teenagers.

The CANParent Quality Mark is the only quality Mark developed for the parenting sector by the parenting sector. It is only awarded to programmes and courses meeting the highest standards, it confirms Ruth’s Building Resilient Teenagers workshops meet the following standards:

  • The workshops can be relied on by parents to make a positive difference, is evidence based, and is monitored and evaluated to improve parent/child relationships.
  • Parents can rely on the integrity of this class provider, its professional conduct, competence, financial and governance systems, and data protection/confidentiality, to ensure suitability to deliver a class.
  • This workshops are recommended by other parents.
  • This workshops are responsive, warm and relational, engaging with parents and builds on these effective relationships to meet their needs.




26 September 2014

Heathfield Business Mentors learn how to understand teenagers

Heathfield Community School has relaunched its Business Mentors scheme which encourages people who work in different businesses to mentor a Year 10 student up until they take their GCSEs.

“When I asked whether our Year 10 students would like a business mentor, I was overwhelmed with the response, over 40 of our pupils said they would like one! So we had to select 12 who I have now matched with our Business Mentors.” said Natasha Rand, Senior Leadership Team for Enterprise & Careers.

To support their Business Mentors, Heathfield offered them a training session so they could learn more about why teenagers behave the way they do and how to develop a positive relationship with their mentee at a workshop run by Ruth James, Course Director, Surviving Teenagers Today.

Ruth covered topics ranging from the development of the teenage brain, a fascinating subject for anyone who works with teenagers, to how to motivate them and help them decide what they want to do.

“The evening was extremely interesting and positive, it made me appreciate what it is like to be a teenager and I am looking forward to mentoring my student.” said Donna Hibbert, Operations Manager for Premier Inn.

“Heathfield is always looking for more Business Mentors, so if anyone feels able to do this, please contact me at” said Natasha Rand

31 May 2014
Worrying about having teenagers?

Facing teenage years can be a daunting prospect for parents. To help parents be prepared for this Ruth James is running a workshop on 14 June in Ruishton Village Hall which will help parents discover how to successfully parent teenagers.

“I remember freaking out when my daughter was 10, worrying about the next 6 years and how I would cope. Having 3 teenagers, I now know the teenager years can be challenging but it doesn’t need to be as difficult as some parents make it. In my workshop I focus on what works with teenagers and what parents can do to can make living with a teenager both easier and happier.” said Ruth James, Course Director, Surviving Teenagers Today

“My workshops give parents practical support for everyday teenage challenges and this workshop particularly focuses on the transition from primary aged children to secondary school and the teenage years.”

This workshop covers; why teenagers behave the way they do, the development of the teenage brain, how to build their self-esteem, managing change, successfully managing behaviour (including dealing with attitude), surviving their friendships and their online world.

Parents can either come to the morning session (£28), the afternoon session (£24) or both (£45 inc. lunch). To find out more, please go to:

If parents join my Facebook group: “Mums and dads of teenagers in Somerset”, they can get a 20% discount.


Contact: Ruth James,, 07718178111

Understanding why teenagers behave the way they do!

Ruth James is bringing 2 fascinating workshops to Ruishton Village Hall which provide parenting solutions to everyday teenage challenges.

The first workshop on 24 March will give parents insights into the development of the teenage brain and how this impacts their teenager’s attitudes and behaviour. Using this information Ruth gives parents secrets to improving their teenager’s behaviour.

The second workshop on 31 March will help parents survive their teenager’s online world. It focuses on the issues and risks, what parents can do and will give parents practical tools to help their teenagers stay safe online.

“Parents often struggle to understand why their teenagers behave the way they do, the first workshop will help them to understand and appreciate what they teenagers are going through what they can do to improve their relationship with their teen and surviving the teenager years.” said Ruth James

“I am excited about the Surviving their online world! workshop. So many parents worry about what their children are getting up to online and the media is full of horror stories. I think parents will find my approach both practical and reassuring. It will give them the tools to feel they are doing what they can to keep their teenager safe online.”

These workshops is ideal for parents, carers or grandparents of pre-teens and teenagers and Ruth has already had positive feedback from her workshops – those who have already attended would definitely recommend them to other parents.

One parent said the following about Ruth’s workshops; “Excellent! You can’t afford to miss this workshop, it will give you more confidence in parenting teenagers.”

Her workshops are on 24 and 31 March in Ruishton Village Hall, Ruishton from 7 PM-9 PM. Cost, including refreshments & information pack: £10pp, 10% discount if booked online ( before 12 March. To contact her, email:, 07718178111


Contact: Ruth James,, 07718178111

Notes to Editor:

Ruth James set up “Surviving Teenagers Today” in 2013 and runs a range of courses for parents of teenagers which focus on providing parenting solutions to teenage challenges.

Ruth is a full-time working mum with 3 daughters, aged 18, 17 & 12 and for more information about her, please go to her website:, follow her @surviving_teens and on Facebook:

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