Ask an Expert: My kids say I’m very easy going but should I be tougher?

I describe my parenting style as ‘love them to death and hope for the best’. My kids say I’m very easy going and they love me for it but should I be tougher? I don’t want to be one of those parents that says “no” for the sake of it and so I always try.. Read more

From science star to scuffles – my boy’s first year at high school

Guest post by Kayley Harris, mum of three. There comes a time in a young man’s life when his thoughts turn to…well…anything but schoolwork. My middle son, Mr 13, is about to start year 8 and the novelty of high school has well and truly worn off. In the final months of primary school, he.. Read more

Mentoring for teens

By Ellen Laughton. Mentoring. It’s a word we usually associate with professional career development, but some families are discovering the benefits of youth mentoring for their teenagers. Mentors are being engaged to help teenagers at risk or experiencing personal difficulties, or simply to help young people set and achieve their goals. What is youth mentoring?.. Read more

School suspension counterproductive

A Professor of Psychology wants schools to stop using suspension as a disciplinary tactic, saying it is counterproductive. “Schools might need to rethink the way they discipline children, because commonly used practices such as detention and suspension may do more harm than good,” says Professor Sheryl Hemphill from Australian Catholic University. Studies have found that.. Read more

Actually, this IS a dress rehearsal – negotiating with teens

When it comes to opinions about parenting teenagers, people seem to fall into two camps. There are those who believe that teens should do what they are told, that there is no negotiation, that what teens today need is a good old-fashioned smack and some tough love. Then there are people who actually know teenagers… Read more

Rebellious teenager gets a dose of tough love

This is a personal account by The Kids Are All Right reader Janine about the difficult time she has had with her rebellious teenage son, and how they’ve turned things around. A couple of months ago I wrote to ‘The Kids are Alright’ out of sheer desperation.  My then 15-year-old son had run away after.. Read more

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Don’t punish me for my friends’ behaviour

On day 4 of our National Youth Week teen writing event, Alex (15) asked parents to not judge their kids by their friends. I have a lot of friends who have WAY too much leeway. It’s probably not that their parents couldn’t care less, it’s more so they just don’t have the time to deal.. Read more

We’re not all bad

During National Youth Week 2012, we asked teenagers to tell us parents something we need to know. This is what Resi, 14, wrote for us. It’s almost insulting how little you trust my friends and I. You say it’s because it’s just to protect me but if protecting me means not letting me go to.. Read more

Violence and lack of discipline – a teacher’s lot

A new survey has revealed half of Victoria’s school teachers have battled violence or aggression in their classrooms. Most of the teachers surveyed also believe that parents expect them to provide all the discipline for their children. The Herald Sun survey of 816 primary and secondary teachers, conducted and analysed by Galaxy Research, found: 50%.. Read more