Mornings can be a stressful time of day – sleeping in, getting ready, rushing around trying to make sure you don’t leave anything behind. Then comes the added stress of sitting traffic, hoping you manage to make it on time. The same applies to the school run, except you are now responsible for more than just yourself. According to a recent survey, 77% of parents describe the school run as more stressful than work or grocery shopping, and 80% confessed to losing their temper with their children on the drive to school.


One in five cars on the road during the morning peak are doing the school run. This is no surprise – in 2014, nearly half (44%) of primary school children travelled to school via a car. However, this could be about to change. Following recent reports about the UK’s attempt to reduce air pollution from fossil fuels, by banning the sale of diesel and petrol cars by 2040, parents who drive the school run could be fined up to £130 under a new pilot scheme. The scheme aims to improve road safety and crack down on air pollution.


With parents admitting the school run routine is stressful and chaos, surely there is a simpler alternative to complete the school run. Here at Motorparks, we strive for a better motoring experience. As September approaches, it’s almost time to start another school year and for the daily school runs to resume. Therefore, this guide will outline how you can do the daily school run with ease.


drive kids to school
Keep stress to a minimum

Plan ahead! It might sound obvious, but organisation is key. Planning everything the evening before will save you a lot of time and stress in the morning. Lunches, PE kits and uniforms – set them out, prepare them and pack them on an evening. This will help your morning run smoothly without any blips. If possible, try and leave five minutes early as well to get a head start in the morning traffic.


When you’re in the car, keep spirits high. Don’t let whatever happened before you left the house get under your skin – losing your temper with your children before they go to school will leave things on bad terms for the full day.


The best cars for the school run


To make the school run a comfortable drive, Motorparks recommend a few models which particularly stand out as ‘family cars’ that are perfect for the school run. From the Ford S-Max to the VW Golf estate, packing size into a road-friendly car will ensure you have enough room for the whole family. However, you don’t need a big car for the school run – the new Ford Fiesta is ample size to take the kids to school. Available with five doors and a substantial boot, there’s room for you and the kids plus their PE kits, football boots, lunch boxes and homework bags.



With a new scheme set to be put in place for school run drivers, you could also consider travel alternatives for the school run. 80% of seven and eight year olds walked to and from school alone or with a friend in the early 1970s – however, two decades later, this figure has decreased to 10% of children walking to school, most of whom are now accompanied by their parent or guardian. With 28% of children under the age of 16 now classed as overweight, encouraging your children to walk to school is a good start.


Currently, only 4% of children are cycling to school. This small percentage is a result of parents not allowing their children to cycle on the roads, with traffic danger being a parent’s main concern. However, cycling to school helps children to develop road safety and independence.



The school run doesn’t need to be stressful – the key to a smooth school run is organisation. Prepare as much as possible the evening before so that you aren’t running around on a morning. With careful organisation, you’ll be able to leave on time or early to make the morning traffic more like a walk in the park.



Keeping in touch with your teenager as they grow can be challenging.  However, there are a few tactics which will strengthen your relationship and be fun too!  While some activities you may not be too keen on, it’s better to think of the bigger picture and why you are doing them.  It’s the perfect opportunity to get to know your teenager all over again, what they like and don’t like and your relationship will also be more relaxed.


Go Walking

walking as a way of having fun with your teenager

Walking is good for you and the fresh air is also great.  The leaves are starting to fall from the trees so it’s the best time to go for a walk and kick up some leaves.  My son loves doing this still and it’s the perfect time to have a chat without the constraints of sitting side by side.  This also helps if it’s a topic they feel embarrassed about!


Cooking & Baking

cooking and baking ways to have fun with your teenager

Everyone loves making buns, and even better is eating them!  Get your teenager in the kitchen and cook together.  It also improves communication skills.  Remember it is a fun activity so don’t get too hung up on any mess that is made!


Watch a Movie

watching a movie ways to have fun with your teenager

Let your teenager choose a movie and watch it with them.  It may not be Shakespeare but that’s not the point.  Get your popcorn and be ready for an action packed movie.


Arts & Crafts

arts and crafts ways to connect with your teenager


Making things together is another great way to engage with your teenager.  It can be anything for making Christmas cards or painting and drawing.  You could even taken a course together.


Sometimes it can be difficult engaging with your teenager but if you engage in something fun together connecting will start to improve.  Having fun together most certainly increases that connection.



Are you a parent of a teen? Here are some ways you can continue to engage with them plus a giveaway. Head over to read the post now.







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Disciplining is difficult as a parent at the best of times.  It becomes even more difficult with teenagers.  Having a balance between instilling independence in your teenager to setting boundaries means as a parent we have a fine line to tread.


Below I’ve listed some ways to help you with discipline for your teenagers.


Stay calm & don’t overreact

In the heat of the moment this is the most difficult thing to do but it’s also important.  If you need to give yourself time to calm down, remove yourself from the situation for as long as you need.  Also, do you need to say anything at all?  For example you may not agree with your teenager’s haircut or fashion so let it be.  Of course talk to your partner but some things are best left alone as saying something can cause more problems.


Be clear & precise

If you have rules make sure your teenager knows about them and they are clear and fair.  This means if your teenager breaks the rule they know exactly what the consequences are.  I would also suggest you make the ground rules together and talk about what is fair and unfair consequences.


Listen first, act second

Don’t go rushing in to a judgement or a punishment without listening to what your teenager has to say.  They may have a valid reason for something but you won’t know until you listen.  Hear what your teenager has to say and then take time to respond in a calm manner.


Appropriate punishment

Be fair with your punishment and let the punishment fit the crime.  Of course it will depend on the seriousness of what they have done but again have in your mind what kind of punishments would be suitable for different situations.


Follow through

I find this is tough, not just for me but for most parents.  Believe in the ground rules you have set and always follow through.  If you don’t then your teenager will start to take advantage.  Consistency is key to this.   Ask for your partner’s help with this.


Don’t forget to praise your teenager

If your teenager has done something good or has consistently kept within the rules, praise them.  This will help your teenager’s self esteem.


I hope these tips will help you with disciplining your teenager.  Remember teenagers will want to do different things from what we want them to.  They will also want to find their own way in the world and will rebel against you.  It’s a normal part of growing up.  Before you do discipline your teenager, remember to ask yourself if the situation warrants it.


Good luck, let me know how you get on.


Head over to 7 top tips for a thriving relationship with your teenager to find out how you can connect more.

Want to learn how to connect more to your teenager?  My connecting to your teenager 101 is here to help.

Want some tips to be a great parent to your teenager?  Head over to my 8 Top Tips to Help you be an awesome parent to your teen to read more.



Need help with disciplining your teen?  My top tips will help you on this journey.  Head over to www.elfeelgoodsvintage.uk to read how.






I don’t know about you but there are days when I need a little bit of help parenting.  I try my best to have a great relationship with my teenager as it seems to help with everyone in the household being happy and content.


I’ve pulled together what I’m calling a game plan for anyone who needs that little bit of support parenting a teenager.


parenting teenagers

Game Plan Priority 1:  Eat dinner together

Meal times, especially dinner is a great opportunity to catch up with my teenager and talk about what has happened during the day and whatever other things are going on in his life.  It’s also a great opportunity to spot any problems that might arise.  I find this connection to be an important part of staying connected to your teen.


Game Plan Priority 2:  Establish together time

As well as meal times, I try and check in a few times a day.  I find that open communication seems to help especially if my son has any issues.  Of course there are times when he doesn’t want to talk but I try and go with the flow on that one!  Also, there are times when I go for a walk with him.  This is a great opportunity for a chat but I just wish he would walk slower!  You can find more ways of communicating with my blog post here.


Game Plan Priority 3:  Appropriate Parenting

This has been the most difficult aspect of parenting a teen.  Having an appropriate way to deal with the issues which are sometimes presented.  Understanding that you teenager is growing up and needs more freedom is the first step to being able to parent in an appropriate way without over-reacting.  An example of this was when my teenager wanted to dye his hair – I decided to let him and also help him do it!


Game Plan Priority 4:  Keeping the communication going

No matter what is going on in our lives, I try my best to keep the lines of communication going with my teenager.  It’s an important tool to know what is going on – after all if you know then you can help them.  At the moment I am trying to be a better listener and ask open ended questions to encourage my son to continue engaging with us.




I hope the game plan helps you parent your teen.  This is an exciting and challenging time for us as parents.  It’s especially challenging when teens shift their focus from us as mummies and daddies to their peers and other passions.  It is critical then to ensure we remain connected to them and continue to guide them.


I’d love to know what challenges you are facing as a parent of a teen.  Feel free to get in touch.



Help with parenting your teenager.


Need some tips to help your teen on their shaving journey?  Head over to my blog post on Top Shaving Tips 🙂





I started a bedtime routine for my two boys the moment we brought them home from the hospital.  While the bedtimes have changed we all still stick, as much as possible, to the same routine.


There are times though when I wonder exactly what time the boys fall to sleep at – I mean let’s face it I know they are tired during school days from wakening up early but sometimes I wonder if my teens get enough sleep.


I read an article recently that noted experts were warning school start times work against teenagers because their body clock can be nearly three hours behind that of an adult which could lead to chronic sleep deprivation.  I’ve also read that a lack of sleep – as us mothers know all too well – can lead to many problems but in teenagers it can lead to poor school performance and depression.  So, some are recommending that school starts later especially for teenagers.


Teenagers aged between 13 and 18 are advised to sleep between eight and 10 hours but most report sleeping seven hours or less on school nights.  So, what are we parents to do?


Below are some tips which I hope help you as much as they have helped us with our boys.




We all love routine in our family and now the boys are teenagers we insist on a set bedroom time – which is different from a bed time.  It’s more of a wind down time for everyone to get ready to go to sleep.  It’s the time where people can get washed and changed, listen to music, be on the internet to catch up with friends.


Having a consistent bedtime routine is a great way to start things off and not just for teenagers, starting as early as possible is extremely important as routine is often a soothing and constant experience for children and it is the same for teenagers.  While we no longer have to bath our children, suggesting a hot shower at bed time can be a great way of relaxing them and it also helps with time management in the mornings too!




While the following recommendation will be extremely difficult it is so worthwhile.  Set an ‘internet off time’ for us that’s the time the internet goes off the boys’ devices.  This is so important as a recent international study found that teenagers are spending more than six hours a day online and this has been causing them problems with sleep among other issues.


Another reason for switching the internet and devices off is that light from them can cause your teenager’s brain to be alert affecting their ability to sleep.  Of course your teenagers will hate it but be persistent to ensure they get enough sleep.




It may seem odd but there are things you can encourage your teenager to do – or not do – to aid sleep.  These can include:

  • Ensuring they don’t drink anything with caffeine four hours before going to bed.
  • Exercise during the day.
  • Eat something with carbs in before bed such as bread/toast to aid sleep or indeed a cup of warm milk works wonders!
  • Encourage them to have a hot shower before bed.




Teenagers are under a lot of pressure during this time of their life, add to it exams and it’s a recipe for stress and being unable to sleep.  How about giving them the tools to help them relax before bed?  You can find great videos on YouTube about breathing techniques, guided visualisation or meditation.  These will help them not only to relax but will benefit them later in life too.




It’s important to be supportive of your teenager and help them with their bedtime routines and as we have an ‘internet off time’ for the boys we also have one for ourselves!  It’s important for us to be good role models for our kids and that means we have down time before bed too!



We all value sleep in our house and it certainly makes for a pleasant household when everyone has had a good night’s rest.



I hope you find these tips useful.  I would love to know what your thoughts are on setting bed times for your teenagers?


Related posts:

Head over to 7 top tips for a thriving relationship with your teenager to find out how you can connect more.

Want to learn how to connect more to your teenager?  My connecting to your teenager 101 is here to help.

Want some tips to be a great parent to your teenager?  Head over to my 8 Top Tips to Help you be an awesome parent to your teen to read more.

Head over to 7 Simple Hacks to help you parent your teen to get more parenting hints and tips.

Need some help with a moody teenager?  Head over to my post now.



sleep tips