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Everything You Need To Know About Teenagers


Everything you need to know about teenagers – and more 

Teens 101 tackles drugs, social media, sex, mental health, and respect

Parenting teenagers is more challenging than ever in the coronavirus (COVID-19) age. 

The usual issues such as anxiety, experimentation, peer pressure and cyber bullying, have in many cases been compounded by the global pandemic and resulting social isolation.

Now, more than ever, parents are looking for support and guidance. Known for its factual and non-preachy guides Drugs 101, Social Media 101, Sex 101, Mental Health 101 and Respect 101, Parent Guides has combined them to produce a compendium, Teens 101.  

The 180-page reference book draws upon the latest research, expert advice, and practical resources to help parents and carers navigate the teen years and start important conversations with their children. No holds are barred, and no topic is shirked.

“We tell it how it is,” says founder and Melbourne media identity Eileen Berry. “We inform parents and carers about what drugs their kids might take, what they are doing online, how likely they are to be having sex and, most importantly, how to discuss all this rationally with them.

Teens 101 covers all the bases and will be a valuable resource for parents, carers, schools, universities and other organisations that support families. Our goal is to spark meaningful conversations between parents, carers and their young people.”

Parent Guides is a not-for-profit organisation that has provided resources for nearly six years. The guides help parents and carers educate themselves about teen issues, and in some cases have prompted expert panel nights at schools.

The new compendium resource is ideal for schools, universities, libraries, and family support organisations. Special bundle packages have been developed to make them affordable.

“We want as many families as possible to benefit,” Eileen says. “With COVID-19 potentially amplifying issues faced by teenagers, practical and useful advice from respected experts is more important than ever.”

For more details: Eileen Berry, Parent Guides Founder & Ph: 0407 542 655 

Contact us via the contact form.

Guiding Families Through Coronavirus


Talking honestly with children about the current health crisis may help to reduce any anxiety they may be experiencing.

While the coronavirus pandemic threatens the physical health of people globally, it is also affecting our mental health.

This makes starting a conversation with children about the risks and possible consequences of COVID-19 without instilling panic a challenge.

The Australian Psychological Society says as the number of cases rises the level of anxiety within the community rises.

It advises families to keep things in perspective, limit related media exposure and seek facts from reliable sources such as the Australian Government’s health alert or the World Health Organization.

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY

“Children will inevitably pick up on the concerns and anxiety of others, whether this be through listening and observing what is happening at home or at school,” the APS says.

“It is important that they can speak to you about their own concerns. Answer their questions. Do not be afraid to talk about the coronavirus with children.

“Providing opportunities to answer their questions in an honest and age-appropriate way can help reduce any anxiety they may be experiencing.”

RESOURCES

The Australian Government’s Department of Health has developed a collection of resources for the general public, health professionals and industry about coronavirus (COVID-19), including translated resources.

See: http://bit.ly/39ZISDx

World Health Organization updates can be found here: https://bit.ly/3cQUwCw

DISCUSSING COVID-19 WITH CHILDREN

  • Speak to them about coronavirus in a calm manner.
  • Ask them what they already know about the virus so you can clarify any misunderstandings they may have.
  • Let them know that it is normal to experience some anxiety when new and stressful situations arise.
  • Give them a sense of control by explaining what they can do to stay safe (e.g., wash their hands regularly, stay away from people who are coughing or sneezing).
  • Don’t overwhelm them with unnecessary information (e.g., death rates) as this can increase their anxiety.
  • Reassure them that coronavirus is less common and severe in children compared to adults.
  • Allow regular contact (e.g., by phone & video call) with people they may worry about, such as grandparents, to reassure them that they are ok.

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Jess Chooses Life


Jess Chooses Life – A Play About Overcoming Bullying and Mental Health

Parent Guides is very proud and excited to be involved in delivering the play ‘Jess Chooses Life’ – to be performed Wednesday 19 Feb 2020, at 7 pm, at McKinnon Secondary College, Melbourne. 

Admission is free, and the play will be accompanied by a meaningful discussion alongside mental health professionals.

Use the following link to book your FREE tickets: https://www.trybooking.com/BHQJH

Get FREE Tickets

Some words from Angus (Gus) Clelland, Chief Executive Officer, Mental Health Victoria:

“In 2018 there were 3,046 deaths by suicide, and 458 of these were young people under 25 years of age.

In the face of this national tragedy, both the Federal Government and the Victorian Government have made mental health and suicide prevention top priorities.

Community, family and friends are fundamentally important when it comes to suicide prevention.

With this in mind, Mental Health Victoria – the peak body for mental health organisations – is very pleased to commend the collaboration of Health Play, Parent Guides and PoPsy to produce Jess Chooses Life, a sensitive and thought-provoking play that examines the pressures faced by young people and how parents can broach challenging topics such as mental health and suicide.

The format of the production – which includes audience discussion supported by mental health professionals – is highly engaging and thought-provoking, while being sensitive and supportive to audience members who may have lived experience.”

View the video testimonials from the previous play: https://vimeo.com/327637872/a0f46a1fc9

Respect Can Stop Domestic Violence


Parent Guides has been featured in a number of high profile publications including SBS News, Perth Now and the Daily Mail. With domestic violence being such an important issue, it is great to see awareness and interest from the public. See the full article and links below. *All content belongs to rightful owners AAP Media.

SBS: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/respect-can-help-stop-domestic-violence

Perth Now: https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/social/respect-can-help-stop-domestic-violence-ng-s-1942384

The West: https://thewest.com.au/news/social/respect-can-help-stop-domestic-violence-ng-s-1942384

The Daily Mail: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/aap/article-7002737/Respect-help-stop-domestic-violence.html

The Examiner: https://www.examiner.com.au/story/6112237/respect-can-help-stop-domestic-violence/

Respect can help stop domestic violence.

Charity begins at home and so should respect, according to a new guide trying to help combat domestic violence.

Melbourne media identity Eileen Berry says teaching respect in the home is the first step to stamping out negative behaviour.

RESPECT 101 is the latest in the Parent Guides 101 series.

It helps families define respect and encourage it in their children.

“RESPECT 101 identifies what respectful behaviour is, how to turn disrespectful into respectful, how to create life-long relationships and how to embed respect within the culture of adolescence,” Ms Berry says.

“This can apply at home, in school, in relationships and the community. It is important for parents and carers to model good behaviour and talk to their young people about what is and isn’t appropriate.”

The resource contains statistics, expert advice and case studies to inform and start important conversations between parents and carers and their teenagers.

Parenting Guides Ltd, a registered charity, has produced five other parenting resources that cover topics including drugs, sex, social media and body image.

1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)

Lifeline 13 11 14

Pick My Project – Suicide: It’s Time We Talked

WE NEED YOUR VOTE

Suicide: It’s Time We Talked is a 35-minute play that addresses youth suicide in the online era and how young people can reach breaking point without their parents realising.

Jessica’s parents find suicidal comments on her computer when she climbs out her bedroom window. After giving her parents a scare, Jess discusses her concerns with them, including bullying and her friend Lindy’s suicide. The message is one of understanding and hope.

Written by theatre veteran Alan Hopgood AM, the play is followed by a 30-minute Q&A with an expert panel including PoPsy director and positive psychology advocate Marie McLeod and headspace manager and mental health social worker Kirsten Cleland. Read more

Principal endorses Parent Guides

In a video interview Heather Norton, former principal of Firbank Girls’ Grammar School, in Melbourne discusses Parent Guides with publisher Eileen Berry.

Heather said the school had been fortunate to get funding from their Parents Association to bring Drugs 101, Social Media 101 and Sex 101 to Firbank. “To be honest, I can’t think of a better use of the Association’s money. It cements the fact that we are raising our children together – parents and the school. We have received nothing but positive feedback from our parents and the benefits for our students are knowing that their parents are learning about issues that matter,” Heather said.

Revealing the state of sexual health in Australian high schools

sex education

When I was young my mum handed me a book. The book was on puberty. She said, “Read that and come and find me if you’ve got any questions.” As you’ve probably already guessed, I never went to find her.

It’s really important parents understand where their kids are at in regards to their knowledge around sexual health. Having been young once too, many parents might think they instinctively know this, but the truth is, times have changed and parents might not know as much about the subject as they think they do. To find out, here’s a short quiz based on 5th National Survey of Secondary School Students on Sexual Health. Challenge your intuition. Some of the answers might surprise you. Read more

Frightening ingredients making their way into common drugs

smashed light bulb

There are some truly scary ingredients making their way into illicit drugs. Ranging from drain cleaner to crushed glass, each serves a purpose but these additives only add to the risk our kids are taking when they ingest these drugs. On top of that, pill testing can tell us how pure a pill is but when they aren’t that pure, testing can fail to tell us what else might have been added. Here are a few of the drug ingredients makers are introducing to the drugs found on our suburban streets. Read more

Facebook & Snapchat: It’s difficult to have a conversation with your kids if you don’t know how they work

Facebook Snapchat

Unfortunately in Australia we don’t really have a huge amount of data around social media like they do in the United States. One thing we do have though is the 2016 Sensis Social Media Report. If you ever want to look at social media trends for platforms like Facebook and Snapchat and many more, this is a really good place to start and it’s freely available online. This is one of the pieces of data that we get from the Sensis Social Media Report. While it doesn’t show data below 18 years of age, we can see that the data extends downwards. Read more

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