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Collett Smart is a registered psychologist, lecturer at UWS, public speaker and author. She regularly consults with the media on mental health and youth cyber-behaviour. Collett’s experience as both a school psychologist and a private practitioner, has brought her to an understanding of what may be considered, ‘best practice’. Her experience of 20 years includes working with children and teens in Australia, the UK and Africa. Collett writes at collettsmart.com


Paul Wade has a unique life experience resulting from the combined challenges and triumphs he faced as the captain of the Socceroos, as well with his own personal struggles of dealing with epilepsy. As a result, Paul has developed a way of sharing his life experiences with young people in his Skills for Life programmes. His educational programmes challenge their thinking and inspire them to make positive life choices by promoting awareness of key life values that can be experienced through sport and activity.

Exploring the question: Is this normal teenage behaviour? Tuesday 5 April, 6 pm for 6.30 pm start – concluding 9 pm Performing Arts Centre Pacific Hills Christian School, Quarry Rd, Dural NSW Seven expert panellists will assist in answering this question through the lens of: • Psychology • Sex education and pornography • Body image and eating disorders • Drugs and alcohol • Problematic internet use • Motivation/Goal setting • Education support/Tutoring Our MC for the evening will be NSW Young Australian of the Year and Top Blokes founder, Melissa Abu-Gazaleh. After all speakers have presented, Melissa will open the floor to your questions.

Early Bird and subscriber tickets (close 26 Feb) $16.50 per person Non-subscriber (post Early Bird) $27.50 per person A portion of the proceeds will be donated to a teen based charity.

Places are limited, so don’t miss out! BOOK NOW at www.exploringteens.com.au



Sarah McMahon is a Psychologist and the Director of BodyMatters Australasia. She has worked in the field of eating disorders for over a decade and has successfully treated hundreds of people. Specifically, she works with individuals aged from 13 to 30. Sarah also holds a Masters of Public Health and has worked with schools, workplaces and charities to provide education and strategic direction to prevent the toxic cultural environments that perpetuate eating issues and body shame. Brad Marshall is the Principal Psychologist at Northshore Kidspace and has been working with children, adolescents and families since 2006. Brad specialises in assessment, diagnosis and treatment of children, adolescents and young adults with a wide range of psychological, emotional and behavioural difficulties. This includes treatment of young people experiencing excessive internet use or ‘internet addiction’ and related disorders. Trent Southworth is an ex NSW Police Youth Liaison Officer of 8 years with over 14 years of total policing experience. During this time, Trent worked closely with key bodies to identify youthrelated initiatives such as underage drinking programs, truancy, road safety, drug programs and bullying. After leaving the Police, Trent established the Teen Strategies Group for providing seminars for students, teachers, parents and community groups Australia-wide. John George is the founder of InFlow Education, and as a high school teacher and tutor for 15 years, John regularly helps young people transform their academic results by teaching them the underlying inner peace and confidence that sustains their success. John is also the author of Teenage Zen - a simple path to academic success and inner peace.

Light refreshments included Exploring Teens Third Page 234mm W x 95mm H_No Bleed.pdf

Liz Walker is an accredited sexuality educator, professional speaker and founder of Youth Wellbeing Project. As the creator of the whole-person centred sexuality education model, and BODY IQ AND RELATIONSHIP IQ programs, Liz provides proactive strategies for healthy sexual development to students, parents, counsellors and educators. Liz is regularly featured in media and speaks to thousands of young people every year, bringing a strong focus on deconstructing the messages of porn culture

8:47 pm

Raising Resilient Teenagers FREE online parenting program empowering parents to make sense of adolescence and parent their teenager with confidence.

We are inviting parents and their teenagers (aged 12-15) to take part in a trial of a new online parenting program designed to provide parents with strategies to manage the challenges of adolescence and stay connected with their teenager.

Register at: www.parentingstrategies.net/depression/brief.intervention For more information: med-parentingstrategies@monash.edu or phone (03) 9905 1250


When my boys were under 10 years, someone did something really silly that upset one of them. It wasn’t a major upset, but my son came home quite distressed. When he told me about it, I felt sad and hurt for him. As a ‘protective mother’, I decided I didn’t like this child who had upset my son. As the years went on, whenever this person’s name came up, which it started to quite regularly as the child became a closer part of my boys’ group of friends, I would say ‘I don’t like that person’. Over time, both of my boys starting rising to the defence of their friend each time I made my comment. Then one day, it finally dawned on me (I can often be a bit slow on the uptake) that by constantly putting this person down, I was undermining my boys’ choice of a friend. I was effectively telling them that their own thoughts and feelings couldn't be trusted. They weren’t capable of making an ‘informed decision’ and I needed to ‘assist them with that’. As soon as I caught this thought, I went straight to my boys and said ‘I just wanted to let you know that my continuing judgement of your friend is wrong and if you see good in that person and believe in the value of their friendship, then I will absolutely trust your decision. From this day forward, I will like and embrace the goodness you see’. This person is now someone whose company I enjoy, and who is a great friend to my sons. I understand though, that this might not work in every case because there are definitely ‘friendships’ that can harm our kids, and we need to try to help them learn how to distinguish the good from the bad. Even so, it seems to me that demonising the ‘friend’ achieves very little apart from pushing your kids away and effectively telling them that their judgement can’t be trusted. So in keeping with the theme of this issue, this example demonstrates a failing in me to transition with my boys. I was stuck in a ‘protective mother’ role and took a long time to see the change and transition that was happening in their friendship with this person. Transitions aren’t all about the process our teens are going through. We are walking the very same path alongside them and need to be conscious of keeping pace in our own ‘parenting transition’ as we learn and grow during our adventures of... Exploring Teens.


In November, my daughter was in Paris during the terrorist attacks. While she was dealing with the reality of avoiding gunmen on nearby streets and living in a city under threat, we sat glued to the TV in Sydney for over six hours. As we watched the breaking news, we tried to make sense out of the chaos, willing her to be safe while we faced the undeniable fact that there was absolutely nothing we could do to shield her. As parents, we are hardwired to protect our children. As they transition from child to adult, we have to start letting go, to allow them to take responsibility for themselves. We know this and we do this, but we never lose that protective instinct. The Paris attacks taught me that while to us as parents, our children will never really be grown up, we should believe and trust in the love and guidance we have given them over the years. When the time comes, they will rise to the occasion and appear before us in an astonishing new light as capable, independent and loving adults. This issue, we focus on transitions. Once we started exploring the topic in relation to teens, we realised how vast it is. Their lives are in a state of flux – physical, emotional, mental, environmental, social. So many first/new experiences – high school, parttime jobs, dating, new friendships and connections, new responsibilities and freedoms. And all of this happens within a world that seems to reinvent itself every day; where parents, teachers and others are time poor, often stressed and struggling to make sense of their own lives let alone someone else’s. Good communication – never a teenager’s strong point – becomes more important and yet seems harder to achieve. So HOW do we help our teens through these confusing times? As always, we’ve called on the experts for practical advice to help you and your teen navigate the turbulent waters of adolescent transitions. You will find tips on moving to high school, dealing with social exclusion, managing medical transitions, supporting your child through your divorce, your teen’s legal rights, and more.









Produced and published by Norwest Publishing Pty Ltd Founder/Publisher Mathea Viles ABN 64 167 026 913 PO Box 8149 Baulkham Hills NSW 2153 Editor Gillian Handley Graphic Design Melissa Kallas Print and distribution by Spotpress Pty Ltd Contributors Lynne Allister Jenny Atkinson Emily Booth Amelia Dorey Callum Firth Felicity Handley Katherine Hawes Nathan Jacobs Elspeth LaMorte Mirelle O’Meara Nicole Mangura Professor Jennifer McIntosh Kim Milton Dr Angela Mornane Associate Professor Susan Towns Subscriptions Subscribe online at the Exploring Teens website Website www.exploringteens.com.au Facebook www.facebook.com/exploringteens

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Disclaimer The views and opinions expressed in Exploring Teens are not necessarily those of the publisher or editorial staff. Exploring Teens provides general information that cannot be regarded as a substitute for any form of professional advice. The accuracy of website addresses cannot be guaranteed at the time of publishing. No part of Exploring Teens can be reproduced in whole or part without the express permission of the publisher.



This month we explore TRANSITIONS



Our ‘Exploring’ features provide depth and insight into issues affecting parents and teens.

5 Have You Heard?

Exploring Transitions

6 The Leap to High School The transition from primary to high school is scary for every child. Jenny Atkinson has tips on how to make it easier. 8 Social Exclusion – Why is My Child Left Out? Dr Angela Mornane has some strategies for dealing with this heartbreaking concern that many parents have 9 Supporting Your Child Through Your Divorce Separation has particular challenges for adolescents. Professor Jennifer McIntosh has advice on how to smooth the transition for your teen. 10 Growing Up and Moving on – Medical Transitions For children with chronic health problems, growing up involves a medical transition from paediatric to adult medical care. Associate Professor Susan Towns has advice on transition planning. 15 Your Teen’s Legal Rights Principal Solicitor Katheryn Hawes lays out the law as far as your teen is concerned 16 Volunteering as a Stepping-stone to Adulthood Volunteering has life-changing benefits for young people. Two teens share their experiences

Exploring Communication

17 M  otivation through Gamification Nathan Jacobs shows you how to motivate your teens to do their chores – willingly!

12 Your Teen’s World 14 Life with Teens How will they Cope on their Own? Every parent worries about how their child will cope in an emergency. 16 Humour Fill in the Blanks Those teenage sayings that make you want to tear your hair out

Exploring the Marketplace

18 Exploring the Marketplace Some of our great sponsors tell you about what they offer and how they can help

Exploring Products

19 What can they Use? Our pick of products to suit the most demanding teen

Exploring Gaming

20 What are they Playing? Nathan Jacobs reviews some popular games using his exclusive parentfriendly rating system

Exploring Books

21 What are they Reading? Reviews you can use for an exciting selection of books for teens and parents

Exploring Activities

22 What can they Do? Get your teen up and doing.

Exploring Services

23 Services Directory Some great services for teens and parents

YOUR SAY This is what some of our readers had to say: I am currently managing a Christian non-profit organization in Ghana which reaches over 15,000 children teens and youth in 71 communities of four regions in Ghana with the word of God. I personally love to explore developing teens to unearth their talent and their God-given potential in life. I got to know this amazing magazine through Facebook Raph A really cool resource for parents of teens Magic Moments Foundation I have been putting Exploring Teens on the registration table with our flyers and brochures as people come in for our Hot Topics. Lyn Worsley remarked when she saw the latest edition what great topics you were covering and what a good job the magazine was doing. We have to support people dedicated to quality! Robyn Scarf, The Resilience Centre We encourage you to like their page and subscribe to their newsletter to support this Aussie magazine focusing on our young teens who are our future leaders. Sunshine Coast Noticeboard BodyMatters is thrilled to have had the opportunity to engage with Exploring Teens through advertising. It is rare to find an organisation that is so aligned with our values. We appreciate that Exploring Teens plays a vital role in disseminating thought leadership to a largely unresourced population group. Our interaction with the stakeholders at the magazine has been both positive and personal. We highly commend them to you. Sarah McMahon, Body Matters Australasia Awesome vision and dedication to Exploring Teens. Louise


Thank you for taking the time to look at Exploring Teens. If you would like to read the rest of this issue, you can purchase digital copies of the back issues from our App on IOS and Android. Please see our website for further details. Click here

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Exploring Teens - Issue 8 - February/March 2016  

Exploring Teens is a print and online parenting magazine for parents of teens. Featuring high-quality editorial, it is distributed free in S...

Exploring Teens - Issue 8 - February/March 2016  

Exploring Teens is a print and online parenting magazine for parents of teens. Featuring high-quality editorial, it is distributed free in S...

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