Panel offers tips for bringing up teens

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Limiting social media time, improving communication and prioritising sleep and breakfast were some of the points to come out of a parenting presentation at Mount Aspiring College last week.

Organised by the Wanaka Alcohol Group and funded by the Health Promotion Agency, “On the same wavelength” hosted a panel of experts who discussed topics such as managing teenage peer pressure, social media, alcohol and the law, porn and anxiety.

More than 80 parents attended the discussion, which offered practical parenting tips. Youth services officer Constable Paul Vink reminded parents of the laws surrounding young people driving and the supply of alcohol by parents.

“Driving, alcohol and relationships are all challenging parts of the teenage years. We need to be close to our teenagers and involved.

and being on board with other parents will help us to have the confidence to negotiate these years and encourage positive life choices.

“Wanaka is not insulated from the rest of NZ when it comes to drugs and other dangers.”

Mount Aspiring College year 11 dean Simon Nyhof said boundaries needed to be set at home to get the most out of pupils’ learning time at school.

“We lose learning time at the beginning of the week because of weekend activities. Seventeen of my 28 maths students had no breakfast this morning.

“The influence of social media spills over into school and clear boundaries like all cellphones on top of the fridge at 9pm mean that young people can get enough sleep to learn.”

Reducing social media use would also help restrict teenagers from accessing porn, which was alarmingly accessible, said public health nurse Pip McLean.

Parents were also encouraged to support their children and keep discussions active.