Supporting Your Child
Growing up and navigating your way through the changes that this brings in terms of friendships and social interactions, increasing expectations for course work and independent work, coping with periods of transition such as moving into year 10 and starting GCSE courses, or perhaps battling with self-esteem and confidence will all be worrying times for parents and carers too. Knowing how to best support your child when they are worried or anxious can be difficult in itself as typically adolescents tend to communicate less as they get older.
Teenage years are often thought of as a time of risk, where parents and carers become concerned about giving greater independence to their child when in fact a hallmark of teens is the need to establish their independence – this can sometimes end in a battle of wills between parents and their children!
However, it is also a time of opportunity, creativity and learning and with the brain still developing, it is a period when the right kind of intervention - in particular, firm but warm care from adults with high expectations of a teenager - can have a transforming effect on them.
At Bradley Stoke Community School we have a highly skilled and competent pastoral team who provide a range of support for young people; however, we are also keen to support parents and carers who would like advice about aspects of support for their child. Our parent liaison and early intervention coordinator can provide more in-depth support for families if required on a range of issues such as behaviour concerns, concerns about alcohol or drugs use, self-esteem and confidence, friendships and many other areas.
Communication between parents and children can often be a challenge and can be affected by our own feelings of anger or frustration. Try these tips out:
- Use the KISS technique (Keep it simple and straightforward!).
- Really do avoid those lectures…they switch off. Don’t talk too much, don’t question too much.
- Think about their feelings. Don’t try to see this as a win-lose situation. If they feel listened to and have had their thoughts and feelings acknowledged- it will be a win-win situation.
- Don’t overreact and go into orbit! Some things that teens say are designed to get a reaction so take a deep breath, think about it, reflect back and then give your answer. Saying “no” too quickly makes it look like you haven’t bothered to listen at all.
- Try to use opportunities such as driving to the shops, going to pick-up their friend or dropping them off somewhere as an opportunity for some physical closeness to aid communication.
- Avoid the power struggles, confrontation and arguing at all costs.
- Involve your teen in as much decision making as possible.
Children may also need support with issues around anxiety, exam pressure, and worries about learning or friendships, and there are many useful websites and organisations that provide sources of information for parents and carers and we have listed some below:
FRANK alcohol and drugs advice Tel: 0800 776600.
Young Minds (for parents concerned about the mental health of a young person) Freephone: 0800 0182138.
Parents plus run group sessions on parenting – South Gloucestershire Parenting Consultancy Tel: 01454 866051.
If you would like any further information on how to support your child, please feel free to contact Tracey Foster, parent liaison and early intervention coordinator.