Showing posts from November, 2015

Should we be surprised that teen parties get out of control when we give them so much when they are so young?

I've been putting this blog article together for some time now ... Each time I receive another email from a concerned parent who is struggling on how to deal with their teen being invited to a party or gathering that they just don't feel is going to be safe, I have a little more ammunition and some more evidence that I believe justifies me asking "What in heavens are some people thinking?". But last night when I read an article in the 'Essential Kids' section of the SMH (you can find some really interesting pieces there!) called ' Are primary school graduation formals getting out of hand? ', I thought, I can't hold back any longer ... I recommend you read the whole piece (the author, Kylie Orr, makes some great points throughout) but essentially it was written because of the following 'incident': "It's now my 12-year-old's turn to "graduate" from primary school. We didn't use the word "graduate" when

Is cannabis really being laced with 'ice'?

For some time now I have been asked by a range of people (parents, teachers and health professionals) whether I believe it is true that cannabis is being 'laced' with 'ice'. My response has always been that I have seen no evidence to support the claim and realistically if such evidence actually existed then I am sure the police and other agencies would be getting that information out to cannabis users and the wider community as soon as they were able to - not only is it an important public health message, it's also a great story and would generate some pretty major headlines across the country! I haven't written anything about it because I hate giving stories like this any oxygen ... they feed into the mythology and hysteria around drugs and drug use and I wouldn't be surprised if one of the tabloids grabbed a line from something I wrote that said I didn't believe it was the case and twisted it around to say that drug educators were concerned about the p

What makes a good school great? How do you choose a school that's right for your child?

As most of you know I do not have children (as I always say in my talks, if I did, they'd live in a cellar, be chained to a wall and never be let out - I say that in jest but to be honest I'm not really sure what I would do!), but I am frequently asked by parents (and particularly friends who are parents), if I did have children, what schools would I send them to and why? I come into contact with almost 200 schools each year, across all sectors - public, Catholic and Independent - and I continue to be impressed by the amazing things I see across the country. I don't want to get into the whole 'public or private' debate - parents make a choice about whether they're going to put extra money into their child's education based on a whole pile of things. Certainly faith can play a role for some people (although it would appear this group of parents is getting much smaller) but for many, it's simply they want to ensure that their child has the 'best educ