Many parents of teenagers worry about the influence their children’s friends can have. In fact we carried out some research which found that most parents felt they were not the biggest influence on their teenagers, believing that their peers held that top slot. Parents worry about what their children learn from their friends and the effects of peer pressure.
“Our son’s out of control, he’s been suspended from school twice, and is in a really bad crowd,” one distraught parent told us.
Parents are concerned that the teenage...
I bought the latest PS3 Call of Duty game as a Christmas present for my 12 year old son, James, despite the fact that it has an 18 age rating,” explains Marie, 44, from Birmingham, also mum to Sarah, nine and Jake, seven. “He has played World of Warcraft online for the last year – using his pocket money to pay for the monthly subscription – and this hasn’t been a problem because he only plays after his tea and when his homework is done for around an hour.
“Unfortunately, when Call of Duty was released last year, all his friends and cousins got the game and, at first, despite pleas, tantrums and tears, I said no. But, reassured by the fact that so many others played it and not wanting him to feel the ‘odd one out’, I gave in.
“James became obsessed with it...
By Michele O’Connor, mum of Calum, Millie, Alfie and Tess
It’s the scene every parent dreads: the screeches of an upset three-year-old, running to her mum, because your ‘little angel’ has just bitten her. Hurtful behaviour - snatching toys, scratching, biting, pinching and kicking - is actually quite common in pre-school children. But just how do you deal with it?
Is it bullying?
“It isn’t helpful to label this behaviour as ‘bullying’,” says child psychologist Dr Rachel Calam. These acts of ‘aggression’ occur so often – and are usually unplanned and without understanding of the consequences, she explains. Bullying, on the other hand, involves the persistent physical or verbal abuse of another...
Many parents contact us wanting to find alternative ways to discipline their children, and need support and help to develop new parenting approaches which encourage positive discipline.
Parenting is a very difficult job, and we know that many parents smack children in anger or frustration. We also know that many parents want to find alternative approaches to discipline, and fear that if they do not smack they will lose their authority with their children.
In response to parents’ requests, we have produced some tips and hints on alternatives to smacking,...
“My daughter was ‘outed’ in the sixth form. Prior to that she’d been pushed into doorways, and people wouldn’t sit next to her in case they ‘caught’ it. She went to a teacher she knew and trusted, to ask for advice, and the teacher simply quizzed her on why she thought she was gay. Then the teacher asked her if she’d been abused.” Sue’s daughter came out to her when she left school and told her about the teacher’s comments some years later. “I was appalled by the teacher’s behaviour,” says Sue. “Luckily my daughter tried talking to another teacher who found her some support groups for gay people, and she hasn’t looked back.’”
Alan, 13, secondary school, Scotland*:
“I get called names all the time at school, especially...
Family Lives recently held discussion groups with parents to find out the truth about violence in and out of schools and, if they have experienced it, how they have dealt with it. One of the issues discussed was how supported families felt when they were affected by violence.
It emerged from these groups that many parents had little faith in support groups and organisations when this happens. Some told us they didn’t know of anywhere to turn when they needed support. For parents like this, contacting the Family Lives helpline...
Article by Michele O’Connor
Terrified to let your child have a sleepover? Fed up with wet sheets and night-time nappies? According to official figures, over 750,000 children in the UK wet their beds at night. Bedwetting occurs most nights in 15% of five-year-olds and is still a problem for 3% of all 15 year-olds.
However, because it’s a taboo subject, the real figures for older children could be much higher. It’s significant that night-time ‘nappies’ are widely available in sizes to fit children up to 15 years old. There are many different strategies recommended to help parents deal with their child’s bedwetting. Some work for some families, not for others and there seems to be no definitive cure. Wet beds aren’t just an inconvenience. When an older...
Helen Gibbs, 41, from South West London, says her daughter, Emma, seven, has just stopped wetting the bed:
“It was a slow process but we cut out drinks after dinner and never used pull-ups. We did, however, use bed mats. Most importantly, we never told her off for wetting the bed as it wasn't her fault. Now she is dry, we continue to limit drinks in the evening and make sure she pops to the loo again when she’s finished reading in bed.”
Carole Rostron, 39, from Preston, Lancashire says:
“My son, Sam, six, was wet every night until recently. After asking my health visitor for advice, I decided to stop using pull ups to see how we got on. For the first two weeks I was washing his bedding every morning and he was still wet every night...
Children are far more likely to co-operate if they feel trusted and part of a team. Giving them choices focuses their attention on action rather than resistance: 'You can catch the last bus home from the party at 10 or we'll come and collect you at 11. You choose.' Rescuing or punishing your child doesn't help them make the link between their own actions and what happens because of them. Letting them deal with the consequences does: 'You wore your school shoes to play in and now they're muddy. There's a cloth under the sink.'
- During an outburst try to stay calm and after your child has calmed down, talk about what happened, their feelings and help them work out how they can behave differently the next time they feel like that.
We’ve looked at how involved parents feel with their children’s schools, their opinions on bullying and how parents and teachers are trying to combat these problems.
School and Communication
‘My son comes home and says, “Mum, you’ll never guess what! Someone had to go to the headteacher’s office because they hit somebody!” One parent spoke about her child’s school, where, she said, parents don’t respect the teachers. She spoke of incidents where verbally abusive parents had been banned from the school playground. These incidents are far from rare. A study for the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) claimed that 39% of staff have faced aggression from a student’s parent, guardian or family member.
This behaviour from parents...
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