Showing posts from September, 2019

Supporting a non-drinking teen

In 2010 I visited Broken Hill and delivered a presentations to a group of Year 10 students. A box was left at the front of the room and young people were encouraged to write down any questions, queries or concerns they had regarding the topics being discussed. One question stood out from all the others - it read as follows: "I identify myself as a non-drinker. I really don’t like the taste and how it makes me feel but most of my friends drink and sometimes I drink just to fit in. What’s the best way to deal with my situation. I don’t want to be known as a loser …" I kept the hand-written note for many years, using a copied version of it in many of my parent sessions and it highlights the pressure that young people can feel to drink alcohol when they socialise with their peers. Of course, that 'peer pressure' still exists (although I think it has reduced in recent times, but more about that later), but what happens when the pressure to drink comes from somewher

"We trusted our teen and we were terribly let down": A Mum warns other parents about 'blind trust'

I've written about this many times before and this is an update of an article I first wrote about three years ago. Sadly, no matter how many times we warn parents about blindly trusting their teen, it just doesn't seem to register until something terrible happens. This week I met a couple who recently almost lost their 15-year-old son and, as they said to me, it just wouldn't have happened if they had been checking up on him a little more and not simply trusted him to do the right thing. Without going into the details the incident involved fast cars, alcohol and the young man not being where he had said he would be … Their son was so lucky but the parents are now feeling terribly guilty about not making phone calls and finding out more about their son's movements by talking to other parents. They also feel foolish that they believed that their son was 'different' and would not let them down by lying to them. As I said to them, parents can only do their bes