One of the tasks of my new job is to liaise with schools to let them know which Parenting Support programmes we are running in their area over the coming months and today I was back in the Tenby area. I think all told I managed to visit about eight schools in Tenby and the surrounding towns and villages including Manorbier, Saundersfoot, St.Florence and others; by the time I got home I was exhausted (again). I’m not sure if it’s the driving or the effort of talking to lots of people that don’t know me from Adam but lately all I want to do is sleep.
Last night I had a bit of a late night as I agreed to do a little taster session for some parents in Milford Haven; the nice thing about that was that it went so well that no one wanted to go home which gives me faith. The programme I run is directed at parents of teenagers (colleagues do other courses related to under 10s and under 4s) and it’s really tough for people to acknowledge they are struggling. Thinking back to when I had three teenagers in the house it was a nightmare, I didn’t have a clue and there were no support programmes then.
In today’s world the job seems even harder because parents feel as though much of their disciplinary controls (for want of a better phrase) have been taken off them as a result of children being given more rights at a time when the nastier end of new technologies sees cyber bullying increasingly easier, bringing about even more complex issues for parents to manage – assuming they know even their child is at risk at all given how secretive kids can be.
Probably the last thing parents want their kids to know is that they are attending a Parenting Support programme and so great effort is put into finding venues miles away from schools and from places where the ‘enemy’ may hang out; times are important too making sure sessions take place when it’s guaranteed the kids are in a class somewhere.
Struggling to cope with mouthy, aggressive, selfish teenagers doesn’t make a bad parent; in my view even voicing that to someone else makes them a brilliant parent. I wish I had had the balls to say it at times when I struggled. My advice, for what it’s worth, is if you are struggling to cope (with what is acknowledged as being one of the toughest jobs in the world today) go and grab that support……..but whatever you do….don’t let the enemy know!
Meanwhile, it’s the weekend. And if I don’t post anything during that hallowed time it’s because I’m out with my dog x have a great one x