How to help you and your teenager survive GCSEs

Please click on this link to book your place for the session at Heathfield School on 2 April, 7PM – 8.30PM on How to help you and your teenager survive GCSEs Places are limited.

This session focuses on the practical suggestions to help you and your teenagers and includes:
1. Communication with your teenager, or at least trying to!
2. Different approaches to revision and how to get your teenager to revise
3. Preparing for exams and managing stress

Any queries, please ring Ruth James on 07718178111study for exams

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Do you know what your teenager is up to online?

Social media surviving their online worldIn a survey of 13 – 18 year olds:

• 60% said they had been asked for a sexual image or video of themselves
• 40% said they had created an image or video of themselves
• 25% said they had sent an image or video of themselves to someone else.
• 29% of UK children aged 9-16 years old said they had contact online with someone they have not met face to face
• 4% of UK 9-16 year olds have gone to an offline meeting with someone they first met online.

My ‘Surviving teenagers, social media and their online world’ workshop will deal with these issues and is on 31 March in Ruishton Village Hall, 7 PM-9 PM, you can book your place by clicking on this link. Cost is £10 per person.

This session will cover:
• Helping you get to grips with what your teenager is doing online
• Give you the confidence to stay in control of your teenager’s digital life
• Give you tools to help you

Here are some fascinating more facts (McAfee Survey 2013):
46% of 10-23-year-old said they would change their online behaviour if they knew their parents were watching

58% know how to hide what they do from their parents
48% have seen sexually explicit content that disturb them
27% have witnessed cruel behaviour – only 9% of parents were aware of this

As parents, we really need to know what our children are doing online.

For more fascinating facts click here and go to the NSPCC website

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Top tips on surviving teenagers, exams and social media!

teenagers need boundariesI am running 3 new workshops for parents of pre-teens and teenagers in
Ruishton Village Hall from 7 PM- 9 PM on:

Mon 24 March – Understanding why teenagers behave the way they do!
Mon 31 March
– Surviving teenagers, social media and their online world.

Mon 28 April – Surviving homework, revision, exams and the stressed teenager.

After each session parents will come away with practical ideas for dealing with the issues and building a more positive relationship with their teenager. Parents who have already been on my workshops would definitely recommend them to other parents.

Cost: £10 per person with 10% off if booked online before 12 March. To book your place either click on the relevant link above or contact Ruth on 07718178111,

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

What parents said about my Building Resilient Teenager’s workshop….

WheBuilding resilient teenagersn I asked the parents who came along last Saturday what they would say to others about the workshop, they wrote:

• Excellent! You can’t afford to miss this workshop, it will give you more confidence in parenting teenagers
• Very worthwhile & helpful. Raised awareness of things I didn’t know much about
• Go for it… It was well worth it, learnt more about what being a teenager is like
• It is definitely worth going on
• Very good… I would recommend it – very interested, informative & positive
• Really interesting and useful – would recommend it.
• Excellent time management, well-organised and manage – good slides. Valuable material
• You should have been there!
• Well worth doing, I would advise them to go!

Thanks for these comments!

I will soon be advertising more dates, if you would like me to send you them, please email me at

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thank you Western Daily Press!

building resilient teenagers
I’m very grateful to the Western Daily Press for including this information about my Building Resilient Teenagers workshop 1 February in Ruishton Village Hall, Ruishton, Taunton from 9:30 AM-4 PM:

Thank you to everyone who was already booked their place, there are still a few spaces available. If you would like to book a place, please click on:

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Only 3 more days to get a 10% discount


keep calm


Only 3 more days to get an early bird 10% discount when book your place on my Building Resilient Teenagers workshop Saturday 1 February, Ruishton Village Hall, Ruishton.

£45 per person or £75 for 2 adults – price includes, refreshments, lunch and information pack.

Thank you to those already booked in – I look forward to seeing you! Book you place by clicking on:

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

2014 dates for Building Resilient Teenagers workshops in Ruishton


UPDATE: You can now book your place on the workshops and 10% discount if you book before 10 January:

To book workshop on 1 February, Ruishton, Somerset

I am very excited!  Finally getting some dates in the diary for 2014 – I will be running a “Building Resilient Teenagers” workshop In Ruishton Village Hall, Somerset on 1 February This workshop is ideal for parents of pre-teens and teenagers and will include:

  • Insights into the teenage brain – this explains a few things!
  • Building self-esteem
  • Secrets to encouraging positive behaviour
  • Managing teenagers and stress
  • Dealing with homework
  • How do teenagers learn?
  • Managing revision and coping with exams
  • Building resilience

I will be publicising more details about the workshops and how to book in the next couple of weeks.  In the meantime if you have any queries, please email me at

I have already run a pilot Building Resilient Teenagers 2 hour workshop which included some of the topics above, specifically building self-esteem, resilience and managing stress – this is what the attendees would like to say to others about the workshop…

“Definitely recommend!  Makes you realise the simplest of things you do can make a difference.”

“Very positive and interesting couple of hours and definitely recommend.”

“It is excellent, content, presentation, all very good.  Ruth was brilliant in presenting, thank you!”



Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Building resilient teenagers

teenagers, stress, happyWhen our children are born as part of the package we discover an inbuilt need to protect our children from harm. As they grow up and become pre-teens and teenagers we discover we can’t protect them from life’s challenges and disappointments because these are outside our control. However we can help them build their self-esteem and give them the attitudes and skills to cope with life and remain positive.

I remember contemplating the teenage years when Sophie was 10, I didn’t know what to expect but I knew it wouldn’t be easy! I tried to imagine her at 18 and decided then I wanted her to be in a position to be able to develop and maintain positive relationships and cope with the ups and downs of life. Yes, I wanted her to get her academic qualifications which would open doors and help her achieve her potential, however, as we all know, life can be challenging so more importantly, she needed to develop resilience i.e the skills, attitudes and beliefs that enable a teenager to thrive and grow even through adversity.

Being a teenager is tough and over the last 8 years Sophie has been through a number of significant challenges, specifically her GCSEs and A-levels and at times it has been incredibly hard. I have been through these challenges and pressures with her and hopefully given her some of the skills she needs to enjoy life despite what is going on around her. It is about helping her to learn through the tough times, building on her strengths and discovering the best way for her to manage stress.

Building resilient teenagers is something all parents can learn to do – we do have an influence on our teenagers, therefore, we need to use this opportunity to help them become stronger individuals.

As this is so important to me, I have now developed a couple of workshops focusing on building resilient teenagers. I am looking forward to running my first workshop at work in November which will focus on building their self-esteem and managing stress. I will then be running a new workshop in Taunton early in the New Year which will focus on managing exams and homework.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

For all parents at Bishop Fox’s school, Taunton

keep calm

Dear Parents/Carers at Bishop Fox’s School

I am Ruth James and over the last few months I have been working with Clive Miller, Assistant Headteacher (Student Welfare), to find out how I could work with the school to positively support and help parents through the teenage years.

Therefore, we have given your a questionnaire to find out what your issues and concerns are, the results will be used to develop a programme of courses for you. The questionnaire is anonymous.

I have 2 teenage daughters and a pre-teen so I am also going through the teenagers years so have personal knowledge and experience of the challenges as well as how to deal with them. My courses are straightforward and practical because I know you don’t have time to waste so I focus on what you can do which will make a positive difference in parenting your teenagers. The feedback I’ve had so far has been very positive.

The teenage years are important for your children’s future so I have developed a number of courses which focus on how you can help them develop their skills and expertise, it may be about academic ability or it may be about more practical skills. Would you be interested in these? Let us know by completing and returning the questionnaire.

Once we have the results, we will analyse them and develop a programme of courses which will be advertised through the school.

We want to do what we can to practically support you through the teenage years so please help us by completing and returning the questionnaire by Friday.

I look forward to meeting you over the coming months.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Top 10 Risks Teenagers Take

Teenagers taking risks

Teenagers taking risks

Taking healthy risks is an essential aspect of childhood development, and is one of the best ways for kids to learn about cause and effect and the consequences that come from their actions. Parents should encourage youngsters to take safe risks when the situation arises, but there are a host of not-so-healthy risks that come into the picture when little ones grow into teenagers. To adults, it often seems as if teens’ daredevil antics and harebrained schemes are as baffling as they are enraging, but there is a scientific reason behind teens’ risky behavior that boils down to neural chemistry, reward signals and development as they move into adulthood. While dealing with this behavior isn’t easy, parents can make a more concerted effort to curb dangerous impulses by understanding the most common risky behaviors that teenagers adopt.
• Speeding – Whether they’re trying to impress their friends or drunk on the heady prospect of being in control of a car without adult supervision, one of the most common risks that teens take is driving at a high rate of speed. Thankfully, there are devices that will allow you to monitor the speed at which your teen is driving these days.

• Texting and Driving – There is a sense of urgency, especially in social settings, that causes teens to be less than cautious when they’re behind the wheel and an incoming text alert gets their attention. Distracted driving is dangerous driving though, which is why a strict no-texting-and-driving policy should be backed up by apps and parental control software that prevents such risks.

• Experimenting With Drugs – Teenagers are well aware of the risks of experimentation with illicit drugs. Most are raised with the “just say no” attitude, and there are entire school programs dedicated to educating teens on the dangers of drugs. That doesn’t change the fact that curiosity, the desire to rebel and a need to assert an adult level of independence drives many kids to try these substances.

• Binge Drinking – Seasoned adults have a variety of reasons for social drinking, but
teenagers have only one goal: to experiment with something they’re not supposed to be using while altering their mood. Alcohol poisoning and bad decisions borne of lowered inhibitions are both very real prospects, however, which is why it’s important for parents to discuss the matter with their teens in real-life, honest ways.

• Truancy – Some teens skip school to avoid bullies or a classroom setting they are struggling in, while others skip simply because they can. From asserting independence to practicing avoidance, skipping school for any reason is still a common and risky situation.

• Vandalism – While older generations took a “kids will be kids” approach to dealing with vandalism, that’s not the case today. Even when it’s meant to be a harmless prank, the destruction of property is something parents must take seriously. You can be assured that law enforcement won’t see this risky behavior as a joke.

• Trespassing – From the thrill of hanging out in a forbidden place to the more practical application of simply finding a place to hang out away from the prying eyes of adults, trespassing is another common risk that teens take. It’s also a crime, which is why parents shouldn’t turn a blind eye to such habits if they’re discovered.

• Having Unprotected Sex – Few parents look forward to having a talk about sex with their kids, but some of the riskiest sexual behavior of teens stems from a lack of understanding and information. Unprotected sex can lead to teen pregnancy and the contracting of sexually-transmitted diseases, which is why parents must have a frank and honest discussion about the importance of using protection.

• Self-Harming – Self-harming behavior like cutting is, according to a 2002 British study, more common among teenage girls. Most parents would never dream that their kids are cutting themselves, but it is common and it is incredibly risky. From cutting deeply and sustaining real injury to contracting an infection through open wounds, this damaging, risky impulse can have very serious consequences.

• Crash Dieting – Spurred on by the media’s fixation on physical perfection paired with the inherent insecurity of adolescence, crash dieting and even eating disorders are a common risk that teens take in a bid to obtain their skewed ideas of physical beauty. Parents should discuss these issues with their teens, even if no signs of eating disorders or problematic relationships with food are present.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment