Honest Mum
Nadia and Maddie Sawalha

We all remember having the dreaded talk with our parents as teenagers about puberty!

From first periods to sprouting hair where there was none (insert hiding eyes monkey emoticon), broaching sensitive and personal subjects – even with family members – is enough to make even the coolest of cucumbers become overwhelmed with anxiety, especially during those awkward early teenage years.

I developed quite early compared to some of my classmates- and was one of the first girls at school to wear a bra. I distinctly remember a group of children lifting my shirt at playtime to assess what exactly this contraption was-it was pretty cringe-y!

My eldest is aged just 6 so I have a few years yet before he hits puberty (although he already behaves like a stroppy teenager at time; he becomes frustrated as he has quite the developed mind that doesn’t naturally match his emotional maturity. Apparently I was the same as a child.

I know it won’t be long before we’ll be discussing adolescence in more depth and I’m feeling empowered thanks to Nadia Sawalha…

If you own ‘teen conversation’ is looming, Nadia is here to help. She has teamed up with Boots and trusted brands including Always, Gillette, Tampax and Venus as well as Boots Tea Tree and Witch Hazel, to reach out to parents across the UK with the tools and tips they need to have the all-important #TeenTalk.

Nadia Sawalha

New research by Boots and Proctor and Gamble shows that it isn’t just teens who dread having the conversation.

68% of parents also find it difficult to broach the subject of puberty with their kids, while 25% of parents avoid it all together.

In fact, the research reveals that having the #TeenTalk is deemed to be more difficult than breaking up with someone, doing a presentation and even asking a person out on a date. Wow!

Despite this, over three quarters of teens still see their parents as the first port of call for help and advice with 49% happiest speaking to their mum.

However, in this digital age, more and more tech savvy teens are turning to social media and the internet for advice (53%) with 6% using Whatsapp and texts.

Discussing the research, Nadia Sawalha says,

‘As a mum, I understand all too well the challenges of communicating with teens. They suddenly go from wanting to tell mum everything, to one word answers! And you can’t solve things with a quick cuddle or a sweet treat. First shaves, first periods and new personal hygiene and skincare regimes are all unfamiliar experiences for teens and can be difficult topics for parents to approach’.

Maddie Sawalha

Campaign expert and teenologist Sarah Newton believes parents are putting too much pressure on themselves to get it right, which is due to the fact that for most parents this will be one of the first ‘big talks’ they have with their kids.

So how should we approach the #TeenTalk?

Sarah advises it’s best to be straight, ‘It’s about giving them the facts. Being honest but not overwhelming them with information. They will come back and ask more questions when they are ready. Don’t forget that the #TeenTalk isn’t one single chat, but an ongoing conversation about empowerment and choice and what better conversation is there to have?’.

This is where the #TeenTalk guide comes in, which you can download for free here.

The guide gives parents invaluable insight topics such as the ‘teenage brain’ and teen behaviours with advice on what to expect as they approach ‘the chat’.

Nadia Sawalha on Teen Talk

The guide includes helpful tips on grooming, personal care and body changes, backed up by Nadia and her daughter Maddie’s own experiences.

Plus, you can find discounts on essential products to help your teen through puberty too.

Savings can be made on trusted brands including Always, Tampax, Gillette, Venus and Boots Tea Tree & Witch Hazel products which help with all the new milestones growing up, brings.

I remember honesty meant a lot to me growing up and my parents just listening to how hard life sometimes felt-when my body didn’t feel like my own any more and I needed answers and quickly.

I wish this guide had been available then!

Read more and watch the video at Boots’ #TeenTalk.

Have you had the talk with your own teen?

If so, I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments.


This is a commissioned post. 

Celebrity mum Nadia Sawalha and her teenage daughter Maddie, have joined forces with Boots and trusted brands including Always, Gillette, Tampax and Venus as well as Boots Tea tree and Witch Hazel to reach out to parents across the UK with the tools and tips they need to have the all-important ‘teen conversation’.

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15 Responses

  1. rachel

    Lovely post, i have a teenage step-daughter who i ahve raised for 10 years (shes like my own) and we are incredibly close. We have had a number of these ‘talks’ lately. We sit on my bed feet up and ban the boys coming in. It makes her feel special to have one on one time and we have a giggle. Honesty is definitely the best policy and like you said, if i’m open with her she feels at ease to be open and honest with me and she then feels comfortable to ask questions.

    • Honest Mum

      That’s so lovely Rachel, I love the idea of just girlie time together so she feels she has a safe space to talk about anything she likes without any judgement. Really inspiring xx

  2. Juliet McGrattan

    An important post. It takes courage and a big deep breath to broach these subjects sometimes but I’ll bet you it won’t be as bad as you think. Just trying to normalise it and drop bits into conversations is working better for me than a full-on, sit-down ‘talk’. Great resource for parents Vicki, thanks for directing me to it.

  3. The DADventurer (Dave)

    I remember having the talk with my mum, dad and bro in the car. We’ve always been an open family and this was just another thing that we talked about. I remember us being quite young – definitely primary school – and no-one else really knowing about sex. I think it’s important to have that openness and honesty so that anything can be talked about in a matter of fact way.

    • Honest Mum

      That so wonderful and it’s so important for these topics to be naturalised. Thanks for sharing your experience, really inspiring.

  4. Vicki Montague

    Great post Vicki. Although my kids are only 8 and 6 this year they turn 9 and 7 and they are certainly getting to the point where that chat will have to happen. I think it happens before the teen years these days or else they pick up goodness knows what in the playground!

    • Honest Mum

      I agree, my eldest at 6 is asking questions already and while not that emotionally mature, we are broaching the subject. It’s so important to be as open as possible

  5. Natalie

    What a great post. My boys are 6 and 9 but they pick things up so fast I know it is only a matter of time until the questions start and changes happen x Fab post and helpful to many I am sure x

  6. Lizzie Somerset

    I don’t remember my mum being my first port of call at all, I think my parents found it all too cringey and awkward so I talked to my Grandma about periods and my friends at school about everything else! With my own children I’ll be starting the conversation way before teenage years, my boy already does a ‘full salute’ lets say in the bath and my girl gives me full on snogs sometimes. I think this chats have to start young because if we wait until they’re teenagers it’ll feel out of context and awkward! I want my kids to come to me and not their mates where information and opinion will be based on hormones and what’s cool. Great post thanks for sharing Lizzie xo

    • Honest Mum

      Aw so lovely, and it’s never too early to start the conversation is it. My kids and I are totally open too. You are a fab mum Lizzie, thanks for this super comment x

  7. Amanda

    I love this post and equally I thank God I have sons! So much more to deal with when you have girls. I’m totally feeling the early days stroppy teenager syndrome, won’t be long til the big talk time but I’m keeping this guide in mind for when the time comes.

  8. Lizzy

    Honesty is definitely the way to go. I’m a single parent to two wonderful teens (girl 15, boy 13) so have done the talk twice. I made it clear that they could ask questions at any time and that I would answer fully and honestly. It’s not always easy but they do appreciate an open approach xxx

  9. Alexandra | I'm Every Mum

    I’ve already chatted to our eldest about this subject and I really hope she feels she can come to me when she has any questions in the future. We’ve also made sure that Daddy doesn’t pull any cringey faces and is only supportive when we mention potential bra shopping or periods. He has been really good at this so far. I want her to feel as natural as possible. Great post and so good to get this message out.


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