Posts

Showing posts from July, 2016

Is it ever too early to start talking to your child about alcohol and other drugs?

Image
I totally get why many parents of primary school aged children choose not to attend my parent sessions. When you look at your 10 year-old son or daughter the last thing you are thinking about at that stage of their life is the possibility of them going to teenage parties and gatherings and being exposed to underage drinking or, heaven forbid, at risk of dabbling with other drugs. It's clear that most parents of younger children simply don't believe that this is an important issue at this stage of their parenting experience and they'll wait until their child gets closer to the age of attending teenage parties and possibly starting to drink before trying to access information on the topic of alcohol and other drugs.

So is this a good way of dealing with the issue and when do I recommend that you should start talking to your kids about drugs? Now I've dealt with this issue a number of times over the years but over the past couple of weeks I've had a number of parents …

If your child has ever said "That's not fair!" ... they're usually right!

Image
One of the special qualities young people have is an innate sense of fairness, particularly when it comes to how they are dealt with by adults. Make clear your rules and expectations, treat them with respect and if they then do the wrong thing and you come down on them, they usually wear it on the chin and accept whatever consequence and/or punishment that comes their way. I was reminded of this during the week when I was at a school speaking to a particularly lively group of Year 11 girls and I had two young ladies in the front row who just couldn't help themselves - I was presenting some pretty heavy material, telling stories relating to that material or giving the group important tips and strategies about how to stay as safe as possible and they kept on chatting. Admittedly they were always discussing what I was saying but regardless, I have a very clear rule - when I speak, they listen - that's just basic manners. When I begin my talk I always outline my rules and make it …

Parenting Party and Gathering Rule Number 3: Find out as much as you can about the event and don't just rely on your child for the info!

Image
When your child's school makes the decision to take students on an excursion, the number of hoops those teachers have to jump through to ensure each and everyone of those young people is as safe as possible is quite unbelievable. How are they going to get there? What will the student-adult ratio be? What transport company is going to be used to get them there and do they have the correct accreditation? The list goes on and on and you know what, as parents, you wouldn't expect anything less ... the school has a responsibility to keep your child safe while they are in its care and it doesn't matter whether they're going to a museum or wildlife park, it takes a lot of effort to ensure safety.

So why then do we not see more parents putting the same level of effort into finding out even a little more about the party or gathering their child is wanting to attend on a Saturday night? Let's quickly do a comparison - a school excursion for a class of Year 10s to a museum i…