Seonaid tell us why you invested in the business as the Seed Investor?
I have had 12 nannies in 14 years and found the process very hard, agencies and internet sites such as Gum Tree were not effective.
I found that agencies rarely visited you (the parent) and overall the matching process was very poor, it was all about fees. This left a gaping hole in the market.
Hiring Au Pairs was not a good idea for teens as most Au Pairs are teens themselves, many with home sick issues, and no true experience in a parenting role. They tend to spend their spare time on Facebook and other social media rather than being a friend to your teen. I see a nanny/ manny as a member of a home team. They need to be your eyes and ears on social media. My children do not want ‘mum’ on Facebook/ Instagram but they will have the nanny, who can monitor things and step in when needed.
There seems to be a huge amount of anxiety amongst teens in our modern world do you have any advice?
I believe a third adult in a home team is important. Teenagers need someone to interact with when they get home from school or when they are enjoying down time and this can be tough with two working parents. They need someone to talk to and someone to listen and not necessarily to give them advice, but to
Empathy is really lacking today, your screen cannot give you a hug or take your mind off things. A simple walk in the park or a game of tennis can take you away from the stress of school, social media or the world of having
‘Seonaid Mackenzie set up The Wellness Fund Foundation in 2009 which gives money to charities who are active in coping strategies in schools and the community, which have been vetted by the Foundation in connection with mental health and self harm. Further details please email Seonaid at Kidtection.’
lots of ‘fake’ Instagram likes. Sharing is a huge part of letting go.
How do we get our teenagers to talk to their parents or an older role model?
Teenagers want to hear experiences not as a point of being told off but to learn that things in life can be easier. We need to show them you that we respect their intelligence and encourage curiosity. Teenagers need to feel they have space from the parent and this is part of growing up and their hormones can push away a parent, so the 3rd adult, i.e. your Kidtectionist can be the link.
It is important for us to be honest ourselves and share our experiences, none of us are angels
so we should speak and share responsibly. We need to empower our teens so they feel they can deal with life’s challenges. Reminding them they are good at lots of things and empowering them is important.
If your teens get angry, try not to react, they are learning how to communicate as young adults, they love and trust you but hormones are confusing them.
Can you tell us your top tips for happy teens?
You as the parent must let go. Make them feel safe even if they mess up, which they will. Remember you were a teenager once and you are bringing young adults into the world who are learning to think for themselves