Parental controls for the parent

Big Brother made its return to the box last night. And I couldn’t have been more excited. I’ve been a devoted fan since 2001, since my now 14-year-old was a funny little toddler of 3. My daughter joined me on the couch not too many years after, and it became ‘appointment viewing’, as they say,.. Read more

The best thing I read this week about parenting

You know when you read something that has you enthralled from beginning to end? And as you’re reading, you’re realising that you’re absorbing something very important, something that might change the way you think or the way you do things? I came across an article this week that had that effect on me. ‘Raising Successful.. Read more

How to raise a musical child

Every child should play an instrument. That was my mum’s philosophy. Unfortunately, her philosophy did not extend to…”an instrument of their choosing”. Which is why it was a tradition for us four children upon our 7th birthday that we would be visited by a Giant and given an owl – uh, sorry, wrong story –.. Read more

When dobbing in a mate is the right thing to do

Today, family and friends will farewell 18-year-old Thomas Kelly, the teenager who died after a punch to the head in Kings Cross last weekend. Somewhere else in Sydney, another young man may be wrestling with some personal demons. I’m not talking about the teenager who has been arrested over the death, but the mate who.. Read more

Open letter to a teenager

I discovered a little mystery on the Internet last night. It began when I followed a link to the website, The Smile Collective. There I found ‘A Manifesto for Youth’ based on some inspiring words that had been doing the rounds online. It was a bracing, no-holds barred letter to teenagers, apparently written by a.. Read more

My golden rule for choosing a godparent

I’m not normally one for dispensing parenting advice. I started The Kids Are All Right because I had more questions than answers. But I do know how to choose an awesome godparent. The traditional godparent Growing up Catholic, my siblings and I understood our godparents’ role was to ensure we were raised in accordance with.. Read more

Parent responds: 20 things a secondary teacher wants to say to parents

A popular article on The Kids Are All Right website this week was 20 things a secondary teacher wants to say to parents. In writing this list, teacher Paul Whitehead said he understood that he’d be “opening the door for ’20 things parents want to say to their child’s teacher’”. Challenge accepted! (In part.) Here.. Read more

‘You’re grounded’ and other futile punishments

There’s been a spate of ‘groundings’ in our home lately. In our household, grounding means not going anywhere after school or on weekends, not having friends over, and no screens. I hate grounding as a punishment. It seems futile and unproductive. It’s based on some cock-eyed theory that if I deprive you of your freedom.. Read more

Teens ‘deserve more credit’

Patrick Ness is my daughter’s favourite author. She is genuinely obsessed. This week Ness won the Carnegie Medal, awarded annually to the writer of an outstanding book for children. He won the Carnegie Medal last year as well, only the second author to win two years in a row since it was established in 1936… Read more

Helping your kids handle social pressure

A friend emailed me the other day with a ‘proud mummy moment’ – yes, we still have them, even with teenagers. Her 15-year-old daughter had been invited to a birthday dinner for a classmate at a swanky restaurant, followed by a sleepover at the birthday girl’s house. Our daughters are at the age where drinking.. Read more