Showing posts from August, 2014

I've found out my son has used cannabis. Does he need treatment?

I was recently contacted by a mother who had discovered her son was using cannabis. I met her at a Parent Information Evening and from the brief conversation we had I could tell that this had come completely out of the blue and both her and her husband were now struggling with what to do next. I asked her to email me with some background on the situation and I would respond as soon as I could. To ensure her privacy I have changed some of the information she provided me, but essentially her story was as follows: My son left school a couple of years ago and did quite well in his final exams. He got into the university course he wanted but was unhappy there and has since begun another course in an area dramatically different from his original career choice. He has found it difficult to 'fit' and find a new set of friends, after moving away from his school friends since leaving Year 12. He certainly went through a period of drinking but it certainly never caused us any great

Can you, or should you 'trust' an adolescent?

I recently posted a link to an  article on my Facebook page that had been written by a teenager offering a number of parenting tips. It begins with the lines "I have not birthed a child, held one in my arms, and felt what it is like to see my own creation. I have not become a parent. But I do know what it is like to be held and raised by two really wonderful parents — to be parented." It made for an interesting read, and even though it would have been really useful to know more about the young woman that wrote it (we really don't even know if it was an Australian piece or not), I found it thought-provoking and thought some of the suggestions were really great ... Remember who you once were Challenge your child daily with household responsibilities You're the parent, not the best friend There were, however, a couple that I didn't necessarily agree with. The section titled 'Accept experimentation; it's inevitable' actually gave s

Ice, crystal, crystal meth or meth: Why is this drug so problematic?

A week doesn't go by without some sort of media story about 'ice' hitting the headlines. They usually involve stories of users committing violent crimes or law enforcement agencies announcing another huge seizure of the substance. However, the story of of the 26 year-old daughter of the late NSW Premier Neville Wran, Harriet being charged with the murder of a drug dealer and her alleged 'ice' addiction has once again brought the issue of methamphetamine and its associated problems to the front pages of newspapers across the country. The question I have been asked since the story broke is why would a young woman who apparently had 'everything' end up using a drug like ice? I don't think many would have been surprised if her drug of choice had been cocaine, a drug usually associated with 'high-flyers' and the rich and famous, but why ice? What is the attraction of this drug and why is it so problematic?   To understand the whole 'ice'

I'm keeping her back so she will be 18 for Schoolies!!

This will be one of the shortest blog entries ever - simply because I have no idea what to say about it! As regular readers of my blog will know, parental behaviour continues to baffle me but this just blows my mind! I was at a K-12 school a couple of weeks ago and was told by a couple of primary teachers that they were recently seeing a new phenomenon where parents were holding their child back from entering Year 1 so that they would be 18 in Year 12 when they went to Schoolies! Just having a parent think that seems pretty weird to me but to vocalize it and say it to others, including the classroom teacher is truly bizarre! Then, to actually do it ... I have no words! I held back from putting 'pen to paper' about this because I thought it must be an isolated incident and that it was just that particular school and a group of very strange parents but this week I was speaking to some mums after a Parent Information Evening and sharing a few stories and they also discussed pa

A couple of drinks to take to a party + teenagers: How can parents not see that this can lead to sexual activity?

When I meet a parent who tells me that they have made the decision to give their teen a couple of drinks to take to a party and what are my thoughts, I have to be careful as to what I say. Every parent has to make their own decisions around whether or not to provide alcohol to their child or not - who am I to tell you what to do with your son or daughter? But when a mum or dad comes out with the ridiculous line of "At least I know what they're drinking - if they don't get it from me, they'll get it from somewhere else ..." it makes my blood boil! How you providing alcohol makes it any less dangerous is beyond me and when I hear this kind of statement from a parent of a 15 or 16 year old young woman I find it very hard to not want to shake them ... How a parent cannot see that alcohol and sexual activity (whether it be consensual or not) are linked is beyond me! The evidence is quite clear that teens who drink alcohol are more likely to be sexually active at an e