Do you remember a while back that we were getting ready to send teen back to university for his second year? Well, I’m not going to lie, there are two aspects to this change in our family that I really struggle with. Firstly, I miss him so much when he’s gone. I thought I would have been used to this by now, but it turns out I’m not. Secondly, I can’t help but worry about him either. I do wonder if we ever stop worrying about are kids, and at
Advertisement The summer is a such an important time for our family. With my son now at university, to have him home with us for 3 months is precious to us all. We love being able to share family meals again whether it’s trying out my son’s student recipes or sharing a home cooked Sunday roast together. We all miss him so much when he’s away, but I think his younger sisters feel it the most. When ever Brook and Indie talk about missing their brother they cry and I
As a Mum with an older child I totally understand that finding things to do with teenagers can be a challenge. When kids get older they don’t seem to enjoy family time in the way they used to? Please do not be put off, as it’s still important to spend time together or get them out of their room at least. It’s just about finding the right days out with teenagers and I’ve got a great list of ideas for you right here. I have been speaking to some of
This post was written in collaboration with the Trainline App My son has been at university for a year now, but we still aren’t entirely used to him living away from home. When he first left, I tried to prepare him with the life skills that he would need to manage from day to day. I think all parents with a student going to university will be talking to their son or daughter about doing a weekly shop and making student friendly meals, but are you also talking to them
When it comes to keeping teenagers entertained, we know it can be a bit of a challenge. It’s inevitable, unfortunately, that they’ll grow out of the activities that used to get them excited and the adventures that used to get them bouncing out of bed on the weekends soon become a thing of the past. Help is on hand with this list of things to do with teenagers in Bristol and Cardiff, so we will have you enjoying a family day out again in no time. Chances are you’ve been
Have you seen the new series on Netflix yet? If you haven’t watched ’13 Reasons Why’ already, I would strongly recommend adding it to your list of must watch TV. It will draw you in as you follow the lives of students at Liberty High in the days before and after Hannah Baker takes her own life. You’re right, this show definitely isn’t for the faint hearted, but the messages about bullying, mental health and the struggles young people face to day are real. If you are a parent, the
Dear Students, This letter has been going around in my head for a while and I’ve finally decided it’s time to put it out there. Firstly, well done on making it to University. It’s such an amazing achievement and one you should be immensely proud of. You jumped so many hoops to get here, give yourself a huge pat on the pack. Going to University can be such an exciting time. You meet lots of new people, and get to experience the fun and drama of living in close quarters
My husband and I were lucky enough to be invited to the opening night of the UK tour of Marvel Universe LIVE! and what a night it was. There was much debate in our house about who was going to be going, but my husband was clear that he was at the top of the list from the start. He’s a big Marvel fan, and loves all things geek and sci-fi, so of course it was a given he’d love to go. This meant the kids had to stay at
Teenagers are notoriously difficult to buy gifts for aren’t they? Money seems to be the go to gift as soon as they hit 13. I don’t mind giving money or vouchers to a teenager as a gift, but sometimes it’s nice to give them something a bit different. I’m always on the look out for present ideas for teens, and when Chatty Feet got in touch my son immediately sprung to mind. I really felt like he deserved a treat as he’s been studying so hard and sitting his A
One of the most awkward challenges that parents face is when to discuss puberty with their son or daughter. When to have this conversation is only the start of it. How do you discuss puberty with your child and all the changes that the body is about to embark on without wanting to be swallowed up into a dark hole. I have to confess that this is a part of my parenting journey that I think I failed at miserably with my son, and I really hope to do a
Personally, I believe that parenting is one of the toughest jobs you can ever do. The responsibility of bringing a baby into the world and raising a child is huge. Once you take on the task of looking after a child, that role is always with you in some form or other. There’s no asking for a transfer or applying for another job. Once you’ve signed on the dotted line, there are no get out clauses or notice periods. Fortunately, one of the first terms of the parenting contract is to
My 18 year old son has really started to develop a sense of personal style in the last few months. Having a girlfriend is definitely playing a part as it’s quite obvious she has a fair amount of influence over him. He has also been influenced by his recent travels. He was lucky enough to travel to Switzerland and New York within a week of each other. These experiences have definitely opened his eyes a little bit more as to what is on offer in the world around him.
Trespass have really come to my teen son’s rescue this winter. He walks to school everyday and to work a couple of evenings a week. Getting him to wear a winter coat is still a struggle, and he’s 18 years old! Fortunately, Trespass stepped in and asked us if we would like to review a winter coat. It sounded like a perfect opportunity for him to find a coat he would love and that would keep him warm this winter.
Whether you choose to visit a theme park, take a traditional seaside holiday or visit a child friendly resort, family holidays can be great fun. However, as your children grow and develop into teenagers with their own ideas of what a holiday should be, you’ll be faced with a new set of challenges which require a whole new holiday strategy if you want to keep everyone happy.
Dear Teen, Sometimes having a big age gap family is tough. I know you are great with your sisters and help out loads around the house with jobs but I’m guilty of letting you get on with things by yourself sometimes, including your A levels.
We had a very special birthday here at Zena’s Suitcase last month. My eldest son turned 18 and you might have caught up with his 18th Birthday letter on the blog. I really struggled with how we were going to celebrate this landmark occasion in his life, and in the end we settled on a family gathering in our local pub.
Well here it is, your 18th birthday is finally here. You are officially an adult! Where have all the years gone. If it wasn’t bad enough last birthday, this is definitely an emotional one for your old Mum. You should have seen me holding back the tears in Asda as I was buying the birthday candles to put on your cake. I was quite overcome with emotion, only to find when I got home that I’d already bought the candles a few weeks earlier. That’s my old age catching up me.
December is a big month for us. Not only do we have Christmas, but it’s also teens birthday. This year it’s a pretty big deal too. It’s his 18th birthday celebration, and I’m racking my brains as to how we can mark the ocassion in style. There is always an 18th birthday party of course, but I’m after something a bit different, something that will create many exciting memories and give us something to look back on for years to come. I’m also conscious of the fact that there are
The teenager and I have recently been introduced to a fantastic designer website called Get The Label. This couldn’t have come at a better time with back to school being just around the corner. My son had wanted some new clothes, but didn’t want the hassle of going shopping for them. That leaves me to sort out his wardrobe, and I often struggle to find mens clothing ideas that are smart enough for school, but casual enough to be on trend. Get The Label seems to have hit the mark with
Getting Teenagers Ready For Back To School Well, the summer holidays are nearly over aren’t they folks? Where did they go? They seem to be over so quickly don’t they? My 17 year old son will be starting his last year at school next week, for his final year of A Levels, and regardless of what he might think, he still needs some help from his Mum to get organised. It’s a big year, as his exam results next year will decide where he goes to university and which course
One thing I find really hard about having children of such different ages, is writing about them on the blog all equally. I guess featuring them all equally is difficult when they are at such different stages of their lives, and possibly a tall order. So that’s where the idea came from for the family update. It means I can talk about each of them, knowing they have all got some air time on here, and there is something for us all to look back on. There’s been a lot
Teen is enjoying his summer break so far. Chilling out with his girlfriend, playing too much Counter Strike and being my blogging assistant. OK, so he’s not enjoying the last one so much but if he wants me to keep paying for his driving lessons, a few hours a day to help his Mum isn’t too much to ask is it? He likes hanging round in his joggers, not making too many plans and not worrying about what might happen next week, let alone preparing for going back to college. He might
When my son first arrived into the world, I was overjoyed on so many levels. I was so happy to have a boy, due to the disastrous relationship I had experienced with my own Mother. I hoped that having a son would mean a clean slate for me. Perhaps it would protect me in someway from making the same mistakes my own Mother had made. My fear of history repeating itself was very overwhelming when I first became a Mum, over 17 years ago. We had a really good relationship when
My son isn’t far of leaving school, and as a parent I worry that he doesn’t appreciate how difficult getting into work will be. He’s 17, and typically quite grumpy and refuses to accept help from Mum most all of the time. He hides himself away in his room, plugged into his PC and hasn’t a clue how quickly he is going to be thrust into the real world and all that it entails. It’s something I really want to be able support him with without sounding like I’m telling him what
The exam timetable started a week ago, and a long with it arrived high levels of exam stress. It descends the entire house like the biggest darkest cloud. It’s set to stay with us until the last week of June, with a slight reprieve for half term. Maybe. Exams are a big deal to my son. He wants to do well, he’s got his mind set on a career in IT and he knows which boxes he needs to tick to get there. You know it’s serious when even the
Every so often, a realisation hits me a bit like a stinky wet fish to the face, that it’s time to let go a little more. These not so gentle jolts of reality are gearing up for one thing and one thing only. The day when Teen flies the nest. The harsh reality is that at 6 1/2 feet tall and 17 years of age, this event is going to be on my doorstep before I know it. I dread to think what the aftermath will look like when I’ve
Wow, 17 years old already, now where on earth did that go? You’ve arrived at that strange grey area between teenager land and adulthood where you know so much, but still need to learn the lessons only responsibility can teach you. I just hope I have equipped you with enough to learn those lessons and not make quite so many mistakes as I did. To be honest, you’d have to be going some to make as many mistakes as I did. You certainly have the art of common sense on
The countdown is most definitely on. My son is going to be 17 in less than 3 weeks. His provisional licence has arrived and his first on the road lesson is booked. He’s all set to become a young driver and it’s safe to say I am very nervous about the whole thing.
If you caught this post earlier in the summer you’ll know things were getting a little fraught around here. We started the journey of trying to get Teen a part time job, and it wasn’t easy. It wasn’t that he wasn’t willing but he didn’t necessarily appreciate the effort that goes into looking for work. It’s also a challenge for a teenage lad to find work for a whole host of other reasons to do with availability of jobs, perceptions of today’s youth and that the good old fashioned Saturday job
If you follow my twitter feed you might already know that last Thursday was a big day in our house. It had seemed like ages waiting for the GCSE results to come out. School finished for Teen at the May Half Term, and the list of exams he had to sit seemed endless. Just down to the sheer volume of what he had to cover, I never expected him to do as well as he did.