Tweens, Teens & Beyond #24

It's Tuesday which can only mean one thing - it is time for yet another week of Tweens, Teens & Beyond hosted by myself and fellow bloggers, Sharon at After The Playground and Nicky at Not Just The Three of Us.

I hope that everyone has had a happy and productive week.  My eldest teen was home from University for the weekend.  I am not quite sure what I was expecting after four weeks of not seeing him, but thinner wasn't one of them bizarrely, after all he is in catered accommodation.  Needless to say I spent the weekend fussing like an old mother hen and force feeding him at every opportunity.  As my husband says I wouldn't be happy unless I was worrying about one of my teens for some reason or another!

It is difficult to always find time to join link-ups so it was great to see some of our old linkers return last week Sharon at Everyone's Buck Stops Here and Janet at Falcondale Life. With another varied and creative selection of posts nominating a favourite was tough but we would like to give a special shout out this week to Shailaja from Diary of A Doting Mum with her post on the Power of Silence.  I am sure as parents this is one that we will all identify with as Shailaja talks about overcoming our instinct to nag our children to get on with their studies and to use the power of silence to communicate a point. I have to confess I find this a tough one to implement but sometimes less is more!  Do pop over and take a read.

Now onto this week.

Please take some time to read the rules below before linking and please remember the golden rule of blogging is to share the linky love and remember to comment.  We look forward to reading your posts.

Linky Rules

Please could you:

  • Grab the Tweens,Teens & Beyond  badge and add it to the bottom of your post or your side bar by copying the code and adding it into the text version of your post - if you need help read this Linky Guide from Becky at Cuddle Fairy or tweet one of us.
  • Link up one post, old or new (sponsored and review posts are welcome but not other linky's please) that relate to children over the age of 10 years (Tweens, Teens or young adult children) and midlife.
  • Tweet us @motherofteensuk, @DrSharonParry1 and @nickykentisbeer
  • Comment on the hosts' posts and AT LEAST one other of your choice using the linky hashtag #TweensTeensBeyond 
  • Share any posts that you love, we are all about sharing!

What we will do for you:

  • All three of us will comment on your post and share it on Twitter.
  • Your post will be pinned to the #TweensTeensBeyond Linky Pinterest Board
  • Each week, we will select our favourite post which will be featured on all of our sites and shared on Social Media
  • By entering the link you are agreeing to be added to the email reminder list.  (You can request to be removed at any time!)

 

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Review – The ResMed S+ Sleep Tracker

A  good night's sleep is increasingly regarded not only as the best but the most crucial medicine for our health.  Without it not only are we operating below par in the short term, but long term we are susceptible to a range of life threatening illnesses.

Our health is our wealth and in a society where there is no longer a clear demarcation between work and leisure, never has the value of sleep been more pertinent. In the words of Thomas Dekker "Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and bodies together."  The shorter your sleep, the shorter your life.

Sleep is fashionable. Talk about sleep routines, sleep hygiene and sleep apps is commonplace and only last week the Nobel Peace Prize for Medicine was awarded to a trio of scientists for their discoveries relating to the Circadian Rhythm, the human sleep/wake cycle that dictates our need for sleep.  We are quite literally a nation obsessed with sleep.  I confess to being one of those people.  So does that make me a sleep bore?  Personally I would like to think of myself as being "bang on trend", although I am sure my teenagers would almost certainly disagree.

So with my confession to sleep obsession firmly on the table, you won't be surprised to hear that when asked to review the ResMed S+ Sleep Tracker I jumped at the chance.

What Is The ResMed S+?

Quite simply it is the world's first non-contact sleep tracker.   If you are still wearing a fitness band on your wrist to monitor your sleep (which I was) then I am sorry to be the bearer of bad of news, but you are behind the times.  Things have moved on - considerably!

Widely regarded as the technology dunce in our family, I was firmly pushed to one side by my geek husband and youngest teenager when the ResMed S+ arrived.  Never have they been so keen to help and as each stage was completed my husband could be heard muttering "This is such a clever bit of kit."  

Despite being overpowered on this occasion, I can assure you setting it up is straightforward even for someone like me. You simply sync it with your smartphone or tablet, set up an account, answer a few questions about yourself and your lifestyle (honestly of course as my husband kept reminding me) and you are ready to go.

To look at, the ResMed S+ is quite simply a shiny white box encased in brushed steel, a bit new-age in appearance but nonetheless sleek and stylish, which is exactly what you want from something that is going to be on your bedside, or at least I do!

Of course it is not as basic as all that.  Inside the white box are all the brains and sensors of the machine which are going to help advise you on getting a good night's sleep.  A LED glows red in the middle of the box when the S+ is on but not connected and green when your phone is in the vicinity. The white box tilts in the frame so you can angle it towards you regardless of the height and position of your bedside and this is important to check each night because if it is not angled correctly it quite simply won't record, as I found out to my detriment on a couple of occasions.

ResMed S+ @Mother of Teenagers

Sleep Tracking

When it is time to turn in for the night, the ResMed S+ monitors the light, noise and temperature in your room and recommends the ideal levels for the perfect sleep environment.  Then you hit the sleep button on the app and answer a few questions on your specific state before going to sleep, namely how stressed you were that day, how many caffeinated and alcoholic drinks you consumed and how much exercise you did.  After that you can choose to clear your mind and relax ready for sleep.

The mind clear feature I found particularly useful. Like most mothers, I go to bed with a multitude of things going around in my brain from that day and in anticipation of the next.  Mind Clear enables you to either record a voice text or enter a text message to get the thoughts out of your head before going to sleep.  It certainly worked for me and is better than waking in the middle of the night and reaching for a notepad and a pen.

After this you either set the SmartAlarm and/or turn on a calming sound to send you to sleep.  To be honest with this feature I think it is down to personal taste.  My husband rather liked being lulled to sleep by the sound of crashing waves whereas I found it irritating, but then again I am exactly the same if I have a facial, I cannot stand the background tubular bells style music that is intended to help you relax, so I think this probably says more about me than the feature.

The flip side of this, however, is the Smart Alarm which I LOVED.  This gives you a 15 minute window during which to wake and get up, so if your alarm is set for 7am the Smart Alarm starts easing you into the morning around 6.45am with gentle sounds which start off quietly and gradually increase to the point when you need to get up.  As a non-morning person this for me was a much better way to be woken up than the harsh, uncivilised ringing of an alarm bell, whereas my husband who loves mornings and jumps out of bed at the first sound of the alarm found this pointless.  We agreed to differ on these features. But then again it was my sleep it was monitoring not his, he just happened to be nearby!

The Sleep Data

In order for your data to be collected you do have to have your phone plugged in.  Now as a firm believer of "no phones in the bedroom"  and insisting my teens leave theirs downstairs when they go to bed, this seemed counter-intuitive but on the plus side once you have confirmed you are going to sleep, the screen does not emit the bright blue light that stops your brain producing the melatonin you need to nod off.  As this is one of the biggest reasons screens are discouraged in the sleep environment, this was my rationale when challenged by my teens.

So here is the really interesting part and the bit that I think sets the ResMed S+ apart from all the other sleep trackers I have used and that is the score and analysis of your sleep.

Forget the basics of how many hours you have slept, the ResMed S+ breaks your sleep down into four components, Deep, Light, REM and Wake, the latter including the time it took you to fall asleep and any disruptions during the night.   Each has an ideal score for your age and gender and your personal sleep score is measured against each of these.

Sleep restores us both mentally and physically and each morning you can see what you achieved overall for your mind (REM) and body (Deep) within the ideal scenario.  Both of these stages are vital to our well-being but it is the balance of time spent in both of these phases that will make the difference between the general feeling we all get on waking of having slept well or not.

The first night I used the tracker was the weekend prior to my eldest teen leaving for university. Probably not a good time, but then again I wanted to see the bad bits of my sleep, not just the good.  Not surprisingly perhaps with a house full of teens invading the house after a farewell party for my son, my sleep score was rubbish and disturbances plentiful on the first night.  Ditto the next night, prior to his departure. The mind clear feature came into its own on this occasion as I woke frequently agonising over what we might have forgotten to pack, so when I woke sluggish and fretful the next morning with a deadline for departure and a husband telling me to hurry up, I could at least refer to my middle of the night notes!

Unfortunately my sleep did not improve much over the next few days after dropping him off and my worst recorded sleep score was 53 but this was probably a good place to start.  My life and that of my family was changing big time so what better place to start with improving my sleep than at the bottom?

The ideal sleep score is 100.  My highest score to date has been 98, but the journey in between has been so interesting and it is not over yet.

As well as your score the S+ Mentor feature gives you advice aimed at improving your sleep going forward, obviously with the view that you make adjustments and your score goes up.  After one particularly poor reading this was its personalised suggestion.

People of your age typically get 6h 17m of total sleep time, 1h 26m of REM, 1h 6m of deep sleep and 3h 44m of light sleep.Your REM sleep last night was 0h 34m. REM sleep is the time when the majority of your dreams occur.  Try the Relax to Sleep feature which senses your breathing rate and matches the speed of the sound to it. Slow the sound by slowing your breathing and then follow the sound as it leads you into a relaxed state and finally into sleep.

I find the analysis of how long I spend in each stage of sleep fascinating and it is easy to see how sleep becomes addictive.  I love sleep but what the ResMed S+ has made me realise is that over the summer I have become lax with my normal sleep routine which quite simply is having a detrimental impact upon the quality of my sleep.

I have been using the ResMed S+ now for three weeks and interestingly the nights I have slept the deepest are when my husband is away on business.  I have no way of knowing for sure but when my sleep history shows disturbances I generally assume it is due to his snoring.  I am not quite sure where that leaves me or us for that matter but I have made progress and I have loved the tips proffered along the way - although clearly there were none suggesting I sleep alone!

The Value of Sleep 

I have written previously about my battle with menopausal insomnia and my efforts to find a solution to those specific issues, but that midlife crisis aside, a good night's sleep is a prerequisite for life and particularly as we age. Adults aged 45 years or older who sleep less than six hours a night are 200% more likely to have a heart attack or stroke in their lifetime than those clocking up seven or eight as recommended by the World Health Organisation.

Matthew Walker, neuroscience professor at Berkeley, California believes we are in the midst of a "catastrophic sleep-loss epidemic".  He claims that in the UK alone, the NHS spends an eye-watering £50 million a year on prescriptions for sleeping tablets but that sleep loss costs the UK economy over £30bn a year in lost revenue.   You don't have to be a genius to realise that there is something wrong there somewhere.  In his book Why We Sleep, Walker argues that the real need is to get to the root cause of why we are not sleeping and remedy it.

Achieving the correct amount of quality sleep is a discipline  With the help of the ResMed S+ I have started to redress the balance.  Of course it is not a perfect science.  Living gets in the way sometimes and as a result there have been peaks and troughs in my sleep journey but like with everything else in life it is work in progress.  The quest for perfect quality sleep continues and whether that will come with a 100 sleep score I am yet to find out.  In the meantime, as Homer said "There is a time for many words and there is also a time for sleep."

 

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.  I was given a ResMed S+ in exchange for this review, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own and unbiased.   

The ResMed S+ is available from John Lewis and Amazon for £129.95.

 

 

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Tweens, Teens & Beyond #23

Good morning, it's that time of the week again when Sharon, Nicky and I look forward to your posts about all things Tween, Teen & Young Adult related plus those bits that apply to us as the adults behind those years.

Our favourite post from last week was from Oscar at Oscar's Reviews.  Oscar is a 12 year old who is an Autism sufferer.  We have always enjoyed Oscar's posts here on the linky and this post was no exception.  Oscar shared a video giving his perspective on Autism and how it affects him.  You can read 12 Year Old Autistic Boy Describes his Condition here.

We found this post truly remarkable, not only because we get to meet the young man behind Oscar's Reviews but also for the way in which he raises awareness of Autism through his words.  Truly inspirational and a must read for all of us.  Thank you Oscar, you are a very worthy winner.  If you didn't take a read last week please do pop back and give him a thumbs up.

Now onto this week.

Please take some time to read the rules below before linking and please remember the golden rule of blogging is to share the linky love and remember to comment.  We look forward to reading your posts.

Linky Rules

Please could you:

  • Grab the Tweens,Teens & Beyond  badge and add it to the bottom of your post or your side bar by copying the code and adding it into the text version of your post - if you need help read this Linky Guide from Becky at Cuddle Fairy or tweet one of us.
  • Link up one post, old or new (sponsored and review posts are welcome but not other linky's please) that relate to children over the age of 10 years (Tweens, Teens or young adult children) and midlife.
  • Tweet us @motherofteensuk, @DrSharonParry1 and @nickykentisbeer
  • Comment on the hosts' posts and AT LEAST one other of your choice using the linky hashtag #TweensTeensBeyond 
  • Share any posts that you love, we are all about sharing!

What we will do for you:

  • All three of us will comment on your post and share it on Twitter.
  • Your post will be pinned to the #TweensTeensBeyond Linky Pinterest Board
  • Each week, we will select our favourite post which will be featured on all of our sites and shared on Social Media
  • By entering the link you are agreeing to be added to the email reminder list.  (You can request to be removed at any time!)

 

 

Mother of Teenagers

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Tweens, Teens & Beyond #22

Hello, I am now firmly back on British soil and glad to be hosting another week of Tweens, Teens & Beyond with my co-hosts Sharon at After The Playground and Nicky at Not Just The Three Of Us.

We are always delighted that so many of you take the time to drop by and share your posts. We have a die-hard set of loyal UK linkers who have been with us since the early days as well as many others around the blogging globe and we are all very grateful for your continued support.  It is always nice too to welcome more new linkers each week.  Please do keep spreading the word and help us to grow the community some more.

Our shout out post from last week goes to Not Just Another Mum and her post on safety in London.  As a Londoner I like many others feel the need to continue life as normal in the wake of all the atrocities but I would be lying if I said that with teenagers travelling around the city on a daily basis I don't worry.  I do but we cannot bring up our children in an environment of fear.  Do pop over, have a read and share the love if you haven't already.

Now onto this week.

Linky Rules

Please could you:

  • Copy the badge HTML code and add it into the text version of your post to display it on the post you are linking up or your side bar.
  • Link up one post, old or new (sponsored and review posts are welcome but not other linky's please) that relate to children over the age of 10 years ie Tweens and Teens or lifestyle topics.
  • Tweet us @motherofteensuk, @DrSharonParry1 and @nickykentisbeer
  • Comment on the hosts' posts and AT LEAST one other of your choice using the linky hashtag #TweensTeensBeyond 
  • Share any posts that you love, we are all about sharing!

What we will do for you:

  • All three of us will comment on your post and share it on Twitter.
  • Your post will be pinned to the #TweensTeensBeyond Linky Pinterest Board
  • Each week, we will select our favourite post which will be featured on all of our sites and shared on Social Media
  • By entering the link you are agreeing to be added to the email reminder list.  (You can request to be removed at any time!

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How Do We Build Our Teenage Girls’ Self-Esteem?

Has your daughter ever called herself ugly?  If so how did you react?  Did you - like me - respond with a sharp intake of breath and a vehement "No you are not!"?

At the time of this shock announcement from my daughter I was in Paris on a girls trip, basking in the early evening sun, glass of wine in hand, overlooking the courtyard of the Louvre, after an afternoon touring the Dior Exhibition. My happiness boxes at the time were well and truly ticked.

The call started innocently enough with general chit chat about school, her mates, her test scores, hockey practice and then bam! Out of nowhere "Mum I'm so ugly.  It'not fair. Being a teenager really sucks!"

Only six months ago she had challenged the perception of pretty described by her classmates, dismissing it as no more than the stuff of barbie doll dreams and flying the flag for being an individual not a type; championing the value of personality over beauty.  Maybe as a result of this I had rested on my laurels too much, confident that she was well rounded and as such had missed some vital signs along the way.

My response was met with the retort "You are my mother, you have to say that!" As mothers we all want our children to be happy and that means shouldering their anxieties too when they come along.  I had spent 14 years trying to bring up a confident young lady, who I hoped would embark on this final stage of her journey to adulthood feeling good about herself.  Everyone praises her outward social confidence but if she felt like this inside had I failed?  UCL's recent Millenium Cohort Study revealed that a quarter of 14-year old girls are depressed.  Did this episode make my daughter one of them?

My maternal heart strings had been pulled and right then all I wanted was to see her beautiful face, her wide grin, give her a big hug and remove this "ugly" word from her list of personal adjectives.  But until I returned home, words were all I had at my disposal.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Ugly like hate is a strong word, reserved for extreme circumstances. There are those that argue if beauty is in the eye of the beholder then ugly must be too.  It is like a good bottle of wine, all a question of personal taste and what one person finds beautiful or ugly will be different to the next.

This is not, however, about defining what is ugly but rather pinpointing what we as mothers of teenage girls can do to boost their self-esteem.  A strong sense of self gives them the emotional scaffolding they need to handle these moments of self-doubt and criticism.  No-one had called my daughter ugly, just herself and even if it is just the once that is enough.

Beauty and appearance are thorny issues when raising girls.  Our girls are vulnerable.  All it takes is one throw away comment at the wrong time and their sense of self-worth can become quickly wrapped up in this  body image nightmare, which even if they don't come to it until later, is still an issue to be confronted, not trivialised or ignored.

Dove's Self-Esteem Project (DSEP) is committed to helping young girls as well as women have a healthy and positive relationship with the way they look.  Part of this is their Uniquely Me programme which gives parents heaps of practical advice and activities to help their daughters remove the emphasis on looks and focus on their inner "me" to boost their confidence.

So what can we do as parents?

  • Model a healthy self-image.  Therapist Michele Kambolis says “Our words and actions have a powerful impact on our children.”  If we as mothers adopt a self-critical approach we risk our daughters following suit.
  • Praise them not only about their looks but for their effort.  Saying “I really like the way you put your outfit together” instead of “You look gorgeous”, puts the focus on their effort being the most important element, not the end result.
  • Don't under-estimate the significance of fathers.  Daughters look to their fathers for assurance, guidance and approval.  In her book Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters Meg Meeker argues that a father has a valuable role to play in in guiding his daughter through a potentially toxic culture.  I was glad my daughter had her father whilst I was away, they have a strong bond and he was quick to intervene.
  • Congratulate them on all their achievements and don't forget to praise their imperfections as well. Remind them that life is not perfect all of the time and mistakes and disappointments provide valuable life lessons too.

Alison Bean, a fellow mother of teenagers, counsellor and psychotherapist had this advice when I asked her:

"As a mother the most important thing to remember is to communicate with our children. Encourage them to talk about how they feel, and why they feel ugly or dislike themselves. Don't dismiss their negative thoughts. This may be hard to hear at first, and all you want to do is cry out " you're beautiful to me inside and out" but their feelings are real to them and need to be acknowledged. As parents we need to make a conscious effort to balance our own compliments to them and try to direct our praise away from just their appearance and focus on the things they are good at; sports they play, art or creative work they excel in, musical instruments they play. Furthermore encourage them to spend more time with people they feel happy with, family members or close friends who don't constantly judge. This will help them to feel better about themselves, which in turn increases their self esteem and self worth."

In our family, we advocate a philosophy of sharing which I hope allows our teenagers to express their concerns, but more importantly gives us the opportunity to step in and provide support before an issue manifests itself into something bigger.  Our teenagers need to know that we are on their side as parents and nothing is more valuable than unconditional love for those moments when their confidence takes a knock.

 

I would love to hear from you if you have had a similar experience or have some thoughts to share on building self-esteem.  

 

 

 Mum Muddling Through DIY Daddy

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tweens, Teens & Beyond #21

Good morning gorgeous linkers! Thank you for joining us for another week of Tweens, Teens & Beyond.  I hope you have all had a glorious week.  I am writing this from Paris, where I have enjoyed a few days courtesy of a gorgeous friend to mark my 50th year.

The weather has been glorious so we have soaked up the sun in the parks and indulged in a lot of alfresco dining.  We have visited the totally fabulous Dior exhibition as well as that of Irving Penn the Vogue photographer, both of which seemed apt ahead of Fashion Week and of course no girly trip to Paris would be complete without a spot of shopping along Avenue Montaigne.  The credit card has certainly taken a bit of a battering.

We had some really interesting posts last week and as always it was difficult to nominate a favourite but we would like to give a shout out to a new Tweens, Teens, Beyond linker Celine at Bell From Bow on the demise of snogging.

Reading it in the romantic capital of the world away from my husband, it certainly made me smile.  I love Celine's fresh writing style and it comes as no surprise to me that she has been nominated for an award at the BiB's this weekend.  If you didn't read it the first time around do pop back and take a look.

Now onto this week.

Linky Rules

Please could you:

  • Grab the badge below and add it to the bottom of your post or your side bar or link back to the host.
  • Link up one post, old or new (sponsored and review posts are welcome but not other linky's please) that relate to children over the age of 10 years ie Tweens and Teens or lifestyle topics.
  • Tweet us @motherofteensuk, @DrSharonParry1 and @nickykentisbeer
  • Comment on the hosts' posts and AT LEAST one other of your choice using the linky hashtag #TweensTeensBeyond 
  • Share any posts that you love, we are all about sharing!

What we will do for you:

  • All three of us will comment on your post and share it on Twitter.
  • Your post will be pinned to the #TweensTeensBeyond Linky Pinterest Board
  • Each week, we will select our favourite post which will be featured on all of our sites and shared on Social Media
  • By entering the link you are agreeing to be added to the email reminder list.  (You can request to be removed at any time!

 

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Students Spend Nearly £400 In Freshers’ Week

How much is Freshers' Week costing your teen?  Research  I read this week shows that students across the UK can spend around £400 in Freshers' Week.  Put this in the context of the average annual student maintenance loan of £1500 and the reality of the maths is scary.

As the mother to a Fresher myself this year, I know first hand the financial pressures involved and whilst staggering, sadly this figure does not surprise me.  What does surprise me is that the biggest spending city according to the research isn't London but Edinburgh, with past and present students spending an average of £426 during Freshers' Week and Bristol students spending the least at £334.

Tuition fees and accommodation costs aside, before even setting foot on campus for Freshers' Week, students have numerous additional start up expenses including insurance, the TV licence fee, access to the university internet, a student rail card and of course the all important books.  Yes of course some of these costs span generations and had to be paid in my university days, but for the 21st century student the impact of inflation on day to day living, makes that first week so much tougher.

Paying for entry to Freshers' parties, signing up to become a member of various clubs and societies and simply going out and being sociable with new-found friends, places huge financial pressure upon our teens and it is easy to see how this number can be reached so quickly.

In fact the rising cost of being a student has meant that twice as many students who graduated last year compared to 2015 or earlier, felt unable to actually enjoy themselves at Fresher's Week and with such a current emphasis on the mental health of our young people this is a worrying statistic, with potentially far-reaching consequences.

For many leaving home for the first time, keeping track of their spending is a daunting task.  They have worked hard for their exams but it doesn't end there, there is still more to come.  Going through our son's allowance with him before he headed off, it suddenly dawned on him that he would need to manage his budget carefully.

He worked hard to save for the customary bucket holidays with his mates over the summer as a final farewell to those fond and cossetted schooldays, but come last weekend he was close to penniless before his loan dropped into his account.

Numbers are his thing, so dropping him at university we had high hopes, that he of all people would manage it. Needless to say and maybe like most parents, we gave him a cash bonus as we left, to ease the pain of the first night at least.  Only 72 hours in and we had our first anxious call about the possibility of exceeding his allowance, alongside a text saying "it is not me to be fair, it is just how Freshers' is".

Has peer pressure got anything to do with it?  Well the research says yes and no doubt as a young teen trying to make an impression and not wanting to be left out of the party bubble in the first week, no doubt it has.

But what do those in the know say?  London is littered with universities, so I contacted London South Bank University for an opinion on Freshers' spending.  Student Advice Manager, Chris Wright said "For many students when they get their student loan it is the first time they are receiving such a significant amount of money in one go, therefore it is easy for them to overspend during Freshers' as they think they will have a lot left. Freshers’ is an opportunity for many to meet new people and to have a good time; everyone is trying to keep up as they do not want to be left out. Therefore many will spend money not taking into account that other students are maybe spending money they have saved over the summer or that their parents have given them, or that they have earnt.  Students can also see their loan as a way to update their wardrobe and to buy the things they have wanted for a long time, especially if they are going to events and would like to make a good impression on their peers."

The bitter truth is that the maintenance loan doesn't cover all the costs.  So is it another case of falling back on the bank of mum and dad?  No parent wants their teenager stressed.  How far can we or are we able to go to support them in their ambition?

Of course there will always be those parents (for whom money is no object) who do step in and bail their teens out, but life's harsh lessons are not learnt that way.  There comes a time when the safety net of mum and dad needs to be removed and they learn to stand on their own two feet.

I worked throughout my time at university.  My allowance was set and there was no room for manoeuvre.  It dawned on me very early that if I wanted to keep up with the Jones' and remove all financial angst, a job was the way forward.

There is nothing worse as a teenager than being told "when I was your age" but sometimes needs must and I have banged that message home all summer.  It is a divisive issue, some think working is a distraction but there are plenty of part-time jobs out there that won't get in the way of their studies.

So what else can they do to alleviate the burden? Well my advice to my teen was avoid going out every night.  Some low key nights are good. Leave your card behind.  Contactless payments are a devil to anyone, let alone a young teen starting out alone on  a budget.  Make the most of student discounts and the NUS extra card is certainly worth applying for.

What next?  Well hopefully not a financial hangover and a recognition of some vigilant budgeting, plus the knowledge that of course we understand and we will be there if needs must, but 72 hours is too soon for that. To coin a well worn phrase, your university years should be the best of your life, it would be a shame if it starts out so soon for our son and many others under a cloud.

 

Do you have any experiences to share?  I would love to hear how you or your teens coped or maybe are coping. Please let me know in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tweens, Teens & Beyond #20

Good Morning and welcome back to another week of linky Tweens, Teens & Beyond hosted by myself and fellow bloggers Sharon at After The Playground and Nicky at Not Just The Three Of Us.

I hope you have all settled back into some form of normality after the holidays.  Our household is now minus a teenager, well for 32 weeks of the year anyway, as our eldest left for university this weekend.  The drive was long and the motorway rammed with cars stuffed with teary parents and lots of bags.  48 hours later and so far so good.  He is having a ball and we are getting used to it just being the three of us, unless my youngest does manage to persuade us to finally get her a pet that is.

It was good to see some familiar faces linking last week and to see repeat visits from some relative newcomers.  Our favourite post of last week was the one from Kelly at Daydreams of a Mum.  Kelly has shared her thoughts with us over the last few months of link-ups about how it feels when the kids are growing up and away from you.  It can be a bit daunting to say the least but Kelly has cracked on and up and 'found herself' in a theatre in Edinburgh.  It turns out she was there all along!  It's a great post so if you missed it, do pop over for a read.

Please take some time to read the rules below before linking and please remember the golden rule of blogging is to share the linky love and remember to comment.

We look forward to reading your posts.

Linky Rules

Please could you:

  • Grab the Tweens,Teens & Beyond  badge and add it to the bottom of your post or your side bar - if you need help read this Linky Guide from Becky at Cuddle Fairy.
  • Link up one post, old or new (sponsored and review posts are welcome but not other linky's please) that relate to children over the age of 10 years (Tweens, Teens or young adult children) and midlife.
  • Tweet us @motherofteensuk, @DrSharonParry1 and @nickykentisbeer
  • Comment on the hosts' posts and AT LEAST one other of your choice using the linky hashtag #TweensTeensBeyond 
  • Share any posts that you love, we are all about sharing!

What we will do for you:

  • All three of us will comment on your post and share it on Twitter.
  • Your post will be pinned to the #TweensTeensBeyond Linky Pinterest Board
  • Each week, we will select our favourite post which will be featured on all of our sites and shared on Social Media
  • By entering the link you are agreeing to be added to the email reminder list.  (You can request to be removed at any time!)

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