April 15, 2010

My Out-of-Control Teen

Has your child:
  • Lied to you?
  • Stolen from you?
  • Skipped school?
  • Destroyed property?
  • Ran away from home?
  • Had a brush with the law?
  • Refused to follow any rules?
Are you concerned that you child is:
  • Having unprotected sex?
  • Hanging with the wrong crowd?
  • Experimenting with drugs or alcohol?
How to Deal With a Troubled Teen
Step 1 - What is your role?
Face the fact that you have a troubled teen. Often parents don’t want to know that their teen is doing drugs, having trouble in school, etc. Part of dealing with these problems is understanding what your role is in the situation. Thousands and thousands of parents face the same problems and each of them has their own understanding a role to be a parent depending on their values. Each of them is using different approaches to modify their child’s behaviour based on family traditions, religions, or personal life experience.

We highly recommend reading:
Active Parenting - Parenting of the 21st Century
5 Building Blocks of Active Parenting

Step 2 - Analysing teen behaviour
Carefully analyse behaviour. What happens right before the behaviour, what happens during the behaviour and the consequences of the behaviour. How did you react? Look for evidence of misbehaviour. When you understand the specifics behind a behaviour, you can begin targeting that behaviour with specific techniques.

 Step 3 - How serious is it?
An out of control teen can wreak havoc on a family and household. The most important thing  that a teen can make is self destructive choices that puts their health, safety, and future at risk. Depending on the particular situation, you will choose different strategies to help your troubled teen.

Step 4 - Techniques for use on troubled teen behaviour

1. Rules
Consistently enforce rules. Sit down with your teen and negotiate a set of rules and regulating that are realistic and that you can both live up to. Establish clear boundaries that cannot be crossed, and then set a consequence for breaking that rule. Carry it out!
Example: If the rule is broken, consider to remove all forms of their entertainment. This would include restricting them from hanging out with friends, using the phone, watching TV, using the Internet. Consider doing this for an extended period of time, only offering to return items and privileges when your teen has earned them back. Even if this doesn’t get them to behave in the manner you wish, it does teach them that when they don’t behave maturely and responsible in their lives, they lose what is important to them. This is an important life lesson for everyone to learn.
2. Stand firm in your decision
Many troubled teens find that if they argue long enough, you will become tired and give in. Try to avoid becoming angry and arguing back. Giving in to arguments or “reasoning” only encourages more arguments.
Example: If you need the car for the evening, and your teen argues that you are mean, their friends get to use the car, etc, simply state that you need the car, and since his or her friends can use their cars, he or she can call for a ride.
3. Creating strong connections
What is your child interested in? Does he love music or sports? Find a way to engage him through the things he loves in life.
Example: Start by taking him/her to a music store, buying a CD and listening to it together. Try to discover what it is about this music that speaks to your teen. In this way, you connect to him through what he loves, through those things, ideas and experiences that lift and envigerate his soul.
4. Communicate strongly
Discuss, don’t scream. Aggressive behaviour is easy to tune out. Remember, you have to make him feel comfortable and secure when he is confiding in you. Strong and clear communication from your side will make him feel secure about trusting you. Speak to your teen like he’s an adult and he may act like one.

5.Be an excellent role model
When parents serve as role models, teens will always look up to them and emulate their behaviour and habits. They will always confide in you whatever may be the situation.

6. Be an advocate for love
Always love your children. No matter what they do or say, always love your children. Remember to tell them and show them often, no one is too old to hug. Make a point of regurly reinforcing this, such as every day at breakfast, not just when they are behaving.

Just For You
During this troubled time, stand your ground, stay the course, and try to remember that this stage of your child’s life is temporary. Stay motivated by reminding yourself that the serious action you take now may very well help to steer your teen down a much better path then the one they are currently on.

April 14, 2010

My Son’s Bully

My son as a ten year old was a very happy kid who was good at school and had a nice group of friends, or so I thought. The trouble all started after his birthday party, he had a few friends over my husband played footy with them, we had cake - it went well.

A few weeks after this I started to find rubbish in my son’s school bag. Banana peels, chip packets and other things that I knew he hadn’t had at school kept appearing in large quantities in his bag and lunch box. We asked him why are you bringing this rubbish home?

Tears welled up and it all came flooding out. His “friend” Luke had put the rubbish in his bag and was continually picking on him in the playground. Luke had told other kids not to play with Jared and that he was fat and stupid. My heart broke and I had to hold tears back, my husband’s first instinct was to tell our son to confront Luke and next time punch him, after glaring looks he recanted and told our son that violence might not be the solution.

We told our son we would look into it and sort something out. But what? What can parents do? How do we fix what we have no control over? I decided to ring the school principal and discuss the matter, he was aware of it and Luke was constantly being placed in detention, was not allowed to participate in sport or excursions and regularly sat out lunchtime in the principal’s office.

My heart broke again, this time for Luke. Why would a ten year old go through all this punishment and not amend or change his behaviour, why was he picking on my son. After more investigation and a lot of thought I came up with a solution for my son. I told him every time he says or does something say “it doesn’t matter what you say or do Luke, I’ll still be your friend” and to then walk away. We also encouraged Jared to play with other children and made a point of inviting these kids over to our house.

Jared is now in High School in the “clever” class, he represents the school in basketball and has a great group of mates. Unfortunately Luke has been expelled from two high schools and I often see him roaming the streets alone.

I feel that as a society we have let the Luke’s of this world down. No one wins when there is bullying behaviour and not all victims of bullying cope and move on as well as my son. We as a community must be more active in combating bullying not only at school but at home and in the workplace. The big question is HOW?
- 'A Concerned Mum' for Enough is Enough
Helping Youth Develop Resiliency
  • Identify the youth's assets
  • Identify the family's assets
  • Role-model positive behaviour
  • Encourage learning and participation in extracurricular activities
  • Encourage the youth to explore and identify his or her values and beliefs
  • Teach communication skills, problem-solving skills, and decision-making skills
  • Promote community involvement
  • Help youth to identify goals and find the resources to help achieve these goals
  • Set clear expectations with the youth
  • Encourage the youth to develop a positive sense of self
    Source: SAMHSA, an Agency of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

    Enough is Enough presents:
    Positive Solutions Bullying Resilience Program
    Our new program focuses on resilience building in all students from K-12
    Click here for more information

To keep up to date with our news, new articles and current events connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and our E-Newsletter.
For information about Enough is Enough Anti Violence Movement visit: www.enoughisenough.org.au

April 7, 2010

About Forgiveness

Much has been written on forgiveness. It is a well debated subject, particularly in religious terms.

This article represents exerts from "Turn Pain into Pow.R" a book written by Ken B Marslew, CEO of Enough is Enough.

What is forgiveness? In my opinion, as humans not deities, small issues - and remember issues or situations that cause pain or concern are relative to the person it happens to - can be forgiven.
A major situation or betrayal may be harder to forgive. Often we need to forgive ourselves for our own transgressions. Religious groups say you must forgive to move forward.
Let’s look at this in a more logical way.
When an incident or situation occurs, what is the truth? What happened, how did it happen, and where does the responsibility lie? It is hard to accept the truth.
Then comes our values. What do we believe in, how does our values system tell us to act, and what is the value of that action?
Morality is part of our values system. Like justice, it has a different meaning to different people.
What has happened has happened, and nothing will change it. The only thing that can change is the way we think about it. When we find someone to place the blame on, we can think about revenge, or getting even in some way. By developing hate, what will we achieve? Often very little.
Who does hate hurt the most? The person doing the hating, not the person being hated.
So if hate hurts us the most, why would we continue to hate and hurt ourselves?
As humans, we are selfish. We are constantly looking for a payout from our activities.
Even the most saintly have expressed the opinion ‘I feel good about what I do’.
Letting go of hate would seem to me a more practical way of moving forward.
The world talks about justice. Again, justice means different things to different people.
Justice begins where revenge ends.
Peace is the passionate pursuit of justice – American Indian Proverb.
In summary, when we reflect on our own lives, we seek a level of personal comfort. Part of that is being able to live with ourselves and be happy.
Buddha’s quote says it all:
  • In the end, how well did we live?
  • How well did we love?
  • How well did we learn to let go?
It’s up to you how you deal with life’s challenges, no one else. Accept responsibility and make a positive contribution.

To keep up to date with our news, new articles and current events connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and our E-Newsletter.
For information about Enough is Enough Anti Violence Movement visit: www.enoughisenough.org.au

April 6, 2010

How to Choose the Right Self-Help Support Group

Make Connections, Get Help
If you are facing a major illness or stressful life issues, you don’t have to go it alone. A support group can help. Our article will help you to choose the right one.
A support group is a gathering of people who share a common concern, similar issues, or relationship problems. A support group usually focuses on a specific situation or condition, such as addiction, long-term caregiving, and domestic violence. 
Support groups are not the same as group therapy sessions. 
Group therapy is a formal type of mental health treatment under the guidance of a trained mental health provider. In many ways, support groups are not the same. Some groups are educational and structured. They also come in a variety of formats. 
Regardless of format, in a support group, you’ll find people with problems similar to yours. Members of a support group typically share their personal experiences and offer one another emotional comfort and moral support. 
Benefits of participating in support groups may include:
  • Feeling less lonely and isolated
  • An opportunity to talk openly and honestly about your feelings
  • A clearer understanding of what to expect with your situation
  • Learning about new medical research, getting practical advice about alternative options
  • Reduction in distress, depression or anxiety

Here are some questions to ask yourself when choosing a self-help group that will be right for your needs:

What are you looking for in a group? 
  • Emotional support? 
  • Information about the condition? 
  • Information about how to get the help you need? 
  • Access to services? 
  • People you can relate to?

Is there a contact person from the group who can respond to your inquiries and who can send you information before you attend a meeting?

Does the group have any prerequisites or requirements for attending the group?

Is the meeting place accessible to you with regard to transportation or special needs?

Is this group open to individual participation? Has mature, stable leadership, but is not controlled by one or a few dominant individuals?

Do members reach out to each other – including you – beyond meetings?

Do you feel safe after a few visits?  

It is important to attend at least two or three meetings before making a judgment about any particular group.


Domestic Violence Support Group

Vicarious Trauma Support Group
Road Trauma Support Group

Alcohol and Other Drugs  Support Group

Visit our website for more information about our groups.