Showing posts from June, 2021

Coping with the classic "You're the only one who does that" statement from your teen

'Sticking to your guns' when it comes to any adolescent issue, whether it be rules around screen time, household chores or alcohol and teenage parties is never going to be easy. You can start off with the best of intentions, attend every parent information session, read all the right books and think that you have it all covered but when it finally comes down to actually putting it all into practice it can be really tough.  Here is part of a message I received from Carol, a mother struggling to maintain her stand in relation to alcohol and her teenage son: "I'm constantly being told by my son that I'm the only one who calls other parents to find out what's going on at parties and even my best friend (who I've known since I was in Year 1 and always said to me that she would stick with me around the whole alcohol and parties thing when it came to our children who are the same age) said that I'm out on my own when it comes to saying 'no' to my 16-ye

5 issues for teens to consider when it comes to vaping

Earlier this year I wrote a blog providing some advice for parents who were struggling with the vaping issue. I had been contacted by an increasing number of parents who had discovered their child was using e-cigarettes and when they tried to challenge them about their use they were met with responses that they feel ill-equipped to deal with appropriately. The purpose of the piece was to assist parents, who knew little about the new phenomenon, when responding to some of the statements that their child was likely to throw at them in any discussion around the vaping issue, e.g.,  "But it's not smoking" .  The article I wrote was not an attack on 'vaping' or those smokers who are looking for an alternate nicotine delivery system. I have made it clear time and time again that I'm not interested in being involved in the current debate about vaping and its role in smoking cessation - my only concern here is for young people, their parents and teachers. I was not pr

5 tips to help ensure your child has healthy attitudes around alcohol

The social pressure to drink in this country is unbelievable and as a non-drinker I have found it increasingly difficult over the years to find things to do with friends and family where alcohol is not firmly positioned at the core. If I find it difficult at my age (and I do, much more difficult than it was in the past), how difficult must it be for our current generation of teens who are constantly bombarded with messages that to socialise you must have a drink firmly placed in your hand? When you add the pressure from family members to 'fit in' and avoid social exclusion, it is surprising that there are any teens who make the decision not to drink. What is so incredible is that if you look at the data around school-based young people and alcohol it is evident that we actually have a growing number of adolescents that are doing just that. We're not taking about just reducing the amount they drink, we actually have more young people who are choosing not to drink at all! The