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Paul Dillon (DARTA): Talks for Parents & Caregivers – 2020

Session Info:

For talks aimed at parents & caregivers, Paul offers a range of topics to select from. These are most often delivered as part of a whole school community program, but can be tailored and delivered in other contexts.

Teenagers, alcohol and other drugs 2020: What’s happening, what’s out there and how much influence do parents really have?

Using the most recent data available, this presentation will examine the use of alcohol and other drugs by school-based young people. It will have a particular focus on the changes in patterns of alcohol use that have occurred in recent years, as well as discuss a number of ‘hot topics’ that have received recent media attention, including ‘nanging’, ecstasy/MDMA and pill testing and vaping. There will be a close examination of the positive influence that parents can have on their child’s behaviour in terms of alcohol and other drug use, as well as the barriers that they may face during adolescence. It aims to empower parents with a positive message and assist them in having open and honest family discussions in this complex area.

‘Risk taking’: Why do teens do the things they do? What can parents can do to keep them as safe as possible?

Adolescence is a risky time. As a teen matures and becomes more independent, they experience dramatic hormonal changes, increasing social and peer pressure and have greater access to alcohol and other drugs. This presentation will briefly examine the history of ‘teenagers’, rebellion and the different ‘risk-taking’ behaviours that have existed over time. Using the latest research on the developing brain, it will also discuss why adolescence is a period of ‘risk-taking’ and the reasons why young people make the decisions they do during this time. Sleepovers, parties and gatherings provide teens with valuable opportunities to develop important socializing skills but are not ‘risk-free’. The presentation will also provide some practical strategies and tips for parents considering allowing their teen to attend such an event to help ensure they are as safe as possible.

Years 7, 8 and 9 parents: Why it’s vital to have the ‘alcohol and parties’ discussion with your child now

Too often parents wait until it is too late before setting rules and boundaries around alcohol and parties. Put simply, if you haven’t had a discussion with your child about this area by the beginning of Year 9, at the latest, you are almost certainly going to have problems in the future. Using the most recent data on the use of alcohol by school-based young people, this presentation will discuss the growing evidence on the risks associated with this practice. There will also be a close examination of the positive influence that parents can have on their child’s drinking behaviour, as well as some of the barriers that they may face during adolescence. It aims to empower parents with a positive message and assist them in having open and honest family discussions in this complex area.

Relevant Links

DARTA provides samples of some of Paul’s presentations here.

Paul maintains a blog through which parents & caregivers can stay up to date and have questions answered here, and one directed at young people here.

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