Teens

5 ways to help siblings get along

It’s a common scene, two siblings fight over the remote because one wants to watch Channel O and the other wants to catch MTV Base for the umpteenth time. Tears flow, screams are heard and sulking ensues with the silent treatment and comments like ‘I don’t ever want to speak to you again’ being thrown around.

The root cause of sibling rivalry is competition between children for their parent’s attention, love and respect. It is a natural part of growing up and signs of sibling rivalry are a good sign that teenagers are emotionally in touch with their feelings and know how to express themselves.

Siblings can become fast friends, share things, enjoy each other’s company and learn to fight in a healthy and non-destructive way. How?

No comparisons
You might think that you are motivating your teen by suggesting that he follow your neighbour’s example and be more helpful with his younger sister. This type of talk makes teens feel inadequate and has the opposite effect of instead of encouraging them. Rather highlight the strengths of each sibling and push them to work together as a team. As soon as they view themselves as a unit working together and valued for their own abilities, there will be less fighting.

Respect each child’s personality
Buying uniform gifts for siblings can breed resentment as they may start to feel that they are not being individually considered. Ask your teen what they like and what they prefer and buy gifts according to each child’s personality.

Set firm rules in place
There are only two parents in the household and children should understand that they alone set the rules. Make it a point that all the siblings know that they must follow the parent’s orders and that also means they should not be reprimanding and correcting each other.

Show love
Each sibling should feel your affection and care. Have alone time with each one, do special activities that you both enjoy and cultivate a special relationship with all your children.

Listen
Hearing out what each sibling has to say is essential to making everyone feel like they matter.  Hold township hall meetings where everyone gets an opportunity to have their say. These regular family meetings will strengthen the bonds between siblings and give everyone a platform to discuss their feelings and to find solutions.

15 Questions to ask instead of how was school?

Your teen will appreciate you taking the time to find out how their day was without asking the same question reapetedly. Show your teen how interested you are in their daily life and activities by swapping the typical ‘How was school’ question with the ones we’ve compiled below.

  1. Have you read any interesting books lately and what has stood out for you?
  2. What was the best part of the day and why?
  3. What have you learnt that you can teach me today?
  4. Was there a conversation that you had that made you question any aspect of life?
  5. Are there any special quotes that motivated you today?
  6. What made you laugh today?
  7. Did you help someone at school today?
  8. Which lesson or subject stood out for you?
  9. What did you do that was creative?
  10. What have you learnt that you can use in your everyday life?
  11. What motivated you?
  12. What kept you going at school this week?
  13. What can you improve tomorrow based on what you experienced today?
  14. Did your teacher or anyone say something that you didn’t understand?
  15. What do you think you should do more of at school?

Handling your teen’s first dating experience

It’s a moment that every parent anticipates, the day when their child tells them that they have started dating.

It may feel alarming that your teen is now exploring relationships and may need your guidance. What matters is that they have your attention and are able to communicate with you about what they are experiencing and how dating is for them.

Dating is new territory for teens and they may yearn for advice on what to do or how to be a good partner to who they are dating. In this regard, you may have to take off your mom or dad hat and be objective by listening, giving them a shoulder to cry on where necessary or just taking and picking them up to and from dates.

Make the transition even more comfortable for your teen by following our ways on handling this life change in their and your life effectively.

Give your teen space
It may be tempting to find out everything about your teen’s date but it’s better to take a step back and allow your child space to handle things the best way they know how. Should they approach you for advice, then avail yourself to talk but it’s best to wait and be approached.

Manage your emotions
You may want to step in and reason according to your own feelings and experiences but resist the urge to do so. Your teen has their own feelings to deal with and by trial and error they will get to a point where they can use logic and wisdom in their dating experiences. Allow them to be fully immersed in the experience without interfering.

Ensure that values take precedence
Values that you have instilled in your child should not take a back seat as they start dating. Conversations about sex, respect, dignity and love should continue happening as your teen navigates dating.

Trust
This is the time when trust will take full effect. It is time to trust that what you have taught your child is what they will live by personally and in how they treat others. Trust that your teen will be responsible, show them that you trust them and believe that they will act accordingly.

Support your teen
Your child will need your support more than ever. Be available, be present and keep the lines of communication open all the time.

How to guide your son to be a great man

By: Bernice Maune

 

No doubt you’ve done a stellar job of raising your son up to his teenage years. You’ve likely experienced a myriad of emotions watching him grow up in front of your eyes and seeing him exercise what you’ve taught him may be a source of pride.

 

As he starts to take on more responsibility and prepares to go onto university or work, there are qualities that you can instil to fully prepare your son for manhood.


Responsibility and accountability
Teach him that as he grows older, there will be more responsibility bestowed upon him. He will need to prove that he is ready for responsibility by making good decisions that will take him forward. For example if he would like to get a car, he should make his own arrangements to take a learners license test and finally book driving lessons and get a drivers license. He can also find a part-time job to help pay for a car instalment. Once he has a car, he will need to be accountable for it by ensuring it is maintained, has petrol and is washed regularly.

Strength
The world is a tough place and there will be situations that are out of his control. People will not always be kind and there are events which could happen to him or those close to him. Teach him to have a strong approach to life, to build a mentality that can withstand bad circumstances or events. He should understand that picking himself up in the face of adversity will ensure he survives challenges.

Provision
Part of being a man is being able to be independent and provide for yourself and your loved ones when the time comes. Teach him to accept responsibility for himself, his expenses and when he decides to start a family one day, for them as well. He should understand that his role is to provide and this comes through hardwork and sacrifice.

Fail forward
A come what may attitude will enable him to not dwell on his mistakes but see the lesson in them. Teach him to push himself forward after failure and to cultivate a new mistakes attitude where he learns from old mistakes and makes new ones so he can keep learning and growing.

Resilience
A quality that will help him to keep going and stay motivated no matter what happens is resilience. Teach him that winners have resilience in abundance and that’s how they stay determined to succeed despite any challenges that may come their way.

 

Ways to get your teen to care about others who have less

Raising a teenager who has developed a sense of empathy is essential to your child being a fully functional adult who cares about others in society.

The great news is that it’s not an impossible task to develop your teen’s empathy for the less fortunate. We bring you several ways in which you as their parent can do this.

Consistency in behaviour
Teach your teen how to treat everyone equally and consistently. This is best done at home, when you are wrong, apologise to your teen and admit where you were wrong so that they can see that no one is above apologies. This is also a way to make your teen understand that no matter who is right or wrong and despite who has more authority, being consistent in behaviour is important to treating everyone well and equally.

Discuss current events with your teen
For example, the migrant crisis happening in various parts of the world, send your teen links to articles giving an insider perspective of how families have been affected by the crisis. Then bring it up at dinner and ask your teen what their thoughts are. This is an opportunity to highlight their privileges and bring up how important it is to care about others who are less privileged.

Prompt your teen to take action
Ask your teen about how they would like to help  people residing in shelters or children in orphanages. They should come up with ideas which will entail them sacrificing something to help like spending apart of their allowance to donate a food parcel.

Help them to problem-solve different situations

For instance set up a scenario where your teen should give input and think about how to provide a helping hand. Ask: “How would you like to be treated if you were the new girl?”, “If you were being teased, what would you want your friends to do to help?”, or “If you had been away from school for three weeks, what would you like people to say when you came back?”

 

Show your own humanity
It’s okay to let your teenagers see that you are human too. For example, tell them a story about a time when you might have suspected a friend was in trouble, what you were thinking about at the time and what you did to help.

 

The link between cognitive empathy and affective empathy

The Research Centre for Adolescent Development at Utrecht University in the Netherlands shows  that “cognitive empathy”  and “affective empathy” are also still developing during the teenage-years. “Cognitive empathy” can be described as: the ability to mentally think about things from another person’s point of view (otherwise known as perspective-taking).  “Affective empathy” is the ability to recognize and respond to others’ feelings appropriately. These skills helps us with social problem-solving, managing our own and other people’s emotions and avoiding conflict.

Pregnancy

Natural remedies for morning sickness

Nothing can dampen the excitement of pregnancy like morning sickness.
The name, however, is very misleading as morning sickness can happen at any time during the day or night. It is most common during the first trimester, but for some women morning sickness lingers throughout pregnancy.

Infancy 0-2

What you need to know about caesareans

A Caesarean section (C/S) is performed when natural birth is impossible or unsafe.
The operation may be performed before labour begins, if there are medical reasons for not going through labour and natural birth, or if the health of the mother or baby may be in danger.

Toddlers 2-6

What you need to know about SIDS

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the unexplained death, usually during sleep, of a seemingly healthy baby less than a year old.
SIDS is sometimes known as crib death because the infants often die in their cribs

Tweens 7-12

Dealing with temper tantrums

Remember when you went shopping and your child eyed a toy they wanted but you had no intention of buying it?

Funny Videos

Video Blog

Here we have the funniest, cutest and most adorable videos of children doing the most funny things you could ever think of!

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