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Showing posts from October, 2018

Why are teens more likely to make bad decisions at parties? 'Hot' contexts and four messages for parents to help protect their teens

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Almost every parent of a teenager has experienced that moment of complete exasperation and bewilderment when their (usually) reasonably intelligent and thoughtful child does something so stupid and so seemingly out of character that it's almost too difficult to process! This could have involved them breaking a rule that you had thought you had made very clear, making a choice that just doesn't make any sense no matter how you look at it, or in the worst-case scenario, deciding to take part in an activity that could have realistically resulted in injury or death.

No matter how smart your teen is and no matter how strong a relationship you have with them, the fact of the matter is that all adolescents are going to make dumb decisions at some time or another. Adolescence is a period of risk-taking – it's an evolutionary feature to encourage them to "engage in high risk behaviour and leave the village and find a mate". Of course, as I have said in the past, it's …

How do you sober up a drunk person? The importance of talking to your teen about 'sobering-up' mythology

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The mythology that exists around 'sobering-up' techniques is quite amazing. I have collected countless stories about young people finding themselves or their friends in trouble after trying to speed up the sobering-up process. Generation after generation has tried to find a way of recovering from the negative effects of alcohol as quickly as possible, but put simply there is only one thing that will help you sober up and that is time. 
Many of the methods utilized by teenagers were previously used by their parents (and possibly even their parents' parents). For a very long time the two most popular 'sobering-up' methods were undoubtedly 'drinking a strong cup of coffee' and 'putting someone under a cold shower'. Fuelled by popular culture these strategies have been reinforced over and over again. How many times have you seen someone in a movie or TV show being given a black coffee to sober them up after a big night out? Neither of them are effective…

Where do you stand on 'underage drinking'? Have you really thought it through and worked out how you are going to manage the issue?

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If you have ever attended one of my parent sessions you would know that they are not 'interactive', put simply, I talk and you listen! Right at the beginning of the year I made a decision to 'shake it up' a little and get the audience involved in one of my Parent Information Evenings. I did this by beginning the talk by asking those attending to turn to the person next to them and share their views on the following question - "Where do you stand on underage drinking? What are your rules around alcohol for your son or daughter?" It was fascinating to watch the response! Firstly, you could see many parents who simply did not feel comfortable expressing their opinions in this area with others, regardless of where they stood. Some, but certainly not all, parents who have a strict rule of 'no drinking' are worried that they will be seen as 'wowsers' or being overly protective, particularly if they have older teens. While parents who may have more …