Being 14 - A Great Insight into the secret world of teens

I am always on the look out for resources and books to help us best deal with the hurdles our athletes will come across during their time with us, to assist them on a coaching level as well as on a personal level.

During the holidays, I was on the hunt for a good book to read as I have increasingly found myself unsure of what some of our teen girls are thinking and why they react in certain ways to the things around them.

I happened to stumble across Madonna King's new book, Being 14. In the book, Madonna interviews 200 14-year old girls from around Australian and gives insight into such issues as:

- How friendship groups operate within schools and the power or pain of these

- What social media means for them, and some of the ways parents are missing the signs that boundaries are needed

- Parties - how to navigate this exciting but potentially risky business and what common pitfalls to avoid

- What teenage girls are most commonly worried about (and it's not always what you think) 

- How parents are unknowingly creating more pressure and stress for their kids - and how sometimes challenges and difficult periods can be good for growth and building resilience 

I found this book extremely interesting and has given me a new perspective - it took me right back to how I felt 16 years ago, trying to navigate the sea of hormones, work pressure, perfectionism and trying to meet up to the expectations of my friends, family, teachers, and mostly - myself. 

In a world of increasingly high stakes, time scarcity and constant comparison, it can be a difficult and anxiety-ridden time in our teen's lives. Knowing how they feel (even if they won't/can't/don't know how to express it to you), is a great step forward in reacting in a way which helps them to navigate through this time in the best possible way.

I have a copy if any of our parents would like to read, otherwise Being 14 is available at all good bookshops and many online retailers.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this - especially from those WITH 14 year olds.. I've still got 13 years to go until I reach this for myself as a parent. 

Finally, we do have some one-on-one meeting time slots coming up shortly. If you wanted to book in touch base with your child's coach, or Emma or myself, please stay tuned for info on email. I would love to catch up with you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have, or just a chance to check-in and see how your child/teen/you are doing at QCE!

- Shannon