teenagers

Parenting in Challenging Times

If you have young people in your family who hurt, intimidate or abuse you there are two parenting programs which may help you regain control in your family and increase your conflict resolution skills.

Centacare will deliver the  8 week Who’s In Charge parenting course for parents of children 8 – 25 years in 2014 in metropolitan Adelaide.  Web_2The course is based on the work of Eddie Gallagher, a Victorian social worker and one of the first parenting specialists in Australia to acknowledge adolescent violence in the home.  The course addresses parents’ feelings of guilt and isolation, clarifies boundaries of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour, develops family capacity and identifies practical strategies for change in a positive and supporting environment.

The Who’s In Charge course is for parents who feel constantly challenged by their children’s behaviour.  It  also addresses threatening behaviour, emotional and physical abuse, dealing with powerful emotions including anger and rage and builds individual plans for safer families.

If you are troubled by your adolescent’s extreme behaviour this is the course for you.

Contact Centacare for information about the Who’s In Charge course in 2014.

If you want to know more about the work of Eddie Gallagher please click on the link http://www.eddiegallagher.id.au/

2014 will also herald a new program to address young people’s violence and abuse in the family.  The Walking on Eggshells Project will be piloting Step Up for SA beginning March 2014.  The group program is based on the successful Step Up – Building Respectful Family Relationships program developed by Lily Anderson and Greg Routt in the USA and has been adapted for South Australia offering young people and their parents a 13 week cognitive-behaviour intervention program.  This program uses a Restorative Practice model of accountability, competency development and family safety aimed a decreasing violent behaviours and increasing pro-social behaviours.  The program has a two-fold focus:

  • to help young people learn about the impact of violent behaviours in the family and adopt pro-social behaviours
  • to assist parents with skills to support behaviour change in the family.

The pilot program starts in early March 2014 at Hindmarsh.  For further information and referral contact Rosalie O’Connor, Step Up for SA Co-ordinator at walkeggproject@optusnet.com.au

If you want to know more about the work of Lily Anderson and Greg Routt go to www.kingcounty.gov/courts/stepup/Curriculum.aspx

Do we really understand the law around sexting?

Web_19A new smartphone app has been launched to help young people and parents better understand the law around sexting, cyberbullying and the age of consent.  Developed by Victorian Legal Aid, the app can only currently be used on Android devices but will soon be available on iphones.  The app is an engaging and interactive way for young people to be more aware of the risks involved in sending and receiving sexual photographs or cyberbullying.

“Below the Belt: Sex, Selfies and Cyberbullying” can help us all understand that our digital footprint lasts a lifetime!

Why do people self-harm and how should I talk with someone who is deliberately injuring themselves?

Web_25Self-injury is a maladaptive coping mechanism that some people use:

  • To escape from unbearable anguish
  • To change the behaviour of others
  • To escape from a situation
  • To show desperation to others
  • To’ get back at’ other people or make them feel guilty
  • To gain relief of tension
  • To seek help
  • To die

Self-injury can take many different forms which may include:

  • Cutting, scratching, or pinching skin, enough to cause bleeding or a mark which remains on the skin
  • Banging or punching objects to the point of bruising or bleeding
  • Ripping and tearing  skin
  • Carving words or patterns into skin
  • Interfering with the healing of wounds
  • Burning skin with cigarettes, matches or hot water
  • Compulsively pulling out large amounts of hair
  • Deliberately overdosing on medications when this is NOT a suicide attempt

Adapted from Whitlock et al (2006). Self- injurious behaviours in a college population. Paediatrics, 117:1939-1948.

If you are worried that someone you know may be deliberately self-harming, don’t ignore it. Let the person know that you have noticed their injuries, remain calm without passing judgements.

Self-harming is a coping mechanism, so the focus of your conversation needs to be more on relieving the distress, rather than stopping the self-harming behaviour. Self-harming is not an illness in itself but can often be a symptom of either a mental illness or serious psychological distress which needs treatment. Encourage the person to get professional help or emergency medical help if there is a high risk of permanent harm or death.

Adapted from Mental Health First Aid Australia. Non suicidal self-injury: first aid guidelines. Melbourne: Mental Health First Aid Australia 2008.

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