What a brilliant idea. As parents scratch their heads in puzzlement about their teenagers, two 17 year old girls have written a new guide to help them navigate their way through the tricky teenage years.
Louise Bedwell and Megan Lovegrove (above), who are both sixth formers at Nonsuch High School for Girls in Cheam, spent six months researching their book. It’s called Teenagers Explained: A Manual for Parents by Teenagers and not only is it full of sage advice, but it tackles everything from social networking and mobile phones to friends, clothes and messy bedrooms. All the things that make parents tear their hair out, in fact.
Above all, the two girls reckon that three things are crucial when it comes to understanding teenagers – communication, understanding and compromise.
“We wanted it to be a real ‘tell it like it is’ manual from teenagers’ perspective,” says Louise. “Teenagers can feel awkward and self-conscious and that can make it difficult for them to talk about sensitive issues so they end up bottling things up, which makes them stressed and moody.
“It can lead to those awful tense moments and stand-offs, usually followed by big emotional explosions which end up in blazing rows. Parents need to read the signs – there are times to talk and times not to. But teens also have to realise that their parents are usually only asking out of concern and in your best interest.”
So, if you’ve got a teenager in the house, here are some tips from Louise and Megan:
Teenagers Explained: A Manual for Parents by Teenagers by Louise Bedwell and Megan Lovegrove (White Ladder Press, £9.99)