Talking Teens Catch Up

What's been going on during August? (is it August already?!)

The tough times

Hi ,

Recently I had a very wise soul explain a pattern in life that shows the highs (or the breaths in) that increase until a certain point, and then the low that follows (the breath out) until we need to breath in again and the pattern continues. This month seems to be embracing the breath out - or the 'lows' for many. Personally, as many know, our Eldest lost his best friend to suicide only days after their musical idol took his life.  In most instances of these situations, it is the 'fall-out' the reactions of those around you that can either soothe or inflame how people deal with things. Please see below for my extended piece on this. It seemed that a few of us felt the weight of the shit bits of parenting teens. Love to you all x

Talking Teens saw a new blog published taking on the notion that you can not be a friend to your teen (love a good rant!) as well as a boost in likes of the TT page and some awesome conversations! The book idea I told you about last month has well and truly taken off and I am really excited about writing something pretty special!

Welcome to the new email subscribers! I hope you enjoy the snap-shot of what Talking Teens has been up to ~ and remember please feel welcome to share this email or anything you enjoy from the Talking Teens webpage, Facebook pages, and/or other social platforms!

Cheers Jo xx


Holding The Space

This can not really be happening

I debated as to wether I would share any of this with Talking Teens. At first I did not feel it was mine to share, as the experience involved people I did not know but directly effected my son. Then it felt just too f'ing hard to share. Then it felt like I was exploiting the situation and exposing my son's darkest moments to the world. There was even a bit of reservation because the events were so 'dark' and depressing that no on would really want to know what I was saying. Then I thought 'Fuck it! I have no compass here and I don't know if I am doing the right thing. I want to share so others do not feel the way I do.'

I was genuinely upset when I heard the news of (yet another) musical icon suicide. his time it was the lead singer in a band that was a favourite of all three of my boys, but especially poignant to Eldest. The lead singer had a very public battle with mental health concerns and it was a genuine shock to all of us when we heard he had taken his life. This was  a person who was 'dealing' with his issues in a proactive way and yet the sense of no way out still got him. Eldest was crushed and confused.

Tragically a few days later I witnessed Eldest receive a phone call informing him one of his best friends had taken his life. I can not express how hard it was to witness that phone call. I watched his hands shake, his breathing change and the tears fall. I told him we would take him to his other best friend's house so they could be there for one another. My husband took him and he and the friend's mum held the space for the boys to cry, swear and ask 'why' over and over again. The adults guided the conversation when needed, reminding the boys that they were not to blame. 

The next few weeks were tough but not terrible. Eldest was a great support to those around him and despite feeling 'numb' he was functioning well. It became obvious however, one other person very close to him was struggling.  Destructive behaviour, substance abuse and then what we feared most...I was at work this morning when Eldest called me distraught once again. He was at the hospital with his friend who had tried to OD. Seriously, this could not be happening again!  Hubby and I raced home with our hearts in our throats.

We found that her family had rallied around her, and despite Eldest's concern for his friend, it was time we enclosed him in our arms and cared for him only. I arranged an appointment with a GP so we could get Eldest some professional support. It was established that he was not a risk to himself (thank god!!) but it was important that he had some external support for dealing with grief in a healthy way. We them took him home, made him have a shower and a good sleep. Afterwards we explained that this was a time when he had to drop being an adult and allow us to parent him again to ensure he was OK. He agreed.

I can not say that I have 100% confidence that we have dealt with this correctly: I have nothing to go by! I am trying to document as much as possible in order to put something together for parents if they ever have the unfortunate situation present to them. Eldest has also offered to write something about what he is going through and what has been good and bad. I hope that his perspective is beneficial as well.

I posted a very raw video today about all this. If you are interested in seeing it (warning I am not a 'pretty crier') you will find it on the Talking Teens Not Alone closed page. Request if you are not already a member. 

Sending so much love and light out to anyone else who may be experiencing this or has in the past xxx


Talking Teens Update

FB Closed Group

As mentioned, I am not the only one who has been suffering the shitty end of parenting teens. In the closed group there has been a few who have expressed feeling overwhelmed, stressed, at the end of their tethers. But as the purpose of the group, the advice, support and genuine understanding from the members has kept the sense of isolation and overwhelm at bay. You guys are awesome! 

If you are not already a member, send a request now Talking Teens Not Alone


Guess who has doubled her Insta followers in the last few weeks? Yeah I know! Awesome huh. Not sure what I did to do it though! lol I have been a lot more active making comments and so on so maybe that has helped? I suppose the bit about being social on social media is kinda important x

The recent post about Parent or Friend was pretty popular, as well as the post about driving a different car #parentingfail ! 

One of my new favourite Insta accounts you need to check out is Kinda Mindful


The Talking Teens Facebook page has also seen a steady rise in numbers thanks to some awesome shares. Thank you for helping to get the word out. 

Talking Teens page is a great place for you to get in touch and share things that other parents will connect with - good, bad and funny! 

I started following an Australian magazine called Exploring Teens. It is full of really cool articles and conversations. I am getting a subscription soon! I recommend checking it out (tell them TT sent you!)


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Blogged baby!

As mentioned I have been investing my time in writing a book. The hardest thing I have found is writing stuff I really want to share NOW!  But I can't otherwise there is no point to the book concept.

But I did take a cue from an article I read and wrote a blog called: Be a Parent not a Friend: I call bullsh!t on this! I then wrote more about the topic and made it into a full article. Here is the blog post. If you liked it, why not read the full article too! 

How much does our media and society like to reinforce the ‘petulant teen’, the ‘surly back answering teen’, the ‘rebellious teen’; the ‘lazy, socially inept screen-loving teen’? The message is loud an clear to parents “BE WARE of the TEEN STAGE!” The messages we have hammered to us would have us all believe that our children are going to be too hard to handle, they will lie and do things without our permission, and give us just cause to not trust them. They become creatures we have to fear, fight and control – for their own good.  What a crock of shit.     Read full blog here          Read full article here

Words of Wisdom

Sharing some of the wonderful advice from the Talking Teens community:

    Struggling with my soon to be 16 yr old girl and the anxiety that is stopping her from being the beautiful girl she really is & also stopping her from attending school. We have sought help from "headspace" & they are a fantastic help. Please if you are at all concerned about young adult contact them and have a chat. 

  I cringe every time I hear myself saying "don't speak to me that way" to Mr 13. He's starting to grunt and snap and I want to find a better way of responding. Any tried and tested methods? Please?

When miss 12 gets snarky I am TRYING to remain calm, remove myself from the area & let her know that i will be happy to speak to her when she can speak nicely. so kind of the same but a bit different. it doesn't usually take long for her to come back to me (of course the problem in the first place is she's just mirroring me lol)

Not responding is the best method I found. The trick is to not let it show that it bugs you. Make it into a joke and say "don't understand your language". It is just a phase. Take an opportunity when you can to say how you find it a bit rude and not the way adults communicate. Maybe do it to him once when he is actually seeking a serious answer. And then say "see, it is not really a funny thing to do to someone; it is quite rude and shows a huge amount if disrespect."

Humour is a great tool. Sometimes being blunt can work too eg 'that's actually a really rubbish way to speak to someone'

On the topic of Words of Wisdom: Talking Teens were approached by two lovely ladies who have a great idea. You can contribute by commenting on the posts I will share on the TT page and closed group, or you can email Melissa direct. I can't wait to see what they come up with!

Talking Teens