Showing posts from February, 2020

An invitation to an 18th: An example of some parental effort resulting in an extremely positive outcome

Things have certainly changed since I was at high school in terms of the importance of an 18th birthday. As I often say to Year 12s, the 18th was not a particularly important celebration in my day as our entry into adulthood was the 21st. Having a great big party in your final year of high school, right in the middle of your ATAR is not the greatest of ideas but I'm not here to challenge that - as I said, things have changed and now parents have to work out how best to deal with this event should their teen want to celebrate it. As I wrote a couple of years ago, it certainly makes sense in many ways - they are now officially 'adults', they can vote, drink alcohol legally and no longer be regarded as 'underage' … Unfortunately, any parent who decides to agree to an 18th birthday has to navigate through the incredibly complex 'alcohol issue' and work out how best to deal with a group of young people, some of whom are now legally able to drink alcohol (includ

Should you be 'teaching your child how to drink responsibly' and what does that realistically mean?

The school year has only just begun across most of the country and I am already being contacted by parents who are having issues with alcohol and parties. Almost all of those who have got in touch with me are doing their best to maintain the rules and boundaries they have set up to keep their teen as safe as possible but now find themselves really struggling, mainly due to other parents who are either providing alcohol at parties or simply choosing to 'turn a blind eye' to the issue. One particular phrase that I've now heard a couple of times is that these parents claim that when they provide alcohol to their teen in this way they are 'teaching their child to drink responsibly'. One mum recently contacted me to tell me about a conversation she had with her daughter's best friend's mother over the Christmas break. This was someone she had known since their children were in kindergarten together, a woman she believed had very similar values to her. Their d