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One of my favourite trips ever was going to New York with my son.  It was our first trip to NYC and quite likely to be a last holiday together for a while.  I spent a lot of time planning that trip and I think it’s safe to say we had a pretty awesome time.  I’ve been thinking about our visit a lot recently, so it seemed like a great time to write these top 10 things to do in New York with teens.  If you are planning a trip

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

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

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.

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

It’s been all change here at Zena’s Suitcase these last couple of month’s, and things are on the up, mainly!  As there is so much going on I thought I’d give you a family update, and let you know how we are all getting along. Teen has just finished his A/S Levels, and fingers crossed it all went OK.  He played it all very cool, as he usually does.  He gave very little away after each exam, but I know he’s a very bright lad so I have the utmost

Teen has been learning to drive since January, and we are just getting to the point where he’s thinking about his theory test and preparing for his final practical test. It’s not going to be long before he’s on the road all by himself. I’m sure you can understand that, as a parent, that this is a pretty scary thought. I made sure he was prepared for getting into a car before being let lose on the road, and he took part in some lessons for under 17 year olds.

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

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

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.

My Teen is 16 years old.  He’ll be 17 in December.  I’ve been waiting, and waiting, and waiting some more for him to start experimenting with alcohol but nothing, zilch!  No falling in the door drunk, no cleaning up piles of puke and definitely no having to put him to bed in a comatose state. His friends have definitely began too.  I spoke to a Mum at the beginning of the holidays who’s son had come home a little tipsy after the end of the GCSE’s.  There had been a meet

After feeling like things were going a little awry with the teenager and the husband last week I decided a family day out was called for, the whole family.  We do a lot with the girls and leave the teenager at home quite often.  It often suits him that way but from time to time it’s important for us all to do something together.   Having such a big age gap in the family, 14 years to be exact, can be challenging when it comes to finding activities that we can

This summer is proving to be a tough one in some respects and I’m really starting to feel stuck in the middle.  We have a busy house, with a newborn, a toddler and a teenager and keeping the peace can be tricky sometimes.   My dear husband potters off to  work everyday which he has to do.  Work is work isn’t it, and where ever you are there is politics and power struggles.  I fear the seeds of resentment are setting in as he sees me at home enjoying maternity

Doesn’t it get harder to keep them busy the older they get?  It’s not that they need entertaining as such, but engaging them in meaningful activity is somewhat of a challenge! Some of you will already know that as well as the girls, I have a 16 year old boy.  He’s not a bad lad by any stretch of the imagination but the thought of him spending nearly 3 months in his room playing ******* before he starts 6th Form fills me with dread.  It doesn’t feel like productive time at

This week simply cannot pass by without some huge credit going to my teenage boy.  My regular readers may already know he is 16 and is currently in the thick of of GCSE’s.  He has worked very hard at school and home over the last few years to ensure he gets the grades he needs to get to Sixth Form and hopefully pursue a career in Software Engineering after University.  He is incredibly focused, but I’m not sure where he gets it from!   So what spanner does Mum throw

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