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Welcome to Talk to Teens Monthly Newsletter
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IMPORTANT INFORMATION
THROUGH STORIES AND IMAGES
Hello and welcome to the monthly newsletter for Talk to Teens. Talk to Teens is a resource for parents/carers, teachers and counsellors that helps you to understand teenagers and their behaviour, and provides strategies to 'bridge the gap' between the generations using stories and images.
Through these emails, Toula and the team will keep you up to date with news and programs that can help families and teens to stay connected.  At any time, you will find updated information and other resources on our website at  http://www.talktoteens.com.au

What's New?

Exciting news!  Toula has been hard at work developing more Talk to Teens resources based on the story of The Frog and The Scorpion.  

Check out the website and you will see new posters, cards (coming soon) and a variety of other Story Image Tools you can use to help your teens and preteens with any behavioural or mental health issue.  

What's Your Story?

Teenage Rebellion and Storytelling

 
Rebelling against authority, to some extent, is a normal healthy part of growing up... but it can create a lot of problems!

There are two types of rebellion that young people usually show.  Firstly, rebelling against fitting in socially (this is called rebellion of non-conformity) and then there is rebelling against adult authority (otherwise known as rebellion of non-compliance) (Pickhardt, 2009).
Both types of rebellion can be really hard to deal with when you are a parent/carer or teacher!
 
The problem with rebellion is that it can cause young people to rebel against their own self-interests…sometimes rejecting their childhood interests, activities and relationships that might help to keep them safe or support their self-esteem

Rebellion during the teen or preteen years can cause young people to engage in self-defeating and self-destructive behavior, refusing to do school work, physically hurting themselves or others i.e., AWOL (Adolescent Without Limits) scorpion behavior, and this is the concern for most adults.

It may seem strange to put ‘teenage rebellion’ and ‘storytelling’ together in the same sentence.  Ironically though, they do go together and young people who may be seriously rebelling against authority might benefit from telling stories.  In fact, using stories and images might be the only way to get through to rebellious teens and preteens because they generally reject anything that appears to be from a position of authority!  Telling stories, if done correctly, takes away from the parent/teacher as the "all-knowing person" to "let's just have a chat about a story".

Rebellious teens generally don’t want to be told what to do, so how do you manage to influence them?  Use stories and images at a time when they are most relaxed.  Even teens who rebel will have some times when they are more calm, maybe during food or just after they have eaten or had a shower, or just before bed. 

Take a few moments to ask them about their day…get them to ‘open up’ by telling you their story.  Don’t comment…just listen (obviously this approach may not work well if your son/daughter is under the influence of alcohol or drugs etc.) If they don’t want to ‘open up’ and tell you their story, you can start by telling them the story of something that you have seen or heard, or perhaps your own 'teen story' but keep it brief and relevant to the message you are trying to get across.

Stories are often seen as fairly benign, even innocent, yet they can be incredibly powerful.  Stories can be especially useful with our rebellious teens and preteens.  Think back to when you were a teenager.  Did you have a teacher, friend or some other mentor you listened to? 
Chances are they understood the importance of storytelling, even if they didn’t even know they were doing it!  And you probably didn’t realise it then either, but they were probably telling you stories and building the relationship with you without you even knowing it.  

Try it!  You could start by using online digital stories through social media, like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc.  Discuss the images and ask your rebellious teens and preteens their views about it.  Don’t tell…just ask questions and listen.  When the time is right, then you can start talking about the ‘bigger’ issues.   
 
 
Reference
Pickhardt, C. E. (2009, December 6). Rebel with a cause:  Rebellion in adolescence. Psychology Today, downloaded from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/surviving-your-childs-adolescence/200912/rebel-cause-rebellion-in-adolescence
 

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