Tooled Up tips for loving parents around the world.
What does it feel like to make a mistake? To underdeliver? To make an error when normally we get it ‘right’? To produce something that is not quite as good as we had hoped? When we fall short of our own standards or expectations for ourselves, it can feel really tough. We can beat ourselves up mentally and find it hard to let go, forgive ourselves, pick ourselves up or keep moving forward. And, that’s just the adults.
Almost exactly one year ago, to coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day 2022 (held annually on 10th September), we published a collaborative resource that remains an important highlight from my years at Tooled Up so far.
Over the past two weeks, I have been out and about giving talks in Northern Ireland and England to teachers and school staff as part of INSET days; days where staff come together to prepare themselves for the arrival of pupils into the new school year.
I joined a very important club this month, a club that all parents will belong to at some point and, once a member, I promise you’ll see the world slightly differently. Things aren’t quite the same when you have been through the emotional rollercoaster of waiting for high stakes exam results.
Over the summer, my teens have enjoyed excursions to various events, camps, breaks and social occasions. As the weeks ticked by, I began to become concerned about any creeping ‘entitlement’ on their part, so I decided to fulfil my parental duty by insisting they get jobs. The objective was to teach them the ‘value of money’ (as my dad used to call it) and introduce them to the world of work.
This time of year is generally marked by school celebrations of all kinds and, in particular, one that is centuries-old; school prize-giving. These events can feel oddly nerve-wracking for everyone. Will our beloved offspring win a prize? If they don’t, how might we mop up any tears, manage frustration and cries of unfairness or deal with the dent of disappointment?
After the mayhem of summer exams, Duke of Edinburgh expeditions to the Peak District and countless hours spent with teen friends on the Xbox, my 16 year old had the opportunity to do something completely different last weekend: care for an infant.
The arrival of summer often entails saying goodbye to our children multiple times as they venture far afield on school trips, expeditions, residentials or holidays with friends. As Shakespeare wrote for Juliet, “parting is such sweet sorrow” and, even for the most fatigued of parents, the tug of attachment is often acutely felt at the point of departure.
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