Tag Archives: Parenting

My Sunday Photo | #2

My daughter will probably hate me for sharing this photo. To me though it shows her happy and relaxed, laughing with her Dad. He was teasing her about how much rent she will have to pay now she has joined the world of work. (None yet she is going to be on a very modest apprentices wage FYI) 

This photo was taken whilst out for dinner celebrating that fact. We had all just raised our glasses in a toast to her. 

Molly started her placement for her Hairdressing apprenticeship just this week. We also collected her GCSE results meaning that those final ties with school and childhood have begun to be cut. 

My baby is all grown up and that terrifies me. Last week saw the book shutting on one chapter of her life and another one opening. This will bring with it the independence that carving out her career and earning her own money is going to bring. 

It signifies that she is no longer a little girl who is going to be reliant on her parents for everything. I say that Laughing, because guess who does all her ironing and makes sure she comes home to a hot meal? Mummy and Daddy! 

Whilst I still can though I will. I can remember what a shock to the system working full time was.

Molly wasn’t the most academic of kids. She is very creative and ambitious though. After taking part in her Schools work experience scheme she found something she  knew she would enjoy, becoming a hairdresser. I’m proud that she has gone out and found herself the opportunity to fulfill this ambition. 

She had a few knock backs finding the right training route. The local College turned her down originally because her predictive grades weren’t strong enough. Unfazed Molly decided that an apprenticeship within a salon would be better for her. I’m 100% supportive of her decision. In the long run I think it will work out for the better. 

Ironically she did actually achieve the grades to get onto the College course she had applied for. She is no A* student but I’m proud of her achievements so far. 

Molly is at a very exciting and scary point in her life. Once she has finished her training there will be so many opportunities available to her. I hope she seizes everyone of them. 

How we taught our teen to deal with online Trolls

Our thirteen year olds social media outlet of choice is Instagram. He is a bit of a skater boy and loves to post videos of his latest trick he has learnt, or a picture of his new deck that he has saved his pocket money up for and finally been able to afford to buy. 

We have no problem with this, our rule is that as parents we follow his account and are Facebook friends. This way we are able to keep an eye on what he is sharing, and ensure he doesn’t experience any problems. We feel we still have a small amount of control. 

One thing we aren’t able to do is control comments from online Trolls. Harrison has experienced his fair share of trolling. Some of the trolls actually turned out to be so called school friends. Teenagers can be absolute tools! Some are strangers who have seen the first comments from this ‘friend’ and see this as an opening for a free for all trolling session. 

Once particular boy from school became a huge problem for a while. He seemed to get a kick out trolling under the guise of it’s just ‘banter’. It isn’t just Harrison that has fallen victim to this boy.  Anyone who has tried to stand up to him then becomes his next target. 

One of Harrison’s primary school friends learnt this the hard way after responding to  one such comment, with the other boy going as far as making a video inviting people to hate on him for standing up for his friend. Nice kid!! Not! 

Knowing who this boy was we initially took the route of discussing this with the schools pastoral care to see if they could help. Unfortunately other than pulling the boy aside and having a chat with him about appropriate online behaviour the schools stance on this is there is nothing they are able to do if it isn’t actually happening on school premises. 

Left to deal with this problem ourselves we had to work out the best way to mange it. 

We had a sit down with Harrison and discussed to what extent he felt this was just ‘banter’ and if he was finding it hurtful. He admitted that he was finding some of the trolling upsetting but as the instigator was part of the same friendship group he didn’t want to create further problems at school. 

Harrison agreed that for now we would block this boy from leaving any comments on his Instagram page. This has reduced any trolling to almost zero. 

We also advised him to completely ignore anything that he felt was a trolling comment. After all the trolls get off on a reaction. Funnily enough that stops any potential troll in their tracks. 

I noticed one such comment yesterday and am glad to see Harrison has ignored it. By refusing to acknowledge this person they went away. 

I am so proud of the fact that Harrison is mature enough to deal with trolls in this way. It really isn’t easy to ignore such comments but it is by far the most effective way of getting rid of them. 

Harrison is a confident and sociable boy so is able to to do this. I do feel it would be much harder for anyone who struggles with confidence to just ignore trolling. This is why it is so important to have an agreement with your child that enables you to monitor their online activity. 

What do you think is the best way to beat those Trolls? 

Sometimes You Just Have To Tell Them They Smell!

“SHE DIDN’T JUST SAY THAT!!”

Uh yes I did….Hear me out though, before you start telling me off for being mean. 

I’m pretty sure fellow mums of teens will completely understand where I’m coming from with this one. 

I’m not saying all, but most teenagers at some point seem to go through that horrible condition called ‘the mysterious case of nose blindness!’ Yes they don’t seem to be aware of their own increase in body odour, or the fact that their room stinks and it’s not pleasant. 

They often have that one favourite hoody that they refuse to take off, so getting it off their back to wash is a mission in itself. It smells so bad it’s steaming (slight exaggeration), but call it poetic license. 
So what do you do about it? 
Try the softly softly approach and drop subtle hints, by purchasing them their own toiletries, or just come straight out with it and tell them they stink? 

In my experience the subtle approach just doesn’t work, I’ve tried it. 

My only option has been to resort to being blunt. Yes it is awkward and sounds mean but I have grown tired of the smell and have had to resort to just telling my teen that they smell bad. Yes it can make for an unpleasant conversation, and you will be met with that typical teenage defensive outburst but in the long run it’s for their own good. 

Here is my reasoning. If I can smell it then other people can too. Unpleasent body odour is one of those things that as much as we can try to deny it, we make judgments about people based upon it. 

I’m sure if you were a teen in the 90’s you can all remember there was always one kid in the class that would be labelled ‘skanky’ and picked on for it. Either because there was a certain whiff about them, they were unfortunate to suffer with dandruff or just struggled with spots. Kids are mean though and will jump on anything as ammunition for teasing. By not telling my teen that they smell then I’m be putting them in that position. 

So yes it may be awkward or come across as mean, but if they don’t respond to the subtle hints or gentle conversations, then sometimes you just have to tell them the smell!