Showing posts from July, 2017

The importance of having the 'alcohol and other drug talk': One mother's plea for others not to wait until it is too late

I can't imagine what it must be like for a parent to get a phone call from a hospital saying that their teen has been brought into the emergency department after drinking too much or having taken an illicit drug of some kind. To get a call like this when your daughter is only 13-years-old must even be more confronting! A few weeks ago I was contacted by a mother (let's call her Maria) who had recently received such a call. She asked whether I would consider sharing her story with other parents in the hope that, in doing so, she could possibly prevent others from going through the nightmare her and her husband had experienced. To protect Maria's daughter and other people involved, we have changed the names and slightly altered some of the events ... "Our 13-year-old daughter (Sophie) had just started Year 8. She has always had lots of friends, most of whom we know very well. We also know most of their parents, a few of whom we even socialize with at school functio

What does research tell us parents can do when it comes to alcohol and does 'one size fit all'? Does your child's temperament make a difference?

Regular readers of my blog may have noticed that I've been a bit quiet over the past couple of weeks. Unfortunately, it's not because I went on holiday or did anything particularly exciting, sadly I was bed-ridden with shingles! Wow it's painful and I've been told that the only way you really get over it was to have complete rest, so that's what I did ... well, almost! The one thing that I have been able to do is to catch up with some reading ... I had a couple of books I wanted to get finished and a whole pile of journal articles that I have had on my desk for a while. I thought I'd share a couple of things that I found really interesting. Every parent wants their child to have a healthy attitude around alcohol, whether they choose to drink in the future or not. Unfortunately, many continue to believe that they can do little to influence their child's drinking behaviour, particularly during the adolescent years, however, the evidence continues to say that

Schoolies: Should I be worried and should I try to stop them going?

Schoolies Week (or 'Leavers' as it is called in WA) has been around in one form or another for a long time. When I finished high school I can remember a range of things that some of my classmates did in the days or week following the last day of exams. We may not have travelled across the country or overseas, but there has always been some type of 'letting off of steam' at this time. These 'celebrations' undertaken once high school has finally ended (whatever form they may come in), have always been regarded as a distinct marker of the transition from childhood to adulthood. I hate the term but Schoolies' events are now regarded by many school leavers as a 'rite of passage' ... One of the main reasons for this is the commercialisation of Schoolies Week, particularly over the past couple of decades. There is big money to be made here and there are plenty of people ready to take advantage of a group of young people with money to burn. There are a