- It's not your responsibility to fix it.
- Choose your time wisely when you bring up things with your parents. For example, the middle of your Mum and Dad's argument about finances is not usually the best time to ask for an increase in your pocket money.
- Your tone is just as important as what you say. If you say something in a calm, non-aggressive way, you are more likely to be heard than if you use an aggressive, angry or whining tone.
- Spend some time journalling or reflecting on what's going on before you talk to your parents - it will help you to collect your thoughts and calm down a bit.
- Acknowledge other factors that are contributing to how you and other family members feel - you may have had an argument with a friend or have received a bad test result. Your Mum may have had a bad day at work.
- Use I statements when discussing difficult topics, rather than "you" statements. For example, instead of staying "you're always tougher on me," say "I feel like you are tougher on me." This small change can make a big difference.
- Be humble - it doesn't go down well if you tell your parents your parents what they should do. They have a lot more life experience than you and you might not know the full story.
- Be patient - these kind of conversations are difficult and don't always go well.
- Don't feel like you have to have the last word. Know when to stop. You don't have to win.
- If things get violent, get help. If it's urgent call 000. Australia wide you can call 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732). Each state also has it's own domestic violence helpline - check this link for more information.
Family conflict is part of life. It can be worse at Christmas time due to things like fatigue and busyness, financial strain and pressure to keep up with the Joneses (buy the best gifts, Christmas tree, festive lights etc.). Trying to spread yourself around when your parents are separated or divorced can be stressful. Dealing with extended family can also create more drama at Christmas. Here are some things to remember when dealing with family conflict:
Domestic violence is likely to increase during Covid 19 while victims are forced to isolate with perpetrators. You have probably heard about domestic violence but you may not understand exactly what it is. Here is a summary of what it can include according to www.whiteribbon.org.au. See their website for more information.
physical assault - this includes things like shaking, slapping, pushing, punching or scratching, kicking, spitting, biting and dangerous driving.
sexual assault - forced or unwanted sexual activity.
verbal abuse - criticism, swearing and humiliation and yelling.
emotional abuse - deliberately causing emotional distress by blaming and criticising etc.
financial abuse - restricting access to bank accounts or cash.
technology-facilitated abuse - includes sharing explicit photos to get revenge.
social abuse - isolating someone from their friends and family.
spiritual abuse - stopping someone from practicing their religion.
Domestic violence can be against men, women or children and is NEVER okay. Please visit www.whiteribbon.org.au for more information. There is help if you need it.
Emily's Voice is an organisation that supports people of all ages who are unexpectedly expecting a baby. You can find information about abortion, stories of women who have continued their pregnancies and support in your state. For more information go to https://notbornyet.com
We've all had that one-sided crush where we were really invested and the other person, not so much.
Falling in love can be scary, especially if you've been hurt before. The best advice I can offer is to take it slow.
Teen Compass has a Wellness Assessment survey that you can work through and see what areas of your life might need a bit of work. It covers relationships, emotions, spirituality, rest and play, resilience, care for body, organisation and school and work. You can find it here.
I finally got around to watching Beauty and the Beast and I absolutely loved it! I'm such a Disney tragic. I loved the themes of inner beauty, transformation and salvation. But perhaps the film should come with a warning. Boys and men don't generally change. If your boyfriend is abusive, violent, unfaithful or disrespectful towards you, he is not likely to change (even if he promises to). Unlike the Beast, he is not under the spell of an enchantress - he just has issues. It is not impossible for him to change, but it is highly unlikely. He will not be able to do it without professional help either. For the sake of your safety and sanity you need to get out of that relationship. "Between 80 and 100 Australian women die at the hands of their male partners every year – and a woman in Australia is more likely to be killed in her own home by her male partner than anywhere else or by anyone else.” (*The ABS Personal Safety Survey 2006).