Teen Tips for Sixth Formers and Parents

On Friday 20th September, the school welcomed Alicia Drummond (MBACP accred.) to St Mary’s to talk to sixth formers.  She spoke to the girls about anxiety in their teenage years and emphasised how to control and moderate stress levels. She gave an insight into the physiological elements of stress, the fight or flight reaction and potential health problems caused by excessive anxiety.  The girls were given various coping strategies and warned about the dangers of resorting to alcohol and drugs as a short term unhealthy coping strategy.  She emphasised the need for the girls to look after themselves better and said, “Life is stressful but you need to understand how to deal with it.” Finally, she gave some practical tips on how to minimise anxiety – “If you take one thing away with you today, please do not have your mobile phone in your bedroom. Your brain must be allowed to switch off,” she said.

In the evening parents arrived to hear Alicia give the Parrot Talk, which focused on how to work with teenagers, rather than against them. She talked about adolescence being from the age of 8-25 years and that 70% of behaviour is modelled, with parents being the prime role model. Alicia gave parents tips on dealing with teenagers such as ‘ask don’t tell’ and the ‘X’ text, set up between parents and teens if they want to get out of a difficult situation. She touched on alcohol, drugs, relationships and social media. The talk was informative, interactive and thought-provoking.

Alicia’s website www.teentips.co.uk offers many useful resources for parents.