Gabby Logan and her daughter Lois have joined forces with Boots and P&G for the second year of the #TeenTalk campaign which provides parents with the tips and tools to have the #TeenTalk with confidence. We caught up with her to talk about the ins and outs of this important conversation.
Please tell us about the new campaign with P and G and Boots.
The #TeenTalk campaign provides parents and teens with the knowledge, support and tools to have the all-important #TeenTalk in confidence. From the 10th May, the #TeenTalk guide will be available from Boots stores nationwide as well as special offers of trusted P&G brands like Always, Venus and Tampax. This guide will arm parents with tips and advice to tackle the tough teen years, helping them to educate their teens about the changes they’re experiencing and the new products available to them.
Why do you think the teen years marks the end of an easy two way conversation with kids?
I am not sure what the actual psychological reason for children changing is but it's clear that their hormones and brain development must affect how they communicate. They go from being very care free and easy going and enthusiastic and asking loads of questions and wanting to tell you everything to being a bit more surly and introspective. They must also feel quite confused as to why they are changing and why their moods are variable. To keep the lines of communication open is a challenge and we need to adapt how we do that as parents. Asking them questions in a different way and starting conversations at different times. With my son for example, when I pick him up from school he can be quite grumpy but if I ask him what he had for lunch it seems to open up the day. My daughter wants to talk about her friends and what went on with them and if there have been any disputes.
Why is it seen as a right of passage by parents and kids?
I think it is seen as a right of passage as it’s almost like the relationship you had with your child is one thing and what comes after the teenage years is the relationship you will have for the rest of your life. So you feel the weight of pressure to navigate those teenage years well. You as a parent are being forced to accept that they need freedom, they need responsibility and they need to make decisions that might end in disappointment but that’s tough as your job so far has been to protect them.
Do you remember ever having such a conversation with your parents?
I don’t think I had a conversation as such with my parents. I remember snippets and bits of conversation but I was so much more awkward and embarrassed than my daughter and son have been. I honestly don’t think I knew what my menstrual cycle was when my period started. I didn't know what ovulation was and why I was feeling moody. If you have an idea about what is happening to your body I think it must help you to get through that period better. I wasted far too much time worrying about puberty, I wish hadn’t.
Why is the puberty conversation such an important one as conversations go?
I think the puberty conversation is so important because if your child feels you are being honest and open they will hopefully feel that they can ask you anything after that. And I think the next big topic to come will be the ‘sex’ chat which naturally follows on. It is almost like you are building a big house and the foundations are the puberty chat, get that right and things will be much more straightforward and easer later in building a solid relationship built on love trust and honesty.
What do you see as the repercussions for parents not having the conversation with their kids?
I don’t think you can say that the repercussions will be definitely this or that but I think you can have a much more positive outcome if you have a good puberty conversation than if you leave it to someone else to talk to your children or for them to find things out from their friends or the internet.
Your twins are coming up to the age where you might want to chat to them about puberty- so is this something you are nervous about?
I am not nervous about chatting to my kids about puberty as we have already had conversations, we have a good honest and open relationship, I want to make them feel empowered about their bodies and what is happening to them.
Why is important for you that your children see you as the first port of call for advice?
I live with my children and together with their Dad, my husband, we are the people they trust most in the world. I want them to feel that they can ask my anything. I don’t expect that they are only going to talk to me, I don’t want them to just chat to me, but I want them to know I am there always.
For mums and dads who are unsure how to start the conversation what are your top tips?
I agree with Expert Teenologist, Sarah Newton, who has the following advice for parents when it comes to approaching the #TeenTalk:
- If you’re going to have the Teen Talk, as parents, take the pressure off yourselves - it isn’t one big talk, think of it as
- an ongoing conversation.
- Remember what this is about - it’s not just a conversation about puberty but actually it’s a conversation about us as a parent (the most important person in their life) validating them, honouring them and empowering them with different choices, for the rest of their lives. If you can remember that, it’ll come naturally to relax a little bit.
- Look out for hooks - are there other people talking about this? There are always conversations going on in the media and on social media around puberty - you could use that as a conversation starter.
- Get yourself prepared, as a parent, by getting all the information, because when you’re prepared you’ll feel more confident and you’ll feel more at ease and then of course, your child will feel more at ease.
- Ask your child, how they want to have this conversation - they will tell you.
- Don’t hold your children to higher standards than yourself. We all have days when we’re moaning and not feeling at our best, and if your child does as well, just give them some space and remember, parents have bad days too!
What is next for you?
I have a really lovely summer of athletics coming up with the world championships in London back at the Olympic stadium I think it’s going to be very exciting.
Gabby Logan and her daughter Lois have joined forces with Boots and P&G for the second year of the #TeenTalk campaign which provides parents with the tips and tools to have the #TeenTalk with confidence. As part of this, Boots is also offering great offers on the purchase of relevant products such as Venus, Always and Tampax products from the 10th May – 8th June and a free gift with purchase. For further information visit www.boots.com/teen-talk
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