Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Parents' Panel

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Parents' Panel

Article excerpt

GILLIAN HAWKINS, from Easterside, Middlesbrough, has four daughters, Sam, 23, Hayley, 21, Helen, 19, and Hannah, 14..

"FROM your daughter's point of view she has gone from a child being protected, cared for and wrapped up in love.

"Then hormones kick in and they play the biggest part of it, so firstly don't feel guilty and angry.

These are destructive emotions for both of you.

"Your daughter does not want the full package anymore, she is breaking out of her shell.

"From what I have learned from my four daughters, who have all done the same for a period of time, they all felt overwhelmed by parent and teacher authority. Wherever you look, somebody is telling you what to do and maybe a year ago that was acceptable to her.

"To help, you can only watch and keep loving and maybe say a little less, which is very hard for a parent to do.

"You need to get down to her level and try to understand her a little and get her to open up.

Maybe have a girly day out and be a friend for the day rather than her Mam.

"It's hard, I know, but when the hormones settle down it does change. Inside, your daughter is very scared of these powerful new feelings she has.

"From my point of view, it's the saddest part of this stage of her life as you know you have to let go of the precious baby that you had and things will never be quite the same again. It's as hard for the Mam as it is for the daughter; you have to ride the storm together.

"One minute they're playing out and want to do everything with you and the next they're pushing away from you. It does hurt and that's why you're probably shouting at her more.

"They do come back to you but it's never quite the same as they're no longer your little girl."

LINDSAY Bruce, 29, is married to Nathan, 28. The couple run River City Church in Middlesbrough and have two boys, Corban, four, and Micah, 17 months..

"BEFORE moving here to run our church Nathan and I were youth pastors, so we are well used to stroppy "tweenagers".

"Our theory has always been to pick your battles and only sweat the really big stuff.

So if she doesn't keep her room tidy - well, she's the one who wants to wallow in it. …

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