Tag: Helen Lewis

How To Use Boundaries and Effective Communications

Family relationships are key to growth and development, particularly during the teen years, not to mention the opportunities that family life offers for learning new skills that will not only support you as a teen but will also set you up for the future.

For example, though boundaries might feel like rules that only cramp your style, they are crucial to learning to be responsible.

Reflecting upon my own teen years, I do recall having loads of boundaries—some to do with going out and others to do with staying in. I had to be home at a certain time and visitors, particularly boyfriends, had to be in to visit me at a certain time and out at a certain time, too.  Fair enough, although I didn’t think it was fair at all when a boyfriend and a distant cousin of mine turned up about half hour later than was allowed and found themselves turned away at the door by my father.

How embarrassing? However, looking back, not only can I see that it was fair but it was necessary for me to understand the importance of honouring other people’s boundaries. First, I realised that the boundary was set set out of care and concern and for my own wellbeing. Next, it taught me discipline and responsibility. For example, somehow it helped me to value time and to respect other’s boundaries and expect them to respect mine.

I am sure having boundaries opened up opportunities for me to begin thinking of setting my own with friends, for example. The principle works in general. Knowing that you don’t feel comfortable doing a certain thing under peer pressure is one thing but having a boundary to avoid the consequences just might ease the pressure a bit. And thankfully you can take your boundaries right into adult life whether that is university or a job and then into your own family life.

The point is that boundaries are there to serve you, both mentally and physically.

Another skill to pick up from family life is learning how to communicate effectively. I know from my own personal life how difficult this can be even as adult, let alone as a teenager.  But it takes commitment and practice to become a good communicator and while there are many tips for communicating effectively–two key elements of practicing is listening and talking.

Easy peasy, right! Not necessarily, talking for example can be misunderstood if you don’t understand your own message and aren’t clear and concise about what it is you are trying to say.  So, the next time there is a misunderstanding with a parent or guardian, really think about what you would like to say and say it with clarity. But do make sure the timing and the tone are right. You’re speaking, not protesting.

And equally important is listening, actively, making sure you understand what is being said to you in response. That means not interrupting, not paying lip service to something and planning what you are going to say or do next.

The bottom line is that like setting boundaries, effective communications is there for you, as well, to make your experience the best possible scenario.  So why not tap into the opportunities to incorporate setting boundaries and communicating effectively into your own life at school, with friends and so on.  Check out our podcast: UIO: Your Family Inside Out with Helen Lewis for more hot tips on family life.

 

Keys To Good Family Relationships

Having spent a weekend with family, I was reminded of how dependent small children are on their parents and guardians for survival. Sure, they exercise a bit of independence, choosing their own outfits and making clear what they prefer to eat and so on but at this tender age, children are not mature enough to decide on their own bedtimes, for example, or how long they should stay glued to a television or an Ipad. Left with them, they would stay up indefinitely and pay the consequences later.

Very few would debate the importance of having a pragmatic relationship with small children but as we grow, the balance of power becomes unclear.  Maybe it is the word power that throws off teens and parents alike.  I know when I was a teenager, I dreamt a world of freedom and independence. It was only when I started working and paying my own bills that I realised how free I had been, of course, within the family unit.

Upon reflection, the world around me had a lot to do with my idea of freedom. For example, if Mary Jane (there was no Mary Jane in my graduating class) was driving at 15 and got a new car at 16, then I reasoned that I had a right to do the same.  My parents didn’t quite see it that way. And once they let me know their views, the story ended or did it.

It did as far as they were concerned but in my mind’s eye, I couldn’t wait to grow-up, so I could jolly well buy my own shiny new car as and when I pleased and have exclusive power over my own life.

Of course, as a young adult, I learned rather quickly that there is a complex line between desire and attainment, that reaching a certain age doesn’t make you all powerful so to speak or give you freedom.  Actually, it is quite the opposite. It was having healthy boundaries and good family relations that gave me the freedom to grow. 

Without those key elements, I feel certain that I wouldn’t have had the confidence to move to New York and then London.  But what makes good family relationships.  Helen Lewis, guest in our podcast, Your Family Inside Out, offers many hot tips.

One key is effective communications. That means sharing your views calmly and clearly.  And this doesn’t stop with young adulthood.  Even now as an adult, I find this advice sound.  Otherwise, the problem does not get resolved. It gets escalated.

Another key element in good family relationships is respecting boundaries.  All families have them, regardless of the age of the family members. Naturally, however, boundary lines change as we grow older.  As a little girl, I wouldn’t have been allowed to ride my bicycle to the store but as a teenager, I could.  No wonder I jumped to the idea of driving ever so quickly. Never mind!

The point is: each family is different and has a different rhythm that they harmonise to and no matter what our age , it is important to have open, honest and effective communications and to respect the boundaries that are often in place to protect us, afford us the freedom to grow not only physically but emotionally and mentally, as well. For more information, listen to UIO, the podcast for teen girls.

UIO Launches Instagram Page

More excitement to cheer about at UIO: You Inside Out, the podcast for teenage girls.  Today, we launched our Instagram business page @uiopodcast. Follow us, like us, join us on Instagram.

This page follows the recent launch of our Facebook and Twitter pages.

With three dedicated social media pages, UIO aims to celebrate what it means to be a teenage girl today while advocating and campaigning on their behalf.

We’ll highlight great inspirational quotes and hot tips from our special guests—women featured in the podcasts: Cheryl Grace, Judit Ressinka, Jenny Hawkins, Laura Miles, Joy Miller, Jane and Molly Goldberg, Jenny Garrett, Rachel Gardener, Helen Lewis and Natalie Savvides–as well as creative photographs of teenage girls from both the US and UK.

Again join us, follow us, like our posts. Message us directly @uiopodcast or email UIO@sonjalewis.com. See you on Instagram.

Meanwhile, stay tuned for more UIO news.

UIO Gets Dedicated Twitter Page

So many exciting things in the pipeline for UIO: You Inside Out, the new #podcastforteengirls. From the launch of ten episodes over the spring and summer to the unveiling of our first dedicated social media page on Facebook a couple of weeks ago, UIO is growing.

This week, we introduce UIO Twitter, user name @UIOPodcast, on which we look forward to joining important conversations to do with teenage girls and leading on some too.

Via our social media, we aim to celebrate what it means to be a teenage girl today while advocating and campaigning on their behalf. Thus, whether it’s to do with self confidence, values or peer pressure, we’ll be talking about it and listening, too.

In addition, we’ll highlight great inspirational quotes and hot tips from our special guests—women featured in the podcasts: Cheryl Grace, Judit Ressinka, Jenny Hawkins, Laura Miles, Joy Miller, Jane and Molly Goldberg, Jenny Garrett, Rachel Gardener, Helen Lewis and Natalie Savvides.

So join us, follow us, re-tweet our tweets. Message us directly @UIOPodcast or email UIO@sonjalewis.com. See you on Twitter.

Meanwhile, stay tuned for more UIO news.

The UIO New Look Is Out

UIO: You Inside Out announces a new look , emphasising the voice of teenage girls.

Created by Dominque Ozturk, an accomplished designer who has years of experience in working with girls of all ages, the new look will be featured across all platforms where the podcast is aired, including iTunes and the UIO dedicated podcast page.

Also you can see the new look and listen to the podcast via Libsyn   Stitcher, Tunein and on Google Play music.

Created as a versatile medium for teenage girls with their input, UIO relies on sound principles and values, and offers a safe and responsible platform to provide insight into topics relevant to teenage girls today.

The 2017 pilot series includes ten shows, featuring a range of talented women with special interest, experience and expertise on a particular topic:

Episode 1 – Your Confidence Inside Out with Cheryl Grace

Episode 2 – Your Body Inside Out with Judit Ressinka

Episode 3 – Your Skin Inside Out with Jenny Hawkins

Episode 4 – Your Body Image Inside Out with Laura Miles

Episode 5 – Your Hair Inside Out with Joy Miller

Episode 6 – Your Mind Inside Out with Jane and Molly Goldberg

Episode 7 – Your Values Inside Out with Jenny Garrett

Episode 8 – On Sex and Sexuality with Rachel Gardner

Episode 9 – Your Family Inside with Helen Lewis

Episode 10 – Peer Pressure Inside Out with Natalie Savvides

Stay tuned for more UIO announcements in the coming days and for new episodes in 2018.

‘I find the subjects and experts are good for parents to hear too, said one listening parent. ‘The podcast raises many points  for conversations with my daughter.’

For more info or enquiries about UIO, write to info@sonjalewis.com

 

 

Family Matters Now More Than Ever

UIO: Your Family Inside Out, the ninth in the podcast series, is out now. Offering  straightforward conversation with Helen Lewis, founder of Literally PR, this episode takes a closer look at why setting boundaries, for example, can be the difference in a healthy and an unhealthy relationship.

The thing is: if there are no boundaries, people are bound to rock the boat consistently. And even with boundaries, we do tend to push them. Looking back to my own teenage years, I can attest to that. But knowing that they exist and trying to live up to them offers discipline that feeds into self-governance. Boundaries matter. 

Having margins, if you will, also feed into a sense of belonging to a family unit.

Other key topics we cover are effective communications, how to manage social media and much more. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, Tunein, Soundcloud and right here sonjalewis.com.

The penultimate podcast in the series, UIO: Your Family Inside Out is a must listen for teenage girls and their guardians.

Tune in next week for UIO: Peer Pressure Inside Out – a wonderful conversation with Full Circle author Natalie Savvides.