Teenagers and sex – are they emotionally ready?

Sex education for teenagers is usually pretty good at covering the physical and practical issues – reproductive health, sexually transmitted infections, and contraception. What sex education can sometimes gloss over is the emotional consequences for teenagers engaging in sexual activity. Sex educator Liz Walker from the Youth Wellbeing Project  and teen boys life coach, John.. Read more

‘Sexting’ teens: decriminalising young people’s sexual practices

By Danielle Tyson, Monash University; Amy Shields Dobson, Monash University, and Mary Lou Rasmussen, Monash University. Cases of teenagers “sexting” each other have recently provoked panicked responses by media, parents, educators and policy makers in Australia. Now a Victorian parliamentary inquiry into the practice has been told it’s better to use discretionary powers to deal.. 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

How to set up teens for a healthy relationship with alcohol

By Steve Allsop, Curtin University Young Australians are exposed to a range of risks from alcohol, both from drinking themselves and other people’s use. According to the most recent National Drug Strategy Household Survey: A third of 14- to 19-year-olds drank at levels that put them at risk of injury at least once during the.. 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

It takes a village to keep teens substance free

We know that friends can have a big influence over our teenagers. Now it’s been discovered that peer influence is so powerful, even friends’ parents can influence our own child’s alcohol or drug use. The parenting qualities that count, according to researchers, is consistency in discipline and awareness of teenagers’ whereabouts. “Among friendship groups with.. Read more

Lots of Facebook friends linked to narcissism

Do you know how many Facebook friends’ your teenager has? 200, 500, 1,000? Researchers have linked high Facebook activity, including a large number of ‘friends’, with narcissistic personalities. The researchers define narcissism as “a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration and an exaggerated sense of self-importance”. Creating a narcissistic personality inventory, the team from.. Read more

Parents told: don’t let teens drive with friends

Parents are being encouraged to restrict their teen from carrying friends when driving, on the back of two new studies into how peer passengers distract teen drivers. The first study has identified which teens are likely to drive with multiple friends. These drivers shared the following characteristics: considered themselves ‘thrill-seekers’ perceived their parents as not.. Read more

Australian teens pressured to ‘sext’

Teenage boys and girls report experiencing media and peer pressure to share sexual images via mobile phones, a practice known as ‘sexting’. Preliminary findings from a University of Melbourne study revealed young people believe a highly sexualised media culture bombarded them with sexualised images, creating pressure to engage in sexting. The boys interviewed for the.. Read more

Why teens use drugs, how to talk to them about it

“All my friends were doing it so I thought, why not?” Have you heard that one yet? Here are some of the reasons young people give for using drugs, and some ideas about how you can respond to them in a constructive way. If you think your kid might be lukewarm about sitting down and.. Read more