Tag: tweens and teens

Device Usage and Role Models – Tweens & Teens September 2020

Device Usage

Research shows that Aussie teens average 3.3 hours of social media use per day. In total, the average screen time is in excess of six hours daily. That’s a whole lot of device usage for one day! While screen time can be useful and engaging in terms of researching projects, video calling with friends and family and being creative, a lot of it consists of endless scrolling through social media feeds. Unfortunately, the latter isn’t healthy.

You can help your teen disconnect by encouraging a morning routine (so they don’t look at their phone first thing in the morning). On top of this, encourage an evening routine (reading is great at helping you wind down), encourage them to avoid sleeping with their phone next to their bed and keeping busy. Help them pick up a new hobby that doesn’t involve using their phone, such as cooking, drawing or scrapbooking.

It’s also a good idea to encourage them to delete any social media apps they don’t love. Lastly, get them to leave their phone in another room at certain times. This could be when the family is having dinner or socialising with visiting family.

How to Be A Great Role Model

Teenagers need positive role models in their lives with all the negativity they are exposed to over adolescence. As the parent, it’s important you’re the best role model you can be to them. This is especially important as they will spend time with you regularly. Plus, the stronger your relationship with your teenager is, the more influence you’ll have.

You can be an awesome role model by working towards your own goals, showing honesty, admitting when you are wrong, showing compassion towards others, learning healthy coping skills to get through challenges, having an optimistic outlook on life and using your problem-solving skills. It’s also a good idea to show an interest in your teen’s interests. In addition, get to know their friends to strengthen your bond.

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Find more research HERE. 




Your Teenager’s First Job Interview

During adolescence, teenagers want to gain more and more independence. They start doing things like staying out later, sleeping over at their boyfriend or girlfriend’s house and learning to drive. It’s all part of the teenage experience and the preparation for adulthood. For many, this includes the desire to earn money. With this comes their first job interview, and probably more interviews after that too. 

Suitable First Jobs

The first job may not be the job of your teenager’s dreams. Not everyone is keen on spending a few hours after school mopping floors or frying food. But hey, everyone gets started somewhere. It’ll benefit your child greatly in the future (and maybe they’ll appreciate everything you do at home more!)

The first job, however unglamorous it may be, will give your teenager on the job experience, teach them life skills and also earn them some bucks. Additionally, many of these jobs offer the chance for them to get their first aid certificate or hospitality qualifications . They might even present the opportunity to move into supervisor or managing roles.

Setting Up a Resume

The first step to getting hired is having an awesome resume. However, what should they put on their resume if they have little (or no) working experience? Go beyond work history and write down any volunteer work, extracurricular activities and awards. If they have any other skills that may be useful in the workplace, write them down too (such as speaking a second language or babysitting younger siblings). Employers want to see that your teenager is hardworking, accountable and determined.

Applying for Jobs

There are a few ways they can go about applying for work, and it often depends on the workplace. Large retail or fast food chains will often get them to apply online via their website. Smaller or local businesses may prefer to accept applications via email or in person. Encourage your child to keep their eye on shop windows, Facebook and websites such as Seek and Indeed for businesses that are hiring. You can let your child know about opportunities, but their job hunt really should be something they are self-motivated to do.

It doesn’t hurt for them to print off a number of resumes and pop into businesses around the place; even if they’re not currently hiring. It’ll show how keen your teen is to get into the workforce, and they may choose to keep your resume on file. It’s quite character building to put yourself out there like that.

Hurray, You’ve Got an Interview!

Congratulations, your teen has landed their first job interview. As exciting as it is, it can also be nerve-wracking for both of you. This is your teen’s moment to prove to their potential employer just how awesome they are.

During the interview, the interviewer will ask them a number of questions, such as “tell me a little bit about yourself”, “why do you want to work for us?” or “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”. Practicing some common questions with a parent will help them be prepared. So offer to help them.

Also hot tip, when preparing to drop off your teen for their interview, be sure they have dressed their best and they are presentable with clean teeth, brushed hair and ironed clothes (you’d be surprised that this is rare…). A button up shirt, blouse, pencil skirt or slacks are all ideal interview attire, they should always over dress than underdress. When going in for their interview, remind them to listen carefully, speak clearly, maintain eye contact and be professional and as confident as they can be.

At the end of the day, nerves show they care, and future employers understand that you’re new to the workforce. Being a little nervous  at a first job interview is completely normal.


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Driving and Self-Expression – Tweens and Teens July 2020

Getting Behind the Wheel

Before you know it, your teen is 16 and keen to get on the road. Teaching your teen to drive and to be good at driving is a lengthy process. However, it’s a skill that will stay with them for life. Later, they can pass it on to their own kids!

In Queensland, your teen must record 100 hours of supervised driving in their learner logbook (including 10 hours of night driving). This is done with a supervisor in the passenger seat. They must always display their L plates and carry their learner license. First, help your teen familiarise themselves with the vehicle. Secondly, find a good place to learn (such as a big empty parking lot). Thirdly, create a checklist for each lesson. Lastly, and most importantly, take it slow. You can get more information here. Good luck!

The Importance of Self-Expression

Teenagers use their appearance as a way to explore who they are. Often it’s through the way they dress, the colour of their hair or their dream to get their nose pierced. While their desire to do these things can be confusing and disapproved of by their parents, it’s important to realise that these modifications are temporary and can improve self-confidence and self-discovery.

Self-expression is a vital part of adolescence, and if an impressionable teen isn’t allowed to fully express themselves, it can affect them negatively. If someone tells them they can’t express themselves in a way that makes them comfortable, it can lead to them feeling unaccepted and insecure.

As long as they are not hurting themselves or anyone around them, there is nothing wrong with experimenting. Hair dye fades, hair grows out and piercings can be removed. Self-expression on the other hand…is the key to figuring out who you are.

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All Things Tweens & Teens – PakMag May 2020

Why Lie?

Teenagers lie – it’s just a part of adolescence. In fact, they lie more than any other age group, with up to 96 per cent of adolescents having told a lie to their parents at some point. This increase in dishonesty may be due to changes in the brain.

So, why do teenagers lie? Generally speaking, most teens will lie to get out of trouble, to protect their privacy, as a way to protect others’ feelings because they believe their parents’ rules are unfair or to establish their independence. Don’t worry parents, it’s all normal. Plus, as they enter early adulthood, emotional regulation and impulse control will improve, meaning they will lie less.

Life After High School

We all go to school for a minimum of 12 years. We then become adults and suddenly, our lives are in our own hands – which is as exciting as it is terrifying.

One of the most important tasks you’ll ever do as a parent is preparing your teen for life after high school. There are a number of options for your teen once they finish Year 12, including going into further study (university or TAFE), going straight into work (such as an apprenticeship or traineeship), or taking some time off.

Have a sit down with your teenager and chat about what they’d like to do after school. It’s okay to bring up your concerns, but ultimately, be supportive of their decisions. Answer any questions that may come up, and offer to sit with them to help them on their path – whether that means applying to universities or writing resumes