St Albans-based Teenage Kicks podcast helps parents navigate their teen’s adolescent years

PUBLISHED: 15:52 13 October 2020 | UPDATED: 09:11 14 October 2020

“Teenage choices today can seem alien to their parents because teenage life has changed so dramatically since we were young.” Picture: Stephanie Belton

“Teenage choices today can seem alien to their parents because teenage life has changed so dramatically since we were young.” Picture: Stephanie Belton

Archant

A St Albans mum’s podcast is going from strength to strength helping teens and their parents navigate through the difficulties of adolescence.

“I wanted to read real stories of people experiencing the same things as me.” Picture: Helen Wills“I wanted to read real stories of people experiencing the same things as me.” Picture: Helen Wills

Teenage Kicks was launched by Helen Wills in March, just four days before lockdown was announced.

The podcast is now in its second series, with each episode discussing the difficulties of being a teenager, or parenting one.

“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!” Mum of two Helen said.

“Teenage choices today can seem alien to their parents because teenage life has changed so dramatically since we were young.”

Teenage Kicks helps parents unravel topics like social media, sexting and teen self-esteem so that they can figure out what their child needs support with, and what’s just normal teenage behaviour. Picture: Helen WillsTeenage Kicks helps parents unravel topics like social media, sexting and teen self-esteem so that they can figure out what their child needs support with, and what’s just normal teenage behaviour. Picture: Helen Wills

Teenage Kicks helps parents unravel topics like social media, sexting and teen self-esteem so that they can figure out what their child needs support with, and what’s just normal teenage behaviour.

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After sharing her funny parenting stories on her blog Actually Mummy when her kids were younger, Helen found that as her children grew up she had nothing to say, and the support she’d found as a parent on the internet dried up.

“The internet is full of the daily anecdotes of parenting. If your child has headlice, or swallows a marble, all you need to do is Google, and you’ll find dozens of parents all sharing the same, right down to the last gory detail, and with lots of advice on what to do,” she said. “But no one talks about their teens online because once they’re old enough to read what you’re writing – and worse still, for their friends to see it – parents don’t want to embarrass their kids for all to see.”

Helen felt teens were portrayed overtly negatively online, and usually from the perspective of educational experts and psychologists, which she felt needed to change.

She said: “I wanted to read real stories of people experiencing the same things as me.”

Encouraged to release a second series after the success of the first, teenage mental health became a dominant fixture: “I think teenagers and young adults have had an especially tough time during the pandemic, and it’s vital that we look out for their mental health in the coming months.

“My guests have fantastic nuggets of advice that they’ve learned by going through their own darkest times and come out the other side. Every single one of them has a story of hope and recovery, and each episode is peppered with mental health tips everyone can use to navigate the uncertain times we’re in right now.”

To listen to the Teenage Kicks podcast, click here.


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