Ask an Expert: How do I stop buying my teen alcohol, without losing his trust and respect?

I have a 15-year-old (almost 16) who has a fascination with alcohol. He seems to feel that he cannot have fun on the weekends without it. His friends also regularly drink and some smoke pot. He drinks bourbon (the drink of choice by his father) and refuses to drink any lower strength alcohol. I made the.. Read more

Ask an Expert: My daughter was harassed online and now says she is depressed. Do I ban her from all social media?

My daughter has changed. She has become very isolated and withdrawn, skips schooling and doesn’t want to go out in crowds. She used to like going out with her family to shopping malls. Naturally I have run all the medical tests under the sun. She is fine. Her behaviour has become worse over the last.. Read more

Ask an Expert: Are we equipping our children to adequately cope with the world?

With our current ‘bubble wrap’ approach to raising our children, their limited opportunities for exploration, imagination and risk taking in their lives are we equipping them to adequately cope with the world? Kids need to learn resilience. They need to learn how to fail. Society generally sees failure as a negative thing, but through failure.. Read more

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

Ask an Expert: What can I do about my 13-year-old who doesn’t want to do family things anymore?

If a 13-year-old decides he/she does no longer want to go out with the rest of the family (to visit uncles or go to church etc) what is the smartest course of action without being a dictator? Wanting to avoid hanging out with the family is a pretty normal part of adolescence that is often.. Read more

Ask an Expert – Does making sexual relationships sound wrong or dirty give teens a bad start to their sexual lives?

Does making sexual relationships sound wrong or dirty give teens a bad start to their sexual lives?  The language we use around relationships and sexuality can have a huge impact, so the simple answer to this question is yes.  Depending on the individual child, using negative language may contribute to a negative attitude towards sex,.. Read more

How to survive the ‘terrible teens’

By Louisa Simmonds. Unlike a lot of my ‘smug-parent’ friends, I didn’t gel instantly with my kids when they were little people. Some parents prefer that stage, when their children are needy dependent and still have some parental control; I always considered myself to be a more hip parent. I wanted to be friends with.. Read more

Talking to teenagers about drugs and alcohol – ‘The Other Talk’

The Australian Drug Foundation (ADF) has launched a new website to help parents have ‘The Other Talk’ with their children about alcohol and other drugs. The website,, provides tips on how to talk to teenagers about drugs and alcohol and information to help arm parents with facts. “Drugs are often still a taboo subject.. Read more

How to reconnect with your teenager

By Sacha Kaluri. Being a parent of teenagers who just want to live their own lives can be hard work. If you’ve been feeling a bit out of touch with your teenagers lately, it is possible to reconnect with the children who were once your babies. In my job visiting schools around Australia and talking.. Read more

Argumentative teenagers and ODD – when is it time to get help?

By Brenda Fry and Rachel Hynes. Many parents will experience their teenagers being argumentative, defiant, angry and disobedient to varying degrees during the adolescent years. For some children, though, these behaviours are intense and long-lasting enough to be classified as oppositional defiant disorder, or ODD. ODD affects children and teenagers and is characterised by an.. Read more