If you asked people what’s the most important, toughest job they’ve ever had and yet the one with the least training and support what would they say? If you thought about it for a minute most people with kids would say parenting!
When the kids are, young there is quite a bit of support, post-natal groups, The NCT, parents at the school gates etc but when your kids hit the “tween” and teenage years you’re much more on your own. That’s where the NTT (National Teen Trust) comes in, they seek to give parents of kids at these ages some support in dealing positively with the many and various challenges of the teenage years. The issue is that the challenges are different than they were when we were kids, so parents, (who’s own “training” is simply how they were parented), can struggle. For the young people, the world’s a rapidly changing place and the pressures and stresses of being a teenager are greater than ever; not only that, social media can amplify and broadcast “normal” teen problems and issues making it that much harder for young adults and their families to deal with.
So recently a group of parents from St Peter’s participated in a series of evening sessions called “The Teen Building Toolkit”. It was a great group, where people could discuss parenting challenges. It enabled them to explore and learn some of the content of psychological ideas and specific communication skills in very practical way to apply to our own family situations. There was also a strong element of fellowship, of just being able to share and discuss things that enable people to realise they are not alone in facing challenges or difficulties. We concluded that in the lovely, high performing St Albans bubble it was invaluable to be able to have a supportive (and fun!) environment where we could talk frankly and learn.