parenting teenagers

Though the hit-and-run took place a few years ago, I am still haunted by the thought of both boys, of their mothers trying to learn the real truth, even as their children were transformed into characters in an ongoing gossip-fuelled narrative, their humanity disappearing as their bleak shared story took on a life of its own.
If there is one day guaranteed to punctuate the calm of summer it's likely to be this Thursday - the 24th August when youngsters
School mornings are about waking up and swearing that tonight the kids really will go to bed before stupid o'clock and that you will not sit up watching Nashville and checking FB until 1.30am.
I knew this was inevitable, this separation. It is part of his transition to adulthood. But I didn't expect it to hurt so much. I have become that clichéd old woman who clasps photos of past birthday parties and strokes a little boy's face with a teary smile. (I am not allowed to stroke his real face any more).
As parents and adults I feel we have an obligation to the next generation to paint a real picture of life, not a sterilised one, to show our emotions, to let them know that we don't always feel 100%, to show them that it is normal to not feel OK.
Getting ready to go out to the sounds of Whitney Houston, Spandau Ballet, Michael Jackson (even had his poster on my wall when he looked like he should) all on vinyl, to name but a few. It was a time when hair would survive any hurricane, rock hard from a can of cheap extra hold hairspray.
For those of you who have followed my blog for a while, you will be aware that one of my daughters is in the world of modelling and acting. This, of course, fills me with immense pride but no more than my other daughter's achievements, or my son's.
I understand parenting is one of the hardest jobs we have, teenagers in particular can drive us to despair but whatever a child does they never deserve to be physically manhandled - ever!
As our children are going back to school, a lot of them starting Big School for the first time, I wanted to share with you something that I don't hear mentioned that much, namely transition regression.
The growing number of young people with mental health issues is worrying me. I see young people everyday who are struggling; they don't know what to do, their parents don't know what to do and the schools are finding it difficult to cope. We need a system that is much more able to support those young people who need it.
I'm a mother to three boys - aged 26, 23 and soon to be 13. I'm also godmother to a beautiful 18-year-old girl for whom I assumed a motherly role when her real mum (one of my best and dearest friends) died three years ago.
These unemployed youngsters often have the much-coveted, sometimes expensive degrees, yet employers are not beating a path to their front door trying to hire them. I am not an economist, so I cannot make pronouncements about government policies, the economy and other factors that may cause the situation.
Aliens landed in our backyard one night and inhabited the kids for what we earthlings call the Teen Years. Little do they know I have cracked their code.
We are all aware of the possible big nightmares which may lay in store for us parents once our beloved offspring enter the 'Teen' phase. For me though, it's been the little changes which have felt more like seismic shifts within my carefully crafted and harmonious household.
I have five children. Georgina ("G") is the youngest. She is 14. And she is the one causing grey hairs to sprout abundantly from my scalp, if old wives' tale about correlation between lack of follicular colour and stress is to be believed.
Has anyone noticed that things are a bit 'off' in the world at the moment? How do we set about course correcting? Can anyone come up with a solution?
Cassidy, you may not appreciate it now, but you have the smartest parents ever. Rather than grounding her for a fixed period
Our boys have grown up secure in the knowledge that whilst there was enough love to go around, the special bond they shared with their birth parent would remain intact. But do we treat them differently, NO!
In a world where helicopter parenting is on the rise and cotton-wool wrapped kids are warned strangers spell terrible danger, taking them to festivals not only gives them the space they need for their crazy little minds to roam free, I actually think it should be mandatory.
With boys now lagging behind girls in both exam results and socially, it's time to redress the balance and give them a real advantage at a new level. This isn't about etiquette, it's about increasing the confidence of teenagers.