Showing posts from April, 2019

Increasing pressure to be 'perfect': Let's not forget we have wonderful kids and amazing parents out there

Can you imagine being a teenager in today's complex world? My teen years were particularly tough but I can't even begin to imagine what it must be like to go through adolescence in this era of social media. Every image of them is scrutinised and judged by the world at large, as is all that they do and say. We may have done stupid things when we were young but, for most of us, there is no photographic evidence of any of it. Today, there is no room for a mistake or an error in judgment, as every activity is likely to be captured by some sort of electronic device and be available forever for people to examine, criticise and condemn. That's got to be tough ... It's the same for parents. Talk to your own parents about what they did when you were young and most will certainly let you know that they didn't have any book or parent seminar to raise you and your siblings. They just got on with it … Today, however, there is far greater access to information on how to paren

6 things you need to tell your P-plater child about being breathaylsed and RBT

It's the Easter weekend and police will be out in force on the roads in an effort to prevent senseless tragedies from occurring. Random breath testing (RBT) units will be stationed on roads across the country and if you have a young driver at home and they are planning to go anywhere over the next few days, it is highly likely that they will be pulled over and breathalysed. For as much as it called 'random', in reality, very few P-platers mange to drive past an RBT unit and not get ushered into being tested. Random breath testing was introduced across Australia in different jurisdictions during the 1980s (e.g., NSW in 1982, Tasmania in 1983 and Queensland and WA as late as 1988). Since then, trauma from fatal crashes involving alcohol has dropped, e.g., in NSW it has fallen from about 40% of all fatalities to the 2017 level of 15%. It's a strategy that works and, unlike speed cameras (which some people regard as a 'revenue raiser'), it has wide community suppo

'Pre's' and 'free's': What are they and why are they so popular?

There would be very few parents of teens who are not aware of 'pre's', i.e., smaller gatherings held at someone's home before the actual party or other event, (e.g., school formal, concert, music festival, etc) where young people meet to prepare for the night ahead. This usually (but not always) involves some sort of pre-loading on alcohol, particularly if they know that the event they are attending has security present or the parents hosting the party are known to be vigilant when it comes to underage drinking. Some of these events are actually hosted by parents who want to provide a 'safe space' for their child and their friends to drink alcohol. As I have said many times before, what you do with your child around alcohol is totally your business, but inviting other people's children to your home to drink without ensuring that is okay with their parents is shameful. I also question the idea of allowing your teen to have a few drinks and then sending them