Home' Capricornus Quarterly : December 2012 Contents 11
t hem from going to a part y, but it’s about
building them up to a point so they can
make good decisions, protect themselves
from harm and to act appropriately.”
The need to be risk literate to
use Dr Crisp’s terminology.
“T hey need to develop the confidence
to be able to know oneself well enough
to be able to make the right decision [in
risky situations] and that learning needs
to st art when they are young children.”
Much of that learning comes by
t rial and error. Schoolies then, in
t hat respect perhaps, is a learning
laborator y for some ver y hard lessons.
A study by the University of Wollongong
suggests an over whelming majority
of teens have second thoughts after a
period of risk-taking, like Schoolies.
Seven out of 10 teens surveyed in 2009,
aged 17 to 19, rated the entire Schoolie
experience as a negative one according
to Wollongong’s Professor Sandra
Jones and colleague Lance Barry.
Their research suggested that
teenagers accepted that Schoolies
would be a bad experience but they
were still willing to t ake part.
And whilst Temple University’s
Laurence Steinberg concludes that there
is probably very little that can be done
in regards to the reward sensitivity that
takes place among young adolescents,
he does obser ve that individuals of the
same age – perhaps due to factors such
as family, environment and education
indeed vary “in their impulse control
and susceptibility to peer influence.”
According to RGS Headmaster Dr
Phillip Moulds influencing those
factors, by establishing boundaries
and limits with adolescents, will likely
result in overall positive experiences.
“We as parents have a great deal
of influence on t he behaviour of
our adolescents, more than we
may think,” Dr Moulds says.
“In education terms, risk-t aking is
an import ant element in the learning
process. Out side of that, though, it’s
a delicate balance of allowing teens
freedom while still exercising a level
of parental control that encourages
our children to t ake ‘safe’ risks.”
In the end, Dr Simon Crisp believes
open communicat ion is what both
parent s and children should achieve.
“Hopefully if parents have been good
at what I call risk mentorship then their
children will seek their guidance and
talk openly about the close-calls and
current challenges or worries they have.”
So how do adolescents and parent s
start to talk about and work on healthy
risk-taking? Experts at Cornell University
suggest some initial steps to t ake:
• Eat together. Research finds
that teens who eat dinner with a
parent five or more times during
the week are less likely to smoke,
drink, use drugs, get into fights
and engage in sexual activity.
• Check-in regularly with each other
and talk to each other after school
about your days. Parents, be firm
without being overbearing. Set
boundaries and stick to them.
• Openly discuss family rules with
each other and allow ever yone
to express their views.
• Parents, have a const ant
and genuine interest in your
adolescent’s life. Spend time
with your teen and monitor t heir
act ivity. He or she is undergoing
significant biological, social and
emot ional developmental changes.
• Teens and parent s: commit to t he
journey. Adolescence is a period
of development and teens do not
turn into young adults overnight.
‘Tis the safe-
The School has developed Guidelines for the
Social Behaviour of Students at Parties, which
are designed to help you in the management
and organisation of social gatherings. Also
you can review the Party Safe Program by
the Queensland Police at http://www.police.
qld.gov.au//party. Another good source of
information is http://www.youthsafe.org/
Also, it’s a good idea to review the Section
156A Irresponsible supply of liquor to a minor
at a private place etc. of the Queensland
Liquor Act 1992 (updated 29 June 2012)
RGS guidelines for the social
behaviour of students at parties
These guidelines assist parents of the
School in the management and organisation
of social gatherings. They have been
formulated with the underlying belief that
young people need to be educated gradually
and positively in the use of their freedom.
Duties of Hosts
1. Parties should be hosted by
parents in their own homes.
2. Parents should be present for the
duration of the party in their role as
host. In some cases it is wise to have
the assistance of friends and/or security
for the purposes of supervision.
3. The guest list should not be too large.
Written invitations are to be preferred.
Casual and group invitations are to be
avoided. Uninvited guests should be firmly
refused admittance. Do not allow guests
to leave the party and return later.
4. Invitations should clearly state the timing
for the party and it should finish no later
than midnight. During Term time, parties
other than family gatherings should not
be held on week nights. It should be
remembered that many boys and girls
have sporting obligations on Saturdays,
often at an early hour in the morning.
5. At parties specifically for school-age
students, alcohol should not be served.
6. Smoking is damaging to health
and should not be permitted.
7. Drug taking is illegal and must be prohibited.
8. Stand firm about expected standards. More
parents (and girls and boys) are keen to
support you than you might at first expect.
Duties of Parents and Guests
1. It is wise to telephone and
check with the host:
a. the precise timing for the party
b. that alcohol will not be served; and
c. that the parents will be present
throughout the party.
2. Ensure suitable transport
arrangements are organised.
3. If you will not be home for the duration of
the party, ensure your son or daughter
has a telephone contact for you.
4. Discuss with your son or daughter how to
cope with party pressures and problems
and the importance of courtesy.
5. Ask that your son or daughter give
you at least 3 days notice of any party
that they would like to attend.
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