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Showing posts from September, 2015

Pre-parties, alcohol and security: Is it any wonder that parents are reluctant to host teen parties?

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Last week I wrote about pre-parties and how it appeared that more and more young people were attending these events at the beginning of a night out, their parents often unaware that alcohol was not only consumed there, but sometimes even provided by the parents hosting. I had a number of responses, some saying that this certainly wasn't a new phenomenon and had been around for some time. Others wrote to tell me about the pre-parties that they had held at their home that certainly did not involve any alcohol. The interesting thing about almost all the comments I received was that no parent was particularly happy with the whole 'pre-party' thing but there was great pressure from their teens to either attend them or host them ...

The most interesting response I received however was from Naomi Oakley, a name that would be familiar to many who live in Melbourne. Naomi is the Managing Director of U Nome Security, a private security firm that specialises in looking after underage…

'Designated Paul Dillons': The ultimate compliment from a teenager!

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If I ever wondered whether the young people I talk to are listening and actually use the information I present, an email I recently received from a young woman clearly shows that some certainly are. What she shared with me about a strategy that she and her friends (now at university) use to keep safe when they party I believe is the ultimate compliment from a teenager.

Here is an edited version of her email (which I did ask her permission to use):

My friends and I first heard you speak at our school in Adelaide in 2009 when we were in Year 10. Our whole year level loved your talk and over the next couple of years your presentations became the highlight of our year - we would all look so forward to hearing what you were going to say next. We weren't really party girls when we saw you in Year 10 but by Year 11 we were going out almost every weekend and it was then that we created what we called the 'Designated Paul Dillon'. This was the person who's job it was for the nig…

Preloading at pre-parties: What are some parents thinking?

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Sometimes I write these blog entries and I just feel really old! When I talk to young people in schools about the parties they go to, I sometimes wonder whether I just had a very sheltered up-bringing and it's me that's a bit strange! I then talk to parents and it becomes clear to me that parenting around teenage parties and gatherings has indeed changed dramatically over the past 20 years. Although there has always been teenage drinking at parties, very rarely, if ever, was it supported by parents. If teens did drink, they had to access the alcohol themselves and then find somewhere to drink it, preferably where their parents wouldn't find out about it. That has certainly changed and some of the parental behaviour that we are seeing today around the provision of alcohol is just plain bizarre!

One of the most strangest practices is the whole 'pre-party' phenomenon. Now before anyone says that this is not new and that teens went to friend's house before a party …

What is it about Year 9s (and their parents) that can make them a difficult group to deal with?

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I've talked a couple of times about the pressure I get from some schools (and particularly parents) to talk to Year 9s. The discussion usually goes along the lines of 'we've got some real issues with our Year 9 cohort ... there's some real partying going on in that group ... parents are finding it really difficult to deal with the pressure around the type of parties that are being put on'. At the same time, as I have said before, I have never ever heard of so many young people in this age group being caught bringing cannabis to school and then being either suspended, 'moved on' or expelled. Year 9 certainly appears to be a very difficult time for many families, with parents often confused as to why this is happening.

This is the year they usually turn 14 and enter the time of their life often referred to as 'middle adolescence' - the time when the search for identity becomes a central concern. Just going through some of the emails I have received fr…

5 questions you should be asking when you call parents hosting a teenage party

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My last blog entry got quite a reaction! The email I received from a mother who had been lied to by a parent hosting a teenage party about what would be happening at the event resonated with many others who had had similar experiences and I'll be sharing some of those over the coming months ... some are truly shocking. The mother said that she followed my advice and always asked the same questions when she rang a parent and had written them down to make sure she went through them all during the call. During the week I have been asked by a few people what questions I believed should be asked and how best to respond when you get an answer that you find confronting ...

I've covered this in a previous posting but I thought I would look at this issue again and update my thoughts, taking into consideration some of the emails I received during the week about what some parents were experiencing when they made the call.

You can pretty well guarantee that your child will not want you t…