Showing posts from January, 2018

Starting high school: The importance of parents being involved, staying involved and talking to one another

This time last year I wrote an article on the importance of a 'smooth transition' from primary to secondary school. Research has shown that by Year 10, those students who managed to get through this difficult transition period without too many issues are likely to have higher levels of school attendance, better academic results, low behavioural problems and lower rates of substance abuse. What happens in the first few months of high school can play an important role in how their future plays out … I recently read a wonderful research paper by Anne Coffey that discussed the key to a successful transition being 'relationships'. In the article, the author identified a number of potentially 'negative' changes that can occur during the move from primary to high school including the following:  ·        a decline in self-esteem due to changes in learning environment and more demanding schoolwork ·        a "dip in academic performance and motivation&qu

8 things parents need to tell their teens about alcohol and vomiting

The response to last week's blog that asked parents 'Would your teen know what to do if something went wrong at a party?' was amazing! Well over 20,000 people read the piece over a 2-day period and the content seemed to really resonate with parents. The incredibly sad story of the 15-year-old girl who choked to death on a bed while being watched by four of her friends is particularly powerful and, as a result, many readers forwarded the link to their teens. Amongst all the comments was one that I found particularly interesting: " … Death by vomiting is a real danger. I must have been lucky as a young bloke to not have died. My life was saved several times whilst vomiting unconscious. I had good mates who looked after me. A wife who saved my life three times. I no longer drink at all. The fun aspect disappeared long before I got the help I needed. I don't think all that much has changed over the past 50 odd years ... I quite like young folk. Times change. Kids d

Would your teen know what to do if something went wrong at a party? Even with the information do they have the 'brain wiring' to respond appropriately?

In her book, The Teenage Brain, Frances Jensen talks about adolescence as being a particularly risky time of life due to their brains still "being wired", resulting in them often finding themselves in potentially dangerous situations and simply not knowing what to do next. She quotes a 2010 study conducted by the British Red Cross that examined how teens react to emergencies involving a friend drinking too much alcohol. "More than 10 percent of all children and young teens between the ages of eleven and sixteen have had to cope at one time with a friend who was sick, injured, or unconscious owing to excessive alcohol consumption. Half of those had to deal with a friend who passed out. More broadly, the survey found that nine out of ten adolescents have had to deal with some kind of crisis involving another person during their teenage years - a head injury, choking, an asthma attack, an epileptic seizure, etc. Forty-four percent of the teens surveyed admitted to