30 Oct 2012

Goodbye...

After watching the coverage of "Hurricane Sandy" today, it constantly amazes me how quickly things can change. Life holds no guarantees for anyone, and we are all oblivious to what is actually around the corner for us. Day by day, we go about our daily lives not expecting the worse, but hoping for the best. For both ourselves, our family and friends.

A year ago today something unexpected happened in my life. I lost my best friend of ten years. She didn't pass away, but fell into a tangled web of drugs, alcohol, lies and deceit. To watch her destroy herself and her family has been difficult. She has left her husband, walked away from her children, and turned her back on all her old friends.
I've tried hard, as many others have to be there for her, to help her mend her life and get back on track, but all attempts to help have fallen on deaf ears and she refuses to speak to anyone from her old life anymore.

We met when our sons started school, they became the best of friends and so did we. We spent many hours being "coffee buddies" The joy of watching our boys grow up together, and their friendship strengthen was a joy to us, our families were inseparable.

When things started to fall apart for my friend, it naturally began to affect her son, he fell completely off the rails and fell into a "not so nice crowd", a crowd that was known for getting into quite a lot of trouble. Being concerned for our sons well being, we as his parents had to make the decision to cut contact between the boys outside of school. It was tough, at thirteen he didn't completely understand our reasons for cutting his contact with his best friend, he was hurt, but for his sake we stood firm, and thankfully things for our boy have turned out just fine.

For me, I no longer have contact with my old friend. It hurts, a lot. I see her around now and then, she looks terrible, and as sad as it sounds I pray daily that I don't receive a call that she is no longer with us, I pray that she will pull herself out of this slump that she has fallen into, and comes to understand that she is worth saving and deserves to live a full and happy life.

So today, a year after I realized that I could no longer help you, its time to finally let go.
Its time to say goodbye to yesterday, to our friendship.
I think that I'm ready now.
Memories linger in my mind,
My thoughts connect our past.
Tears blur the present,
And hope for your future is in my heart.


28 Oct 2012

I Often Wear The "Bad Parent Crown".... Guilty As Charged

Raising teenagers can be a lot of fun, but it requires a delicate recipe for success. It's an emotional ride of raging hormones, misunderstandings, mood swings, rebellion and attitude, and these are just a few issues we face when dealing with teens.
They will test your limits, try your patience and push every one of your buttons. They will cause you to raise your eyebrows on many occasions, and how we deal with all of this can be difficult, it's like walking on thin ice, a mine shaft, and unfortunately mistakes will be made.

I was reading an article the other day on "common parenting mistakes", about half way through reading, I stopped short, realising that it could very well have been written about me.
I'm the first to admit that I have made many mistakes in my parenting years. Heck who hasn't ? I am yet to see a baby born clutching a "how to" manual, but to be confronted in black and white made me realise just how many of the "major mistakes" I have committed.
Sure, mistakes are prevalent in parenting, but the reality of how many I have made scared the pants of me.

 What have I done to my kids ?

I know at times I have been inconsistent with discipline. Sometimes I've been SO mad, that I have "over" punished by grounding, yelling, and taking privileges away, then feeling guilty later on, I've kind of let them off the hook !!! Bad parenting :(
I have not always made myself available to listen to my teens at the exact moment that they need me, sometimes life with a large busy family gets in the way. I'm not making excuses, I should always as a mother make myself available when needed, but sometimes it just doesn't happen. Again, bad parent ..... "guilty as charged"
But the number one parenting rule that I am guilty of breaking at one time or another, and am not proud of, is being the "friend" instead of the "parent" ....... BIG mistake !! these are of course not the only mistakes that I have made, but probably the biggest.
I don't claim to be a "super mum" or a "super parent", I am far from a perfect human being. Reading the article led me to evaluate my parenting, to reflect on the particular instances where I know that by making these mistakes I could very well be the wearer of  the "bad parent" crown, and this makes me want to change, to be the parent that my sons deserve.


So coffee in hand, and high heels on, I am going to make sure that I pull myself together and make a concerted effort to be a "good parent" a "consistent parent" and leave the "bad parent crown" in the rubbish bin where it belongs.
I'm not saying that I will no longer make mistakes, but hopefully the big ones will be left behind.




26 Oct 2012

Inspired By Beautiful Everyday Women !

Yesterday, I spent a few lazy hours with a coffee in hand, reading wonderful posts from many inspiring women that linked up with "We Heart Life" for their I Heart My Body campaign.
WOW !! I was actually lost for words. I was completely inspired, rocked to my very core.
I laughed, I teared up.

OK, you got me. I cried RIVERS.....

You ladies are amazing, you are brave, you are incredible, you are beautiful, and you all have every right to "love" your bodies, I so want to get to the place that you all appear to be at. I am completely in awe of you.

I use to be proud of the way I looked. I was fit, I was thin, I could wear anything, and even eat anything at all that I wanted. Now, five pregnancies later, and a lot of aging, I'd rather hide behind my bedroom door and not humiliate myself....
I'm not at all happy with the way I now look, and I have no one to blame but myself.
Only five years ago, I was a gym junkie, I spent about 2-3 hours a day, 5 days a week working out, I was a size 8-10, I was happy with my appearance and I felt worthy.
Fast track a few years, and I fell apart at the seems. I cant pin point exactly the moment that things changed,  I just know that things within didn't .... feel right I guess. I gained A LOT of weight :( I really let myself go, actually I kind of gave up, I didn't care. It had nothing at all to do with my family, they are my world, and have always been the light of my life, but it had everything to do with me, myself, and how I felt within. I no longer felt worthy. Just a shadow of myself.

Silly I know.

Today however, I have kind of pulled myself together (with a lot of help from my family) and I am slowly realising that maybe I am worth it, that maybe I can get back to the "old" me. It will be a lot of hard work, but I am ready and determined to make a change.
I am a long way off from "loving" my body, but every single one of those amazing ladies that joined in yesterday with the "I Heart My Body" campaign have inspired me to take a better look at myself, and maybe join in next year with a positive attitude, a smile, and the courage, to maybe take and share a picture of myself in a swimsuit........I SAID MAYBE !!

I may also know by then how to "link" up (I'm still learning this blogging process) LOL

Thank you EVERYBODY for sharing your stories, you truly are ALL amazing women and the people in your lives are so very lucky to have you xx

25 Oct 2012

My "Imperfect Children" Are "Perfect" To Me !!!

I must have been living under a rock for a long time, either that, or I am just plain ignorant. For years I thought that the "perfect child" was a myth. I was mistaken, and today this was pointed out to me !

Apparently, I was lucky enough to meet a "perfect child" today, and frankly I was disappointed.
There was no halo, or angel wings, no ethereal glow. The smiles and laughter was absent, and the childlike chatter of a child was missing, all that remained was just a small child sitting quietly between adults seemingly very sad and very lonely.

I was at my "imperfect" child's award ceremony, where as usual, the younger siblings of the school age children were playing games and laughing at the back of the hall, just generally having fun together, and in no way were they disturbing any of the assembly goings on. They were just kids being kids.

Sitting up the back, and to my right was a little girl sitting stiller then I, intently watching the other kids play with a longing look upon her gorgeous little face, she did not ask to play, she hardly moved, but her eyes were glued to those playing ! At one time, I caught the little girls eye and gave her a wink and a smile, I felt for her, knowing she would love to be mixing with the other kids, having fun, being involved, and making friends.
Her mother saw me caught me and said rather confidently,
"Isn't she just the perfect child, sitting there quietly ?"

Perfect child ? Is there such a thing ?

Me being me....
I think I shot myself in the foot again with my reply, said "I'm not perfect and neither are my children, so I wouldn't know what the perfect child looks like"
Whoops !! I think I upset that mother, it really wasn't my intention, please believe me ! I really do have foot in mouth syndrome sometimes I guess I made a mistake......
I got glared at...If looks could kill.

To me, this was not the picture of a perfect child. This was the sign of a little girl not allowed to live, to be free, to have fun, to be a child. Yes, there are times when children need to behave and all children should be bought up to have manners and to be considerate to others, but some times kids just need to be kids.
Don't get me wrong, I am hard on my kids where manners and behaviour are concerned, I like my children to present themselves well, to be polite and respectful, but I also know that there is a time and a place to let them go and enjoy themselves, to be apart of the laughter and fun surrounding them. The giggles and smiles from children (especially my own) make my heart burst with happiness, and no child should experience the feeling of being left out, for whatever reason.

What is this mother doing to this child ?
She has been on my mind all day.

I may be being harsh, and I apologize if I seem to be. After all I do not really know this mother, but to announce so proudly that your child is "perfect" is kinda off putting. I have never before met a perfect child (or adult for that matter) and if a "perfect child" is what this mother wants and has set out to create, then congratulations to her, in her eyes she has succeeded.

Me however, I am glad for my "imperfect children" they make me laugh, they make me cry. They know how to have fun and they know when to behave (well mostly) I wouldn't trade my "imperfect" kids for "perfect" kids, because to me they are "perfect" just the way they are, mischief making and all.....

24 Oct 2012

What Age Is Appropriate ? (Teens & Mobile Phones)

There is so much controversy over what age is appropriate to give your child a mobile phone.
I myself don't believe that there is any "magic" age, or any hard and fast rules about what age, is the right age to provide your child with a phone. All families and their situations are different, and so I believe it should be left up to the individual parent to make their own decision on what is best for their child.

Being in the "in" crowd means the world to teenagers, and if I am to be honest, this has always been the case, and is nothing new (I know it mattered to me how I was perceived in high school). Hanging out with the popular kids, being invited to their parties, and staying up to date with the latest technology and gadgets taking the world by storm, are on the minds of ALL teenagers.
Mobile phones have become very popular, and data shows that 76% of kids between the ages of 12-14 and 90% of kids ages 15-17 are mobile owners/uses, and having the "right" phone can become the be all, and end all, a "fashion statement" a "status symbol", and because mobiles have become the primary way that teens communicate, if your teen is "phone less", they may feel that they are being left out in the cold, but even though your teen may see being the owner of a mobile phone is a "cool factor magnet", most parents have an entirely different view, reliability is usually the first and foremost aspect of the phone that parents look for, not the latest and most expensive. Yes, kids will argue that your choice is not the "greatest" or the "coolest" and its not fair if they cant have the one they want, the one that the "cool" kids have, but remember that you are the parent (I have to remind my kids of this fact all the time, especially when they try to override my decisions, which they try to do ALL the time) try reminding them that any phone is better then no phone at all.

Like it or not, judge us if you will, but our boys were given a mobile when they started High School, mainly as a safety precaution, so that they always had a way to contact us when they were away from home, and so that we, their parents would be able to keep a track of their whereabouts (or at least do our best to try), and we also found that it gave them a sense of responsibility (and yes, it was a basic phone, no glamour or technical genius)
If your family decides to go ahead and provide your child with a phone, bare in mind that the way a teenager uses a phone is completely different to the way that adults do, and sitting down and discussing a few basic rules of use is a must !

  • Make sure that the number is only given out to people you know and trust
  • Program your number under ICE (emergency contact number) 
  • Let your child know that you are contactable at any time that you are needed, especially in an emergency
  • Discuss usage and cost. Set a monthly budget. I recommend starting out on pre-paid, that way you can keep track of their usage and you don't get the shock of a massive bill in the mail
  • Discuss phone etiquette and appropriate ways to use a mobile
  • Tell them that at any time you ask, you will be checking the content on their phone
  • Make sure that your child is aware that any inappropriate use will end up with the phone being confiscated
When we decided to allow our boys to have a mobile phone, we made it very clear that these rules were to be followed at all times, no matter what, and so far touch wood  we have had a successful mobile experience.

A mobile phone will become very important to your child, it will become a networking tool, and will provide them with a sense of belonging and ownership, and this is where the responsibility of owning a phone comes into action.
If you are in the middle of considering whether or not to allow your child to own a mobile, good luck, it is a big responsibility, a hard decision to make and one that shouldn't be taken on board lightly.

A necessary evil ? Or a fashion statement ?
The choice is yours 


.

23 Oct 2012

Mums Rant.....(sorry I'm having a melt down)

I'm having one of those days !
This mum is having a melt down....
I've lost the plot, and everyone is just going to have to deal with it !!

I slept inn ! and since last night was a late night out, no school lunches had been prepared. I lost an important school note, teen number three's laptop broke and of course that turned into an international crisis, which did not amuse me at 7am ! 
The cat clawed its way through two fly screens, milo was sent flying all over the clean floor. The dishwasher had a hissy fit, and didn't wash last nights dinner dishes, and I have grass all through my shag pile rug because NOBODY listens and thinks that it is OK to bring their grassy, smelly shoes in, even though the rule is NO shoes inside....but who am I to complain ? I'm just mum.

I have a laundry that I cant find, due to piles of dirty clothes, sheets and wet towels, and not one person in this household thought to help by making their bed this morning.....
I have nothing left in the pantry, except coffee and corn chips, and to top things off, I gained a huge zit on my chin overnight, that I am blaming on my family due to stress. I don't care if that is mean and awful of me, Its MY prerogative as a woman to blame who I choose when I'm having a day like this.........

Grrrrrrrr
Sorry,
I'm calm now, my rant is over.......
I think that I will light some candles, pour ANOTHER coffee, turn my P!nk CD up really loud and much on some corn chips, and if that doesn't help, this family of mine had better watch out when they come home, or they may just find that their list of chores has grown to include some of the jobs that us mums always seem to get stuck with, just because we are MUM !

21 Oct 2012

We found Coffee Heaven !

Today hubby and I took off for a few hours R&R.
We certainly needed it, in fact I think that we deserved it !!
So we left the teens at home to fend for themselves for a couple of hours and  headed off  for Coffee, cake and some time out from the everyday stress that life brings....
We jumped in the car and headed north to check out the Whitsunday Gold Coffee Plantation.

We were in coffee heaven !!  

Situated about an hours drive north of Mackay, and just past the small Whitsunday farming town of Proserpine, is the home of one of the largest coffee plantations in Australia and what is known as the home to the "Great Barrier Bean".
If you ever get the chance to visit this beautiful part of the world, a stop at the farming plantation and quaint coffee shop are a must......

I highly recommend it.



Indulge your senses and relax on the veranda of the farm house with a cup of awarding winning Arabica Coffee, take a guided tour of the plantation and certainly don't leave before checking out the wonderful products available in the gorgeous gift shop.
The staff are friendly and eager to answer any questions visitors may have, and go out of their way to make everyone feel welcome. It truly is a magical spot worth visiting.
The products we bought home.



This post was in NO way sponsored by "Whitsunday Gold Coffee" but I am sure that they would love for you to go ahead and check them out at
www.whitsundaygold.com

16 Oct 2012

Parenting another life force (Teens)

In the past few years, there has been a shift at my house, life is changing fast.  There has been a major change in attitude, a change in the way we function, and a whole new side of parenting to adjust to. We have turned a corner, and our family has morphed into a completely different style ...... We are growing up !!!  and it's not just the boys that are having to adjust. I for one have days when I struggle with the fact that I no longer have babies or little kids around the house, and I am sure that they struggle with mum still being in control (or at least trying to stay in control)
Come January, all my boys will have stepped through the door into teenage world, all four, are all of a sudden trying to find their own voices, and the place in this world where they belong, and at times, I feel as though I am being left behind.

As our kids grow, it seems to us parents that we are needed less and less in our children's lives, and it can be difficult to know when it is the right time to step in with advice and when to hold our tongues and let them wing it on their own. The teenage years are tricky, they don't believe that they need us, but in truth its the time in their life when they need us the most (weather they believe it or not).
Parenting is tough, no matter what the stage, the toughest job we are ever likely to have, but can also be the most rewarding. However just when you think you have everything all figured out, you turn a corner and head in a completely new direction.

Does it ever get any easier ? Sorry, but I cant say that it does.

Parenting my boys when they were younger was much easier. I seemed to be able to handle things in a much calmer, smoother way and the end result that I was after, was much easier to achieve.
To me, teens seem to be another life force altogether, a new species, one that I don't believe I have worked out quite yet even though I have had a few years experience with them now.
Why is saying no to teens never enough ? why does it seem as though the world is ending when they hear that word ? its as though you need to write a novel as to why you are actually saying no. It can be very painful, they argue and stomp around the place as if you told them they are to never be seen or heard from again ! and even though I try my best not to, I do sometimes  loose the plot and argue back. Childish ? Bad parenting ? Probably....but I am not perfect and have never claimed to be.

We have all been teenagers, and we all know that these are not easy times, but it is also easy to forget what these years were actually like for us, there are so many changes and challenges both physically and mentally, that we can all loose sight of what is important.
To help me through these trying times, (when I do actually keep my cool and try my best to understand) I try to follow a few easy steps to ensure that I am heard, that I am listening and hopefully reach a verdict that is acceptable by all parties involved.

  • Try to remember if you were ever in a similar situation as a teen and how you dealt with it.
  • Ask questions first. Do not accuse.
  • Stay calm and approachable (this is not always easy I know)
  • Involve your teen in decision making.
  • Set clear boundaries but also be flexible. 
  • Always be available
  • Be open and listen
  • And always make sure your teen knows that you are always there for them no matter what.
These tips are not always easy, and can get lost along the parenting road, but if we try and stick to the basics, parenting teens does not always have to be a bumpy, scary road to travel.

Happy parenting !!



14 Oct 2012

Beaches, wine and cake.......

Sunday afternoon exhaustion has set in, and those of us not at work (poor eldest boy wonder, but think of the $$ mate) are laying around the house relaxing with not much motivation to do anything else. We've had a great weekend. The decision to put the stress of our home renovations on hold for a few days and just chill, was exactly what we needed to do. (Our house has been a high stress avenue for a few weeks and the need to get away, talk and spend some quiet moments alone, was very much in need.

Our weekend began with a spare of the moment day trip to Cape Hillborough, which is located 20km North of our home town Mackay. A pristine beach, choice of walking tracks, great fishing spots and a lovely picnic area make this gorgeous out of the way spot a must to visit for the day, or for a longer break away, the "Nature Resort" is a wonderful, friendly place to stay.

We had a perfect family morning walking the beach and just spending a lovely time together taking in the beautiful surroundings that this fabulous location has to offer. We really do live in a beautiful part of the world, and should make more of an effort to enjoy it.

Returning home, we ended up with the request for extra teenage boys to stay the night...Unusual ? No, it's a weekly occurrence in our house! So we decided that a BBQ was the easiest option for dinner, and again set up the camp fire in the backyard as per request from the teenagers of the house, so they could again enjoy roasting marshmallows (this time mum behaved, and did not indulge).

As is usual with teenagers these days (well mine anyway) the outdoors finally lost its glowing interest, and the boys returned to their beloved PlayStation. Its a sad but true fact, that my boys will only tolerate so much fresh air per day (am I the only one that has to push their teenage boys outside?)

Anyway it was their loss, and my gain. Since the fire was still roaring away, hubby and I decided to take advantage of the peace and quiet, and we settled down by the fire with a glass of wine and spent the night talking and generally enjoying each others company, this was very much needed and very welcomed by us both. It's not that often we get time alone, and lately the stress of life has become a bit much, I think its time that we take a step back and return to the basics of life, its time to get of the roller coaster and slow things down, life is to short to do other wise.

That was our Saturday, a long but wonderful day, that we certainly need to repeat real soon...

Sunday morning bought the opportunity for me to escape the house, the kids and the general Sunday chores and head off to our River Front Coffee Club, who was holding another "Meet and Tweet" for Mackay Tweeters. This time hubby joined me for the meet and greet, but I think he is still none the wiser about how twitter works....lol  but that is jut fine with me, as twitter is MY thing ! Us Tweeters had a great time catching up with each other indulging in fine coffee and the wonderful complementary cake platters that the Coffee Club put on for us :) thanks guys, we had a really great time and I am sure that we will be meeting up again real soon.

So that was our busy weekend, a lazy Sunday night is on order, as tomorrow we begin the hectic "Eisteddfod" schedule, I'll be sure to let you all know how that goes :)

Cape Hillsborough


Wine by the fire
Complementary Cake













*This post was not sponsored by Cape Hillsborough Nature Resort or by the Riverfront Coffee Club Mackay.



10 Oct 2012

Really ! Were you born in a tent ?

Have you ever really stopped, and thought about how often you repeat yourself, day in and day out ? Over and over again ? How often as a mum, you literally sound like a broken record ?
I know what they say, that males have "selected" hearing, but I am seriously thinking that my boys are in need of hearing tests, either that or I need to make my own "mum" CD and just continuously let it play !
I'm over sounding like Polly the pet parrot, repeating myself all the time, my feathers are ruffled and enough is enough......

Shut the door, were you born in a tent ?
Your dirty clothes don't live on your bedroom floor
Hang up your wet towels
Get out of the fridge
Turn off the computer
Did you finish your homework ?
Did you feed the dog ?

And the list goes on and on and on......

It gets quite exhausting, and some days I could smack my head against a brick wall, but not a single difference would that make.   
I am mum ! this is my house and my rules are the law, there is no debating or questioning why, there is no bending or changing the rules to suit your individual needs. My rules are THE rules and if you want to be fed, clothed and a roof over your head, you WILL abide by these rules no questions asked .....

Right ????


It's really stressful being a parent, and all we want is the best for our kids, and to provide a safe and healthy life for them, laying down rules are a huge part of the parenting process, but kids, they see rules as parents trying to prevent them from having fun, from living a life of adventure and freedom, its all well and good to let kids have the freedom they so desire, but give them to much and walk all over you they will.
I guess when its all said and done, rules are all a part of the "tough love" angle, everywhere in life there are rules that need to be followed, and parents that enforce rules, are not actually being cruel (no matter what the child thinks) but are actually preparing their kids for what they will encounter later in life. Unfortunately, there will always be rules to follow, with no way around them, and that is just a part of life.....

So come on mums and dads, stick to your guns, make it clear that its your way or no way, we have a responsibility as parents to teach our kids right from wrong, its tough, I know, those ratty kids sure do give us a run for our money, but think about it, without rules we would be living a life full of mayhem and believe me, the stress of that would be ten times the amount of stress then arguing with a teen about rules !!
Our household has its fair share of "rule tantrums" and no matter how many parenting books I read, or advice I ask and take from others, its something that we as a family will always struggle with, teens and their hatred of rules is something that can never be avoided......

So I guess that when all is said and done, that this mum  will just have to  keep repeating myself, in the hope that one day, the simple rules that are constantly being ignored by my teens will sink in and when and if that day happens, I hope beyond hope that I will be sitting down coffee in hand, because the shock of it may just be a little to much to bare.....

Drink coffee and carry on





8 Oct 2012

The Boys Returned to School Today, and Mum Lost The Plot...

So here in QLD, the kids went back to school today, and mum, well I lost the plot !! Every time my kids return to school after more then a few days off, I spend the day giving the house a good tidy up, a bit of a scrub.
Mums, you know what I'm talking about, the little things that NEVER get done when you have kids floating around the house under your feet, the pointless things that are NOT worth attempting.

Well....... OK, the things that I refuse to attempt with messy, stinky teenage boys hanging around :)

Today however, I went a little overboard......
I went a little crazy, and it may just take me the rest of the week to get this house back to some sort of normality.
Instead of just vacuuming, dusting and floor washing, I ripped curtains from their rods, move lounges and desks from their moorings, scrubbed windows inside AND out (I hope your sitting down while you read this ladies) and, think that I may even have upset the computer when it took a journey to the other side of the room, away from the glare of the sun, (all the better to skype on now).

I'm worn out, I'm quite buggered actually, but I feel good at the same time, the lounge area feels fresh, clean and all sparkly, even the boys noticed a difference when they walked in the door from school, YES the boys noticed.....Imagine that !!

Tomorrow, I am moving onto the boys rooms, look out ! (here is where it will get scary) a culling and a cleaning this mum will be. I will be sure to take all outcasts to lifeline and be finished before they (my boys) get home from school, I have learnt over the years never to involve the boys when mum is on a culling mission (I believe that I may be raising hoarders) OMG NO !!!
So tonight a good sleep is needed if I am to achieve the impossible tomorrow........

Oh and by the way, the boys first day of term four, went really well, here's to a fabulous last term for 2012....  

4 Oct 2012

Puberty Blues

Chiko rolls, fish and chips, wrapped in news paper, ham steaks topped with rings of pineapple. The days when being called a "mole"were the harshest words spoken between friends, and who could forget the heartbreaking line "your dropped".

It was different back then, life was much easier.
Was it ?
Being a teen today is more traumatic, or so we are told.
Is it really ?

I wasn't going to watch the TV series, I didn't really want to be transported back in time, after all, with raising four teenage boys of my own at the moment, that alone is enough to make me feel as though I am living in the middle of my own "Puberty Blues" show, but watch I did (really couldn't help myself) and I, like so many other Aussies, got sucked right in.

After watching the series, and reflecting back on my own teenage years, I began to wonder how much different being a teen now days really is.
I cant see such a huge difference between teen issues today and yesteryear to be honest, I just think that today's teens are a lot more aware and much less naive then we were, they seem to grow up a lot faster, and are a lot less innocent, and there are many factors that have helped contribute to this.
The media, and social media are predominant features of our lives these days (especially teens) and I believe that both families and schools  are more open to discussion, resulting in more communication between adults and teens. It's these factors that have helped bring issues such as drug and alcohol use and teen pregnancies to the forefront, and unlike the teens of yesteryear, today's teens have no shame in discussing these issues, the majority of topics such as these were "taboo" when I was a teen, and discussions about sex were a BIG no, no.

It's great for teens to have an open communication line with their parents, I certainly hope that I have made it easy for my boys to be able to come to me and openly have discussions about anything that they feel they need to know and ask, I know that sometimes approaching a parent about certain topics can be down right embarrassing and often awkward, when I was growing up, I found it very hard to approach my parents on certain topics, and this is where I believe teens today have been able to gain more confidant knowledge on the ups and downs of becoming an adult.

Communication and understanding are the keys to an open relationship with your teen, two things that sadly lack in some families. Puberty is a hard time, and being able to lean on someone to help you through can make it a wonderful (although still difficult) experience.
At the end of the day, teens will still be teens, and just like the TV show portrayed, each teen will react to different situations in their own unique way, parents can only do so much to support and guide their teens, in the end the choices that they make come down to themselves and all we as parents can do is be there to give our love, support and understanding.

If you have a teen or teens in your home, I wish you luck, it can be a bumpy ride for all involved, but I ask you please to be open and understanding, if you feel that you are reaching your wits end (and believe me you will not be alone there) take a step back and think about how you were at their age, and just maybe you will see that your teen is just a reflection of you at the same age.

*Sigh* Puberty Blues, a part of life that we all go through, that cant be ignored but with the right tools can be a journey of joy and enlightenment for all !!

1 Oct 2012

School Holidays Are For Fun

I just love the lazy days of Spring, it's my favorite time of year, and having a two week school break just tops it off nicely. Here in sunny QLD the weather is perfect, hot enough to swim and enjoy the outdoors but not that hot you melt like butter and feel all yicky !!
Usually at this time of year, our family goes away for a few days, but due to a few unexpected hurdles, the boys have had to be satisfied with lazy days of fun in their own backyard.
Lucky for us, we live in a beautiful part of the world that offers us many wonderful places to explore, keep us entertained, busy, smiling, active and happy.

No matter how old your kids are, it can be difficult to keep them from becoming board during School breaks, and if you have teenagers like mine, they think that money grows on trees and that mum and dad have an endless supply mum would like an endless supply  but unfortunately for many, including us right now, this is not the case, so keeping them happy and entertained can be a difficult task (believe me I know).

Planning is a must if you want to make sure that your teens stay focused and involved in life, otherwise they would be happy to sleep the day away and think that living in "cyber" world is the only "cool" way to fly !!

(Cyber world is mums world now ! Move over teens)

What are your plans for Spring break ?
As we head into week two of our school holidays we have a few days of fun planned.

Last night the boys set up the tent and "camped out" in our backyard, we shared a family BBQ then later in the evening we cracked open a BIG bag of marshmallows, and mum and dad happily supervised their toasting (mum of course joined in and had her fair share as well) the boys made their own fun and ran around having fun with sparklers, and chasing the dog ! the sound of laughter was music to my ears and a great time was had by all.

BBQ's at the beach are always great fun at this time of year, and a family favorite, we have a few of those planned for this week .... don't forget the footy, togs and towels.
A trip to our local strawberry farm is also high on our to do list YUM !! I'm sure that as usual, the boys will eat more then they pick :)

These are just a few ideas that our family plans to make the remaining days of our school break fun !

 
 Happy Spring Break everyone, and enjoy making memories.




DIY QUICK & EASY WALL ART - TWO WAYS !

With Spring in the air, it seems as though I have my craft and diy mojo back. FINALLY ! I have no idea where it went, maybe it was jus...