Why Are Teen Social Media Posts About Cutting, Self-Harm Soaring?

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Posted by: Sue Atkins

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Show notes:

In this episode:

  • Do You Let Your Kids Make ‘Mistakes’ or Do You Take Over? Sue talks to Vanessa Feltz on BBC Radio London
  • Your Parenting Style Can Impact Your Child’s Popularity, Research Shows – What’s Yours?
  • Discover The BEST Outdoor Toys for Toddlers
  • Sue in Conversation with Ned Johnson Author of ‘What Do You Say?  How to Talk with Kids to Build Motivation, Stress Tolerance, and a Happy Home’

Listen to the Full Interview on The Parentverse

Follow Ned Here :

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Teen Social Media Posts About Cutting, Self-Harm Are Soaring




The best Outdoor Toys for Toddlers

The Best Outdoor Toys for Toddlers


Dear Sue, what’s the best way to get my teenager to open up to me. She seems rather withdrawn from chatting since she turned 13. Mercy Huraruna from Illinois USA

Answer :

Getting Teens To Open Up To You – Ditch These Classic Ways To Switch Them Off

Communication can dry up during adolescence which is why people identify so much with Harry Enfield’s Kevin and Perry characters and that’s why the teenage stage has often been called the “grunt stage” but communication is a two-way process. It’s what we want and think, and what our teenagers want and think. Most of us are great at talking but less good at listening and understanding and we often only half listen to our kids.

Here are some classic ways to switch off your teenager:

Asking too many questions
“Why did you say that?” “What did you say?”

Being bossy
“Do your homework right now and don’t argue”

“You should know better at your age”

“How could you be so stupid?”

“I’m so sorry for you, you poor thing”

Rescuing – doing it for them
“Alright, I’ll do your homework for you so you don’t get into trouble”

Jumping to conclusions
“Late again! I suppose you’ve been up to no good getting back at this hour!”

Threatening and shouting
“If you don’t shape up you’re grounded for a week”

Always knowing best
“I told you that would happen, didn’t I!”

Most of us find ourselves lecturing, ordering and jumping to conclusions or even threatening our teenagers but if we always presume the worst and speak to our kids like this we block communication.

And, effective communication is the oil that lubricates a good family and builds a lasting relationship between teenagers and their parents.

Here are some positive parent tips for good communication:

  • Remain silent most of the time!
  • Be aware and sensitive to your child’s body language, e.g. whether they look disappointed, worried, angry, excited, pleased etc…..
  • Show you are really listening by saying “I see, uh-huh and mmm” occasionally, and looking into their eyes without just staring to maintain good eye contact
  • Reflect back the gist of what they have said to you to check you have understood them clearly
  • Avoid giving advice or offering suggestions (Tough, I know, but believe me this one REALLY works)
  • Show your teenager by the tone of your voice and body language that you really respect and care and are genuinely trying to understand where they are coming from.
  • It’s worth remembering that most teenagers don’t like face to face chats. So it’s easier if you are doing something else at the time like emptying the dishwasher, driving them to a football practise or peeling the potatoes.

    Often they like to talk when you’ve just settled down with a cup of coffee to watch your favourite TV programme or just climbed into bed exhausted or just run a lovely hot bath, but these can be the “Golden Moments” – the deep and meaningful chats – the ones that connect you to your kids and help bridge the gap of empathy.

    So, go with the flow and keep remembering the bigger picture to your parenting – bringing up the happy, confident, well-balanced teenager; tomorrow’s adult – tomorrow’s parent.

    Learn, laugh and enjoy the adventure!


    Your Parenting Style Can Impact Your Kid’s Popularity, Research Shows

    But is popularity even a good goal, or should parents wants something else for their children?  READ MORE



    As a parent, one of your jobs is to teach your child to behave. It’s a job that takes time and patience.

    Do I have to count to three?

    What you are really saying is —> I don’t expect you to obey me all the time, and do as you’re told –  just when I get angry enough to count. Oh, and feel free to come when I get to three instead of when I ask.

    Does that sound like you?

    Read on..



    The Goals Behind Your Child’s Behaviour.

    I’ve recently been working with a lovely  Mum who has felt rather exhausted by her child’s behaviour. When conflict happens it’s easy to feel threatened. We often find ourselves thinking, “How dare you treat me like this!”

    BUT conflict can get worse if we respond out of our OWN threatened feelings. When you are emotional you can’t think clearly.

    I always point out to the parents that I work with that there are HIDDEN GOALS behind your child’s behaviour and you have to become a Sherlock Holmes and become a detective to find out what’s really behind the challenging behaviour. ( Turn it into a game for yourself and it feels more fun!)

    Spot the goal and you can respond in a more effective way that will meet the needs of your child.

    READ ON…

    The secret to having well behaved kids

    Sign up for my newsletter HERE to get the heads up when my Positive Toddler Roadmap is launched – exclusive access to my newsletter subscribers 😊

    My goal for my Positive Toddler Roadmap is to give you EVERYTHING you need and the keys to unlocking a happy, confident, resilient toddler with strong mental health and great wellbeing, despite having lived through a pandemic, and I’m going to show you my pillars that will make it simple for you to achieve that result.


     Helping you build the solid foundations for bringing up a happy, confident ‘Can Do’ toddler so they can bloom, blossom and flourish.

    Subscribe to my Youtube Channel to win this month’s Gift Bundle from #TheSueAtkinsBookClub

    Tell all your friends to subscribe to be in with a chance to win a bundle of books EVERY MONTH




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