New role-play videos and articles at Raising Children Network show
parents how to communicate with teens on the issues that cause them
stress such as cyberbullying, body image or depression.
Informed by experts in adolescent wellbeing, the free resources at raisingchildren.net.au were developed by Raising Children Network and NSW Kids and Families.
The resources help parents and practitioners communicate with teens, in particular those with emotional and social health concerns or a long-term chronic illness.
Above: New resources from Raising Children Network can help parents open up more conversations with their teenager.
Image downloads: Dad and teenage boy talking outdoors, teenage boy with counsellor, teens running along the beach.
‘Communicating with teenagers can be challenging for parents, especially when help is perceived by your teens as interference. Concern can be seen as babying, or advice can be interpreted as bossing,’ said Professor David Bennett, AO, Senior Clinical Advisor, Youth Health & Wellbeing at NSW Kids and Families and Senior Manager with the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network.
‘With around one in four teenagers developing a significant mental health problem, however, parents need to know what’s normal and when to worry – it’s part of the job.’
The new videos and articles explore communication with teens on sensitive issues such as alcohol, body image, cyberbullying and depression. Video scenarios between parents and teens demonstrate positive ways to communicate.
Expert commentaries by professionals highlight good communication styles that parents can use to broach tricky issues.
According to Dr Julie Green, Executive Director of Raising Children Network, the teenage years are a critical time in the development of good lifelong mental health. Mental health problems in adulthood often begin in the teen years, emphasising a need for support and early intervention.
‘There’s rapid growth and change during the teenage years – physically, mentally and socially. Parents play a crucial role during this time yet they often feel unsure about the balance between wanting to support their child and giving them space to manage issues themselves.
‘We hope these resources help parents open up more conversations with their teenagers, discuss positive strategies as well how to tap into the professional support system that’s available if it’s needed,’ said Dr Green.
The new resources build on the resources for parenting pre-teens and teens at raisingchildren.net.au and include the following 19 new videos and 17 new articles:
Supported by the Australian Government, Raising Children Network is the complete Australian resource for expectant parents, and parenting newborns to teens. Member organisations are the Parenting Research Centre and the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute with The Royal Children’s Hospital Centre for Community Child Health.
Connect with Raising Children Network and parents through our website, on Facebook, Twitter or on Google+.
Jenny Mina, Communications Manager, 0428 039 265
Madelyn Gover, Communication and Media, NSW Kids and Families, 0421 010 576