Parenting Ideas


With our eldest son entering the abyss of a public secondary college this year, the school newsletter is one of our only means to keep abreast of what’s been lurking behind those smelling teenage doors. In each newsletter the Principal includes a resource from Michael Grose, apparently one of Australia’s leading Parenting Educators.  This week I thought I would have a closer look at his website, parenting ideas.com.au .

Michael is the author of 8 parenting books, writes popular parenting columns in newspapers and magazines across Australia. He appears regularly on television including Channel 10’s The Circle, and he also has a regular fortnightly half hour parenting segment on ABC radio Victoria. That’s all a really impressive resume I guess, but is not what sold me to write this blog post. I’ve never seen his books or appearances on The Circle, never read his articles in newspapers and have never listened to him on the radio.  It’s Michael’s education background and his Master of Educational Studies with research into what makes healthy families tick that won the race.

Man, we can all have good “parentingideas”, sometimes I’ll even find myself engaging one, but for many of us those random, haphazard quality thoughts are just that: RANDOM.  We never (please correct me if I am wrong) hear ourselves say, “the reason I ask you to concentrate when weeing standing up is because research shows that if you don’t, you’ll paint the walls, seat and possibly your feet with a really smelly urine…” Our society likes to engage the evidence base as reasons for much of our behaviours, so why should parenting be any different. If Michael Grose can use that evidence to enlighten parents, why the hec not? I am much happier to hold steady on a rule, limit and consequence if I know that research tells me it’s worth it in the end.  Having said all of that though, it wasn’t obvious to cite whether much of Michael’s helpful tips, etc is based on his research or not.

Regardless, the overall website is a handy one to add to your favourites menu; it caters for parents, grandparents and schools. The tipsheets are handy and most contain a couple of ideas that having worked in the field for years now, I hadn’t thought of myself.

Below I have added a couple of quotes from his ‘Raising Teenagers Tipsheet’. If you get a chance, have a look. The tipsheets are easily accessible to ready, print or save.

“Checklist for Raising Teens”

“Don’t let them drop out of the family:  Spending time in bedrooms is just one way young people can drop out of their family. Refusing to attend family functions, celebrations or even mealtimes are also common ways of dropping out. It is useful for parents to negotiate with young people about the types of events that young people are expected to attend and those that they can pass by”.

Open up the door to mentors and the wider community: This season our boys were fortunate enough to have been coached AFL by a 19 year old boy, just starting out in his coaching career. We could not have selected a better role model if we tried; his calm nature, clear and firm directions, regular attendance and passion rubbed off on our two boys. They “gave 100%” everytime he requested and achieved more in one year of footy (both mentally and physically) then previous seasons where they were much more successful on the scoreboard. What a great way for community to support the development of young men.

“Communicate as if you are going for a job interview: A professional communicator doesn’t need to have all the answers. They are confi dent enough to admit that they don’t know and they allow themselves some time to figure out a better response.”

Adolescents and sleep:  Many teenagers are sleep deprived. They need a minimum of nine hours sleep”. I never ceased to be astounded by the number of parents who actually don’t realise that their children, during the rapid growth phase of adolescence, requires nearly as much sleep as when they were babies.  Any person sleep deprived is depleted, without the additional stress of being a teen and growing through a major developmental milestone. Here’s a good parenting idea:  enforce a decent, regular bedtime for your children.

Anyway, thanks for reading A Path To Followers. Check out Michael’s page, I’d love to know what you think.  Happy Parenting…

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