Increasingly, schools are seeking to engage with parents as partners in different ways other than the traditional parents evening and report.
Through dialogue with the school, I seek to provide stimulating and well-informed talks that share knowledge and insight into child development, enriched by my experience as a teacher and school leader, having supported generations of young people and their parents through adolescence.
I am keen to maximise impact for the school, so will tailor my talks to reflect trends or issues in a year group which have been identified by the school.
My talks for parents are straight-talking, thought-provoking, but down-to-earth and humorous. Above all, I am respectful of the feet of clay we all share in the wonderfully creative, sometimes fraught, task of parenting our children.
In hosting a speaker event, it is always worth considering the marketing of the event carefully to secure maximum impact and value for money. I am happy to discuss approaches that have worked well.
Suitable for parents of children in Year 7 and above (up to and still of relevance to parents of Year 10 and 11 pupils). Can be adapted to parents of children in Years 4, 5 and 6 –Preparing for Adolescence – what your child’s secondary school teachers would like you to know…
Bringing together recent developments of our understanding of brain development in adolescence, the hormonal and biological changes. Offering practical strategies and advice in setting boundaries, and creating ways in which parents can stay connected with their growing child.
Reflecting on the various ways in which children’s relationships with peers change in the build up to the transition to secondary school and after it. Considering ways in which parents can be observant, and tread the fine line between being supportive and available whilst also allowing the independence which will help assist the development of autonomy.
Can be adapted to be suitable for an audience of primary school parents or secondary school parents.
How to work on your relationship with your child, develop their autonomy, stay connected, support the development of thinking skills when it comes to relationships and complex challenges of the teenaged years.
Observing yourself as a parent – your default settings when it comes to emotionally fraught situations. The ways in which parents can unconsciously hamper the development of resiliency.
Understanding the common attitudes to sex and sexuality as children develop into adolescence (9-15), considering responses to influences and interests in sexual matters as children grow into puberty and beyond to adolescence. The influence of pornography, online explicit material, sexting and impulsive teenagers. The role of parents as advisers and relational role models. The importance of openness to discussion, ideas and approaches to difficult conversations. This talk can be adjusted for parents of younger pupils of primary school age to help parents plan the series of conversations that should unfold as their children grow.
Transition – Parents of Years 6, or Key Stage 3 parents.
When and how to navigate the tricky transition to independence as your child moves out of primary school and through secondary school. When to step in, how to approach schools and teachers about difficulties in order to get the best results. Working together with educational professionals without compromising the need for your child to develop responsibility and autonomy.
Sixth form parents
Recognising signs of vulnerability in your relationship with your sixth former – staying in touch with your older teen and developing awareness of what is at stake as older teenagers prepare to leave home and develop intimacy in their peer relationships. Observing and supporting your child as they start to make significant choices about their immediate and long term futures.