Teens & Tweens Round-up: The challenge of letting go

Here we go, hurtling through the Autumn term. It’s throwing a lot at us! Our teens and tweens have a lot to keep us busy at this time of year. This can range from from high school open days to countless sporting commitments. It is hard work but as Emma & 3 reminds us, we have very good reasons for doing it and our children will reap the benefits in years to come. I loved her post and could relate to every word and I also know that it does not last. Before you know it, your children will be moving on to the next stage of their lives, which is not necessarily under your roof. 

My own daughter left for university recently and so, unsurprisingly, my two posts are about student life. My first is a tongue in cheek look at what you really shouldn’t do when your child leaves for university (I haven’t done any of them, honest). My second takes me back to my public health training and flags up the dangers of food hygiene going wrong in student kitchens – I’m sure you can imagine some of the potential horrors. On the other hand, perhaps you’d rather not! I am in good company in navigating this experience. Fiona at Coombe Mill has written about settling her son into university halls of residence and Mark at Best Dad I Can Be contemplates an empty nest as his youngest fills out university applications for next year. Both give an important insight into how parents feel as they learn to let go.

I still have teens and tweens living at home though, and I loved Tammy Mum’s clever summary of what having a teenage daughter means. If you have teen girls you will laugh and cry reading this. It is a privilege to share their lives at such a crucial stage of their development and whilst it can be terrifying, we can also learn so much from them.

Parents of teens and tweens soon realise that our children are beginning to make their own decisions and this theme runs through the remainder of the posts that I want to share this month. It has been a privilege to read extraordinarily well written and moving writing.

Firstly, I want to thank Jenny for sharing a very personal and precious piece describing the loss to suicide of dear Elspeth and the effect that this has had on her family in the following years. I hope that this message can reach many young people who may be experiencing mental health issues so that they will choose to reach out for help. 

I also want to share a wonderfully positive post by Tattooed Mummy where she reflects on her teen daughter coming out and how she did this via social media. I urge you to read this insightful piece of writing, especially if you have a teen that you feel may be contemplating their sexuality. If you feel you’d like some more support with this aspect of raising teens, there is plenty out there. Make a start with Anita’s informative post on how to talk to your child about sex and sexuality. At the same time, I would encourage you to check out a fascinating post at Techage Kids on some research into what children actually think about social media and how they, and their parents, use it.

Finally, as parents of teens and tweens, we also have to accept that they are making decisions regarding their own safety. We cannot protect them all the time like we did when they were little. One of the most glaring examples of this is the issue of teenage drivers.  We all know the horrifying statistics on teens and car accidents and this post from Flying Solo perfectly describes that combination of pride and terror as you see your young person head off at the wheel of a car. It isn’t easy as I know from personal experience. 

So that brings to an end this round up which I’m sure will have given us all a lot to think about and hopefully some pointers for help and support as well. If you have a post about teens or tweens that you would like considered for the next month please email me the link.

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About Sharon Parry

Sharon is a Mum to three fabulous tween and teen daughters. After leaving a scientific academic career to raise her family she discovered the world of writing which ultimately led to her launching her blog http://www.aftertheplayground.com in early 2016.
As a veteran of the parenting scene, you’d think she’d know what she was doing by now. She doesn’t. Instead, she is gradually adjusting to parenting teens and adult children and will probably become an expert shortly after her youngest leaves home. She shares her experiences of defining this fascinating stage of motherhood (and of herself) on her blog and at @DrSharonParry1.