Top Class:PARENT TO PARENT

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England), June 5, 2008 | Go to article overview

Top Class:PARENT TO PARENT


Byline: MAUREEN PEARSON

MANY parents would like more activities to be available to their teens to stop them being tempted into risky behaviours such as binge drinking, drugs and underage sex, according to a new report by national, Tyneside-based charity Parentline Plus.

The report, Risky Behaviour and Setting Boundaries, also shows parents of teens are desperate for support to help them negotiate boundaries with their children, particularly when it comes to discussing sex and relationships. One parent told the charity: "We talk, well I talk. He just looks at me like I've grown another head and says all I ever do is moan." Parentline Plus, which runs a free, 24-hour, confidential Parentline, is now calling for more support for parents of teenagers and for lone parents and parents who are separated to negotiate their way through their children's teenage years. "As a single parent, I find I am being played off against their father," a mum told Parentline Plus. "Having a split family with different boundaries makes it difficult for a child to know where they are at."

The charity is also highlighting the lack of commitment and long-term funding for local parenting support services to help families as they raise their children.

"While we are encouraged that the Government appreciates the importance of parent support, the reality is that voluntary organisations and charities working with families are closing, not expanding, due to the current local funding environment," said Maureen Pearson, Parentline Plus' North East manager.

"We recommend more is done to ensure the gap between what the Government says it wants and what actually happens is closed as a matter of urgency."

Parentline Plus examined thousands of calls to its round-the-clock Parentline and carried out a web-based survey and talked to groups of parents and teenagers to compile its report. …

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