Welcome to the Teenage Kicks Podcast, where we take the fear out of parenting – or becoming – a teenager. I’m Helen Wills, and together with my guests I explore the ups and downs of the teenage years – both as a parent, AND as the teens going through it!
When I started the podcast in Series 1 I had NO idea how much it was going to resonate with listeners. As a mum I’ve always turned to other parents (AND the internet!) for advice when I’ve met parenting dilemmas I’ve found difficult to sort out.
And the internet has always delivered for me. Until I got to the teenage years, when all the anecdotal stories – the omg that happens to me too! moments, and the feeling of knowing that whatever’s got you weeping into your cup of tea, someone else is raising a cup in solidarity – that all dries up!
No one talks online about their teenager’s problems, because it’s all a bit too personal – plus, our kids are now at the age when they can read everything we write about them!
But I still wanted parents to be able to search things like “My son’s acne is driving him crazy and he’s being picked on by his mates” and find people who’ve been there too.
So I started searching for actual grown ups who had these problems themselves when they were teenagers, and could talk about them from both the child’s perspective, and see where their parents might be coming from.
The result was a podcast that I’m proud to say has had the most wonderful reviews! One parent had this to say on Apple podcasts:
“I absolutely love these frank conversations. So much wisdom and great advice. All packaged with wit and fun.”
And Anita, a Clinical Psychologist described the podcast as a “Fantastic resource for parents, teenagers and professionals. Really important topics covered, in such an informed and empathetic manner.”
And that’s my guests for you. I feel truly privileged that these incredible people have opened up to me about some of the hardest years of their lives, so that my listeners might find something of use to help your own families.
So. It’s a new series! I am SO excited for you to hear this next set of conversations.
Over the next few episodes you’ll hear Callum explain how it felt to go through his teenage years with a bad stammer. Hearing him tell me how he said his own name for the first time had me in total goosebumps
And listening to Michelle talk about growing up in a totally white community, with an absent black father really made me stop and think about how it might feel to be a bi-racial teenager in a white person’s world.
In the first episode Mark Lemon talks to me about the murder of his father when he was just 12 years old. It’s a distressing topic, but Mark talks so positively – and very honestly – about how he’s coped with his grief and well and truly turned it into his superpower. It’s available now so go and have a listen. I PROMISE you’ll come away feeling inspired.
If these conversations sound helpful to you, hit subscribe and I’ll drop into your feed every week with new stories and insights into teenage life. And if you like what you hear, I’d love it if you leave a review or a rating – it all helps other families to find valuable conversations they might find useful too.
If there’s something in particular you’d like to see covered, drop me an email at [email protected], or message me on Instagram @iamhelenwills. You’ll also find more of my parenting teens musings on my blog Actually Mummy, and in the Teenage Kicks Facebook group. Do feel free to post in there too if you have things to share that might help other parents to open up a dialogue with their own teenagers.
I can’t wait to chat about these – sometimes challenging – but wonderful parenting years!
Teenage Kicks Podcast
Welcome to the Teenage Kicks podcast, where we take the fear out of parenting - or becoming - a teenager. The internet is full of parenting advice, from when you feel those first baby kicks, until they reach secondary school. And then it stops. No one is talking about teen parenting problems; so we’re going to.
Essential listening for teenagers and their parents, as well as those who work with young adults; Teenage Kicks has teen mental health at its core, and each episode will empower young people to tackle their own problems, and give parents the guidance to know how to help them.
Each week Helen speaks to real individuals who've experienced the issues that young people are dealing with now, and they don't sugar-coat it. From exam nerves and career worries to issues around sexuality and consent, we get tips and advice from expert guests who understand what it’s like to be a teenager today.
Helen will also be chatting about tough teenage problems like cyberbullying and self-harm, drugs, alcohol and teenage pregnancy, all with a heavy dose of reality from someone who's been there and made it through to the other side.
Teenage Kicks for Parents:
As parents, we understand some of our kids’ struggles, but let’s face it, it’s been a while, and things have moved on since we last panicked over a detention! Teenage choices today can seem alien to their parents because teenage life has changed so dramatically since we were young. Teenage Kicks helps you unravel topics like social media, sexting and teen self-esteem so that you can figure out what your child needs support with, and what’s just normal teenage behaviour.
Teenage Kicks for Teens:
Teenagers and parents come at things from different angles, we know. But teenage life can be challenging, and the support of your parents can make navigating tricky dilemmas easier. Teenage Kicks guests aren’t adults who’ve read a textbook; nor are they heavily invested in your day-to-day safety, like your mum and dad. They are real people who’ve been through what you’re dealing with, and they have the inspiration and advice you need to handle it yourself.
Join Helen each week as she chats to a different guest about topics affecting teenagers in 2020, and helps parents and teens to open up a dialogue that will make life easier to navigate on all sides.
You'll also find me chatting about teen parenting here:
This series of the Teenage Kicks Podcast is sponsored by Blue Microphones, who gave me the fabulous Yeticaster mic for all my recordings. It's really straightforward to use, and gives me great sound quality without too much editing.