If the teenage years are as difficult for parents as for teenagers - how can we all cope?

Written by Sue Round on .

Suzie Hayman - as seen in WOMAN magazine Suzie Hayman - as seen in WOMAN magazine Parents, step-parents, grandparents and carers of young people aged 11-21 are invited to a talk and discussion at the Theatre on the Hill, St John’s Academy in Marlborough on Saturday, October 22 from 10.00am to 12.30pm.

Suzie Hayman will be giving the talk and leading the discussion and St John’s sixth form students will be taking part in the discussion - which is aimed at giving practical advice. "Parenting a teenager is very different from parenting a child," Suzie Hayman told Marlborough.News, "you have to change as a parent."

Suzie is a parenting educator, a Relate-trained counsellor, the agony aunt for Woman magazine, a journalist, broadcaster and author. She has written thirty books, the most recent two are How to have a Happy Family Life and Parents and Digital Technology. Suzie was also the counsellor working with families in the BBC series Stepfamilies.

The session will cover a wide range of topics such as cyber bullying, social media, porn, self-harming, eating disorders, how to deal with destructive behaviour and neuroscience: "Brain changes in teenagers can lead to sensational and reckless behaviour," says Suzie.

The event is being organized by Wendy Bramham who runs a team of counsellors in Marlborough and Newbury. Wendy has practical experience of the need for this event: “We have noticed in the last few years increasing numbers of adolescents in our area coming to us for private counselling. And, of course, we are aware of how tough parenting can be.”

In her work for the UK parenting charity, Family Lives, Suzie Hayman has also seen an increase in the number of adolescents asking for and accepting therapy, but believes that this may be due to the fact that mental health and well-being are now 'out in the open'.

A recent study of young people’s health and well-being published by the Department for Education revealed that over a third of the girls surveyed had suffered psychological distress, marking a considerable increase since 2004.

Discussing, negotiating, active and effective listening, promoting respect and responsibility and remembering what it was like to be a teenager, are some of the strategies Suzie Hayman will be promoting in her session.  She believes that parents and carers can be key in helping young people learn resilience and responsibility.

Tickets are available for the session at St John’s at the usual Theatre on the Hill box office. Or at Wendy Bramham's website - and use the Seminars tab.