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Your teenager needs to know that you like them!

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In my first two years of teaching High School students, I will happily admit now that I had little idea how to relate to teenagers, let alone those with bad attitudes, negative self image and distaste for being in school and having to learn. Talk about a steep learning curve! As you would expect of a young, naïve twenty two year old graduate, I made many mistakes in those early days when dealing with the attitudes of my students. They should listen when I was speaking and shouldn’t misbehave. Boy! Did I have a great deal to learn!! I recall being in a particularly challenging second year of teaching. I had an especially mixed bag of adolescent students, many of these dealing with some fairly significant issues in their own lives. And I was simply on a mission to be a good teacher and get through my curriculum. If they...
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Kids Out Of Control

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A recent documentary from the UK tells the disturbing story of Fred and Diane, parents of seven year old Georgina who want her taken into full time care due to years of frustrating behavioural issues. Young Georgina has been removed from at least six child care facilities in her young life and her parents are unable to control her significant abusive and disturbing behaviour. Perhaps the most shocking and confronting point in the documentary was when the mother referred to her daughter as ‘it’ and discussed how she had the opportunity to ‘get rid of it when it was just a foetus’ and how she regrets the decision every day. How gut wretchingly sad, to get to this point in a family where a child’s negative behaviour causes a family to implode! I discussed this documentary and the issue of behavioural issues with Sophie Falkiner on the Kerri-Anne show this...
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Quality Time with your Teenager

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As our children get older, many parents find that the parent child relationship changes. Your teenager may not share their feelings or experiences as much as when they were younger. It’s important as parents, that we keep the lines of communication open at all times and provide opportunities for incidental communication and sharing to occur. One such idea is the love bomb idea. I have heard many versions of this idea over the years. I first heard of it many years ago when a fellow teacher mentioned that she gave each of her children one ‘school free’ day per year, to spend one on one with her- doing whatever the child chose to do (within financial constraints of course!) Now you are probably thinking right now “Aren’t you an educator!?? How can you condone giving permission for a child to take a day off school!?” Well, let me reassure you...
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Encourage your teenager and watch them shine!

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As parents we can look for opportunities to praise not only your own teenager, but those that you come into contact with. I was recently on a school camp when we encountered extreme weather conditions, resulting in our campsite losing our large marquee shelters to heavy winds and minor student injuries. We approached a nearby group of teenagers who were staying nearby with three police officers, as part of a program for teenagers at risk. Immediately, their leaders prompted them into action and it was a real joy to see these young men working alongside our own teen students to fix our campsite. Some hours later we thanked each young man personally for their assistance in what was quite a difficult and extreme situation. I watched their chests puffed out with pride as our students offered personal thanks and praise. I was later told by the program’s team leader, that...
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