Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Celebrating Wednesday's #30

Well here we are once again slap bang in the middle of the week. How's it been? Good, bad, a bit of both? However it's been, let's take a few moments out, have a breather, a hot drink and relax while we set about finding out what this Wednesday has in store for us to celebrate.

Now, I'm going to be honest with you, I think this may be one you either love or hate. No, before you jump the gun, it is not Marmite, but yes it's true, you either love it or hate it, there is no in between. This could be considered the same, so if you are not a lover, I apologise, but it was the only celebration on my calendar today, so we're celebrating it.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Celebrating Wednesday's #29

Hello and a very warm welcome to the middle of the week. Friday is too far away and Monday isn't far enough away. I find Wednesday a very odd day indeed. It's just a bit meh, isn't it? That's OK though because here we are to have a wee sit down with a cuppa and find out what super exciting thing we will be celebrating today.

I have a feeling, I may have been a little over enthusiastic there, building it up just a wee bit too much. That said, I am getting a bit of a warm fuzzy feeling about this week's special day. I fear you are going to think I'm crazier than I am when I tell you what it is, but perhaps, just perhaps, some of you might get it.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

8 Simple Tips for Keeping Your Teen Safe Online

When I was a teen there was no Internet, and no mobile phones. A mobile phone was a little green piece of plastic, the size of a credit card that afforded you a set amount of credit to make calls from a public card phone. It was the thing of it's time! No messing around trying to find change to put in the pay phone and then dropping the next coin just as the pips went off to warn you your credit was running out. Nope, we just went to the special card phone and popped in our bit of plastic. All very high tech.

Because we had no mobile phones, or computers we spoke to one another. You would arrange to meet somewhere at a given time and then you just took for granted it would happen. No texting to say you're on your way, or you got held up. Sharing a photo, meant getting the film from your camera developed at the chemist and then showing the prints to your friends and family by passing them around.

Keeping safe for us, meant, not going near the big kids, not walking down lonely dark alleys, not talking to strangers or taking anything from them, blah, blah, blah.

I'm not saying it was better back then, but perhaps it was simpler. Or at least keeping ourselves safe was simpler. Whereas, we only really had to worry about keeping safe outside of our homes, our children now have access to so much social media that their safety in the home cannot be guaranteed.

This is why as parents, it's vital we keep up to date with the latest e-safety news because it's a fast paced, and ever changing world. There are some things that will remain the same though, and which you should speak to your child about on a regular basis if they are going online, regardless of their age.

1) Keep your accounts private and have your location set to off. Big issues with location on Snapchat, anyone can see where you are. Turn it off.

2) Never add anyone you do not personally know, even if it is a friend of a friend. If you haven't met them in real life they have no place in your online life.

3) Never ever give out your password, not even to your best friend in the whole world. What's the worst that can happen? Someone could go into your account and cause a whole lot of trouble for you.

4) Photos. Be careful what you share. Once you've put it on the World Wide Web it is there forever. Which leads us nicely to...

5) Never ever ever share photos that are inappropriate and never ever be pressured into doing so. If someone asks you to do anything online you are not comfortable with, report them, block them and tell an adult.

6) Do not give out any personal details, phone numbers, address etc. Anything someone could use to locate you off line. Don't share it.

7) Never arrange to meet anyone you met online (refer back to number 2). People can be very deceptive online, very easily. You can never 100% know to whom you're speaking.

8) If you are being bullied online, screen shot the messages, block them and speak to a trusted adult.

This list could well go on an on, but these are the things I go over regularly with my girls. It works. We had an incident a couple of years ago when someone approached my eldest and some of her friends online. Because we talk about it at home, and it's discussed regularly at school they knew what to do. She didn't come to me, but she did go to her pastoral support team at school and they in turn contacted the parents. I dread to think what might have happened if they weren't so clued up on the dangers of the online world. Thankfully, they did.

Further reading for parents:


NSPCC Online Safety

Monday, 4 December 2017

Someone to Talk To

For some reason, Friday's are always a very difficult day of the week for me. The worst day of the week in fact. I know, it's crazy, for everyone else it's generally the best day. Not so for me. Friday's are mostly spent in a constant state of tearfulness (again, I do believe I have created a new word).

By the time dinner came round this Friday, I didn't have the energy to cook, so Mr. Domino's did it for us and I began to feel just a little bit calmer, and really quite optimistic. Who can possible be sad over pizza, especially when there's no cooking to do! Well apparently, that would be myself. Oh my goodness, what an absolute bloody loser, honestly, I am, I know it, please do not try to humour me by saying otherwise.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Stop Before You Knock

Please, please people, would you stop and think before you act. Would you stop and think, is this really a major issue, that I need to address, or could I just deal with it in a quieter way. And, if you do decide to make a big deal of something, would you please at least stop and listen.

This afternoon, Miss. L took the dog out for me. She's been doing so for the past couple of months. She's being doing so, because my anxiety won't let me get to the top of the road before it kicks in and sends me racing back to the safety of my home. I cannot walk the dog.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Celebrating Wednesday's #28

Well here we are again. I must say, after such a long time of not doing our little Wednesday slot, it feels a little odd to be back, but in a good way. It's nice to have a day of the week where you know what you have to do and there is a definite focus. It does take the pressure off just a wee bit. Fellow bloggers will know that coming up with content can sometimes be a real challenge. Writers block is, indeed, a real thing.

Thankfully, that is not a problem today because here we are, ready to celebrate the middle of the week. Not only is it downhill to the weekend from here, but it is also a special day.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

5 Tips for Raising Your Teenage Girl

If you're a regular reader of Little Orange Dog, you'll know that I am mum to two girls, one teen and one tween. They're pretty amazing young ladies and if you've read my post A Letter to my Girls you'll know just how proud I am of them. Only today, I was immensely proud of Miss. D. Despite having had a migraine since yesterday afternoon, and still feeling very unwell, she got herself up, showered and ready for school. One look at her, and it was obvious she was being very optimistic. If I'd let her go in I guarantee I would have been collecting her by 9am and bringing her home again. It's those little things they do that surprise me and make me burst with pride.

It all sounds very idyllic doesn't it. The three of us sound like the perfect little family don't we? Well for the most part, everyone does get on. Of course the girls fall out from time to time. Yes they get stroppy on the odd occasion, dare I say it, Miss. L can get very moody and morose, but for the most part, it's all good.

So here's what I've learnt about raising Teen Girls.

1) Hormones start to kick in a wee bit before they hit their teens. They start getting all attitudey (I believe I may have created a word there) and it just gets worse. You never know if your sweet little girl is going to be just that, or if she's going to be an angry, fire breathing dragon. And even when you've worked out which version of your daughter is in front of you, the speed at which she can morph into the other version is unbelievable. My advice. Do not rise to the bait. If you take that angry monster on, you are not going to win, you will only end up feeding it and making it angrier. Pick your battles wisely; let them shout, stamp upstairs and slam their bedroom door and when they've calmed down - I repeat when they've calmed down, talk it out.

2) Periods this is number two on the list as it ties in with number one. Your teen will be a raging bag of hormones once a month, guaranteed. Follow the advice above, keep a good supply of chocolate in the house, and if you need to approach her, do so armed with said chocolate and a huge amount of caution. Be ready to beat a hasty retreat!

3) Sleeping is her favourite past time. She will become like a little hibernating creature. The little girl who used to run around the house like a loon, now needs to sleep, sleep and sleep some more. Even when she's not asleep, don't count on seeing her. She will still be in her room, which has now become her sanctuary from which she will only venture out in order to feed.

4) Eating is almost like a pastime. She will eat you out of house and home, then complain there's no food in the house. Know that you are responsible for replenishing food supplies that have been depleted, even though you thought there was still an abundance of said item (this will anger the teen, refer to number one for a quick refresher on how to deal with your angry hormonal teen). Note also, that when the teen tells you there is no food in the house, they mean, there is only healthy food left in the house and that simply won't do.

5) Friends are the cause of all happiness and all dramas. I strongly suggest not trying to keep up with who has fallen out with whom, it changes on an almost daily basis. Going out with friends is almost as important as sleeping. Be prepared to run a taxi service for your teen and her friends. Also be prepared for your teen to 'tell' you what her plans are, rather than asking (I'm going to point you back to number one here, there's potential for this to go very pear shaped). In addition to this, get used to the odd sleepless night (yes I know, you thought those days were behind you), when you have a teenage sleepover there's not a whole lot of sleeping goes on and they have no idea how loudly they are giggling.

So, those are my five key tips for keeping the peace and getting along with your teen. It's a bit tongue in cheek, but joking aside, these are the key areas I try to pay attention to when they're getting a bit stroppy. They're not doing it on purpose, they're just testing the boundaries a bit and trying to deal with their fast changing world. Take a step back, breath and think back to when you were a teenager. The calmer you're able to be, the quicker they will calm down and the more likely they will be to talk to you about their fears and concerns. Growing up is scary.

Other posts related to raising teen girls:

Tea, Teens and Consent