Practical Skills to Build Resilience in Children and Teenagers

Excessive stress and anxiety causes a lot of pain for kids and parents alike and can lead to a wide range of issues…

From worrying thoughts to sleep problems…

Avoiding school, sports or other activities…

Difficulty concentrating and learning…

..and sometimes even physical symptoms like fatigue, lightheadedness, upset stomachs or vomiting…

And what’s more, if the underlying issues are not addressed, things can worsen over time…

In fact, roughly half of all mental health disorders start by the age of 14.

That’s why early intervention is vital.

But the good news is resilience helps children to cope with stress and overcome everyday challenges.

And the best part?

Resilience can be boosted by teaching children practical skills.

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New Year Resolutions for Parents — Part 1: Supporting Childhood Mental Wellness

New Year’s Resolutions tend not to last very long…

But maybe that’s because you’re not doing them right.

This year, why not resolve to put practical, productive and achievable plans into action…

To promote mental wellbeing for your children (and yourself).

The combination of each of these small acts will help you to help your children have a prosperous year.

And happy and healthy children make for happy and healthy parents!

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How and Why Kids Need to Learn Resilience

Put simply, resilience is the ability to respond positively to adversity.

But how is this ability developed?

Are some people simply born with it or can we teach it to children? (And if so, how?)

We’ll address all of these questions in a moment.

But first let’s quickly recap what’s been discovered about resilience so far…

The first person to extensively research resilience was the developmental psychologist, Norman Garmezy.

In his research Garmezy noticed particular children who succeeded in the face of adversity.

These children experienced severe disadvantage or even neglect yet somehow still managed to flourish at school and in later life.

You see, prior to this research, psychologists tended to only look at the negative impact of stressful or traumatic experiences.

And while it is clearly important to help children deal with stressful events after they occur…

If resilience is able to “insulate” children against the negative effects of stress before they experience such challenges?

Helping children become more resilient at an early age may very well be the best long term strategy.

So why do kids need to learn resilience? 

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Last-minute Study Dos and Don’ts

VCE exams are in full swing!

And while most of the hard work has been done…

It’s not too late for students to work on improving their performance on the big days.

Encourage your kids to adopt some healthy and productive approaches to study in these last few weeks…

And avoid those things that may get in the way.

Read more…

What Have Smart Phones Done to a Generation?

New research on teens and the effect of smartphones has been circulating around the internet…

And the findings are both surprising and somewhat disturbing.

They come from psychologist Jean M. Twenge, who has been researching generational differences for 25 years.

For the majority of her career, Twinge noted that these differences changed relatively naturally and modestly.

But in 2012, something changed.

‘I noticed abrupt shifts in teen behaviours and emotional states’, she explains. 

‘In all my analyses of generational data—some reaching back to the 1930s—I had never seen anything like it.’

So what happened in 2012, to instigate such a sharp change?

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9 Ways Our Psychologists Help Children Reach Their Full Potential

Did you know that, according to research conducted in 2015, around half of all mental health issues start by age 14?

That’s why early intervention is so important.

And it’s why our main focus is on helping kids develop the practical skills they need to tackle their daily challenges…

And most importantly, these skills are not “quick-fixes”.

Rather, they are “life skills” that remain relevant and beneficial through adolescence and adulthood.

Here are 9 ways our psychologists can help:

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RCH National Health Poll: What Parents Need to Know About Childhood Mental Health

The Royal Children’s Hospital national health poll findings have just been released.

They shed a lot of light on how families with young children understand and deal with mental health issues…

And emphasise the importance of identifying the warning signs…

Of understanding the issues…

And of seeking out early intervention. 

Of the 2000 parents surveyed in the poll…

A third believed that mental health problems in kids will ‘work themselves out’ over time. 

About a quarter did not know that physical symptoms can be signs of mental health problems. 

And fewer than half felt confident about where they could get professional help. 

These numbers may seem surprising, as the proportion of children exhibiting mental health challenges is at an all-time high.

But the warning signs and symptoms of mental illness or emotional problems can be hard to identify.

Read more…

5 Ways Anxiety Harms Learning and 8 Things Parents Can Do to Help

There is an ‘epidemic of anxiety’ among Australian children.

And many experts are attributing this to increasing pressure at school.

But when it comes to school and anxiety – it can be a case of:

What came first, the chicken or the egg?

How and why childhood anxiety develops is not the most important issue at hand, though.

What’s important is that it’s identified and addressed as soon as possible.

Read more…

Teaching Your Kids ‘Social Media Smarts’

For most parents these days, there’s no avoiding social media.

You probably have it yourself, as do all your friends, and if you’re among the vast majority of parents in Australia — your kids will have it too.

According to the ACMA, 4 years ago only 45 per cent of 8-11 year olds were using social media….

That proportion has now risen to at least 60 per cent, with many of the platforms in question being age restricted (generally for users aged 13+).

So while trying to eliminate social media from your family’s life would be fighting an increasingly steep up-hill battle, there are some easy, preventative ways to help keep your children safe on these platforms.

Read more…

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(*As of 4th May, 2018.)

  • Private and confidential: We are a private service so you will receive 100% independent and confidential advice.
  • Child and adolescent experts: We only work with school age children, teenagers and parents.
  • Education and school experts: We will help you navigate the school system to get the best possible results for your child.
  • Qualified and experienced: We only employ psychologists with a master degree or higher and experience working in schools.
  • Fast appointments: We don't keep a waiting list and see most new clients within 7 days.
  • Convenient location: We are in Port Melbourne with easy access from many parts of Melbourne and unrestricted street parking.
  • Trusted methods: We use approaches that are strongly supported by research evidence or clinical experience.
  • Lovely beachside office: You will love our quiet, modern and attractive office, with its beach and ocean-themed rooms.