Showing posts from January, 2017

Transition from primary to secondary school: The first 3 months are critical and can impact on future alcohol and other drug use

I still remember my first day of high school - it was horrible! I had attended a state primary school and my parents, like many others, made the decision to move me to the private system for my secondary schooling. It was a major financial sacrifice for my parents back then and they did it for all the right reasons, but it was tough! Apart from the move from a co-ed environment to a boys only school being difficult (sport certainly wasn't my thing!), it was made even harder because I knew absolutely no-one. Many of the boys had come from 'feeder' primary schools and entered the year with established friendships - I was completely alone! I have a wonderful nephew who is just about to start high school (like me moving from the state system to the Catholic one) and his parents and I have had long talks about how to ensure this transition is as smooth and positive as possible. I certainly don't want him to have the experience I had and my brother and sister-in-law have

Parties and parenting: Start the year as you mean to go on, particularly you Year 9 parents!

It's not long now until school starts again. I'm sure many of you have had to deal with the party and gathering issue over the holidays but it will really fire up in the weeks ahead. As young people start to socialize in the school environment once again, discussions about what to do and where to go on the weekend, including which parties to attend will dominate schoolyard conversations for many. The invites will start rolling in and parents are going to have to make decisions about whether to let their son or daughter go to wherever on a Saturday night. If you're one of those parents whose teen has been going to parties each and every weekend and you haven't been policing the situation properly, to be honest, there's very little you can do. It's not only extremely difficult to change your approach 'midstream', it's also unfair and I can guarantee that your son or daughter will let you know that. In the words of my mother, "You've made y

With media promoting drinking as the 'norm', how can parents help their teen develop healthy attitudes towards alcohol, including regarding 'non-drinking' as a valid option?

Last night I was watching the TV news and during a story about the current Test match the cameras suddenly turned their focus onto none-other than our ex-Prime Minister, Bob Hawke. I didn't catch why we had turned our attention away from the game but a moment later we flashed back to the older statesman while he successfully skolled a beer in celebration of our success on the field. The commentators obviously loved it, thoroughly enjoying his drinking skills laughing and saying "He's still got the capability – good on him!" The SMH continued the same line this morning writing "to the delight of the crowd, the 87-year-old pulled out his party trick, downing a frothie with aplomb … Hawke was then shown on the SCG's big screen fulfilling expectations, to the cheers of an adoring crowd." (By the way, the screen is sponsored by Victoria Bitter beer!) had the headline - "Hawke knocks back a frothie" and Sporting News wrote "Bob Hawke ne