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A New Chapter
Posted by Admin
4th Sep 2018

A New Chapter - by Ellen Deaville

‘The season of mellow fruitfulness’ as Keats memorably described it, September almost seems to hold her breath, reflecting on the summer. It is a time of fresh starts for so many children and young people who are moving on to school or college, perhaps leaving for university or in to their first job. It is exciting and scary at the same time, especially if you are the parent of a teenager. You watch as they float off on a cloud of music and attitude on the first day of the autumn term. Try not to let their air of nonchalance fool you though, as it is really a disguise for the vulnerability they feel inside. That’s what makes them so bad tempered at times, shutting the door firmly on any show of affection or well-meant offers of advice.

Like the leaves on the autumn trees they are changing, morphing in to adults and finding their own place in the world, so be patient. See them for the successes they can be in the future, some who will be trying to leave their bruised egos behind after collecting their exam results. Boost them with praise, even if they seem to throw it straight back at you, keep on trying. Don’t make them feel guilty for growing up by musing to other people ‘how much they have changed’ – look forward with them, not backwards.

Talk about the exciting things there will be able to do in the adult world; holidays they can save up for, the freedom of owning a car one day or falling in love for the first time. They need to know that you trust them, even if you are actually full of doubts in reality. Just recently our 16-year-old decided that she was going to Manchester on the train, on her own. She needed to change three times on the journey there and even more on the way back – we were worried sick! But she was determined and had researched every timetable in detail, even reluctantly putting the personal alarm I had insisted on in her top pocket. A vote of ‘no confidence’ would have really insulted her, so we pasted smiles on our faces and let her go. Wouldn’t you know it, but two of the trains back were cancelled and she had to re-plan her route - but she did it.

And in just the same way, your own toddler, pupil or student will surprise you too as they set off on their own autumn journey, so step out of the way and feel proud! 

Ellen’s new book is called ‘Just be Yourself’ and is available now on Amazon.

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