I notice this is an oddity, even in Western cultures, to be always touching and hugging one's teenage child. Those who spout attachment parenting in early years are surprisingly non-tactile to their teens. My psychologist friend tells me that there is this belief that the teenage years is about "individuating" a child, that is to say, force them to become self-sufficient.
I would encourage anyone thinking about fostering to come forward because there are so many more teenagers out there who need a secure home environment to help them stabilise their lives and move forward.
The good news is that this half term is the perfect time to begin to get yourself prepared for the impending examinations. Here are my starting steps which may help you on your way to exam success.
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.
As a culture we expect our boys to become men without assistance, whereas we could all do with help, guidance and support. These qualities are best imparted by someone who has 'been there and done it', and such mentors can help fathers as well as teens.
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.
I don't usually take selfies in departure lounges - but it's different when travelling with a seventeen year old boy. It's sweet - he teaches me some stuff and I teach him other stuff. I was really surprised as we settled into our seats on board the aircraft, when he turned to me and said: "What shall we play?"
My daughter Amelia and I are very close and she was the dearest child from nought to thirteen. When she hit her teens I sometimes wondered if an alien had infiltrated the body of my sweet cuddly girl. Tantrums became part of our life.