Today parents face a multitude of modern-day challenges in raising happy, well, and resilient young people. Whilst there is a great deal of information available, this can often be confusing and overwhelming for parents looking for guidance.

SchoolTV addresses this as a new online resource designed to empower you as parents with credible and sound information with realistic, practical ongoing support strategies.

Visit the IGS SchoolTV page here and explore their archival library covering a range of topics such as cybersafety, mental health, school survival, healthy body, positive parenting, and more!

Please Note: All School TV content is created by School TV and Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, not IGS. 

SPECIAL REPORT: Building Belonging Post Pandemic

Having a sense of belonging involves more than simply knowing other people. It is also focused on gaining acceptance, attention and support from others, as well as having the opportunity to provide the same to other people.

When the pandemic interrupted our lives and changed the way we live, this meant that suddenly many of our young people’s main sources of connection with peers and extended family members was removed overnight without warning. As human beings, we have a basic emotional and biological need for connection. It provides us with feelings of identity, security, support, acceptance and community.

Students who have a sense of belonging will experience these feelings which in turn supports their academic, psychological and social development. When young people come together again after a period of instability, there is a period of adjustment. Whilst the rules of the group may be established, acceptance remains paramount and can therefore mean some behaviours become far from rational, making it difficult for their brain to focus on things, such as learning. All these factors combined, leave young people open to being vulnerable. It can sometimes tempt them into making choices or becoming involved in situations they might not ordinarily consider.

As a result of the pandemic, there are still many young people struggling to connect and regain their sense of belonging. This Special Report provides guidance to families who find themselves in this situation. We hope you take a moment to reflect on the information offered, and as always, we welcome your feedback. If this raises any concerns for you, a loved one or the wellbeing of your child, please seek medical or professional help.

Here is the link to your special report.

SPECIAL REPORT: Celebrating NAIDOC Week

NAIDOC week celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It is celebrated by all Australians and is a great opportunity to recognise and learn more about the history and culture of indigenous communities.

NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. Its origins can be traced back to the Aboriginal rights movement, when on Australia Day 1938, protestors marched through the streets of Sydney to highlight the status and treatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Today, it is a week-long celebration held in July that consists of range of traditional and contemporary activities.

NAIDOC Week is an important event that helps build positive relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. It enables a deeper understanding of our differences and similarities. NAIDOC week is an opportunity for all Australians to eliminate bias and discrimination by reflecting and reconciling the wrongs of the past to facilitate hope and build a fairer future. Families are encouraged to join in and support young people in learning the significance of NAIDOC Week.

This Special Report offers suggestions on how families can celebrate NAIDOC Week together. We hope you take a moment to reflect on the information offered, and as always, we welcome your feedback. If this raises any concerns for you, a loved one or the wellbeing of your child, please seek medical or professional help.

Here is the link to the special report.

SPECIAL REPORT: Screen Time
As a result of the global pandemic, there has been a noticeable shift in the amount of time people spend on screen-based devices. Families are transitioning back to pre-COVID routines but many are still struggling to re-establish the boundaries and rules around screen use. Some continue to deal with digital conflict and tech-tantrums on a daily basis. The latest research found that 77% of teenagers spend more than five hours on screens per day, but it is important to note that not all screen time is considered equal.

Parents play a crucial role in modelling a positive and healthy approach to using screens and assisting children to navigate the content they watch. It is better to model and mentor screen use, rather than monitor it. Children tend to do more of what they see us do, and less of what we tell them to do. However, it is still important to outline the risks and highlight the benefits of screen use to ensure you keep a balanced attitude. Encourage discussions around the issues that people experience in monitoring their screen time and be honest about your own difficulties.

Parents need to remain firm in their approach to managing screen time. Excessive screen time can be detrimental to a child’s overall wellbeing. Ensuring the correct privacy settings are in place is vital to prevent children from being inadvertently exposed to inappropriate content or online predators. Parents need to also be mindful of the potential impact screen time can have on a child’s social, emotional, educational, behavioural, and even physical domains.

In this edition of SchoolTV, care-givers will be provided with a range of guidelines and strategies to help manage screen time at home. We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this month’s edition, and we always welcome your feedback.

If you do have any concerns about the wellbeing of your child, please contact the school for further information or seek medical or professional help.

Here is the link to this month’s edition https://igssyd.nsw.schooltv.me/newsletter/managing-screen-time

 

SPECIAL REPORT: Vaping & E-Cigarettes
Vaping is becoming a trendy pastime that is growing in popularity across Australia, especially amongst teenagers. It is the act of inhaling a vapour created by an electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette. Many teenagers are succumbing to peer pressure around this risk-taking activity due to the ease of accessing and hiding vapes. They are often cheaper than conventional cigarettes, making it more cost-effective and attractive to young people.

Although under 18s are not legally allowed to purchase any type of e-cigarette or vaping product in Australia, teenagers are finding ways to access them online. Australia has strict regulations in place for nicotine-containing products, and attempts are being made to regulate vaping and ban the importation of them. Many of the flavoured liquids associated with vaping, contain not only high levels of nicotine, but other potentially harmful additives. Many of these “e-liquids” contain chemicals that are likely to be toxic, that when inhaled or vaped repeatedly, can cause severe damage to the lungs.

Vaping is often marketed as being the “healthy” alternative to smoking. However, doctors strongly advise that if you do not smoke, then you should not start vaping. Most teenagers are unaware of the associated risks and potential impact vaping can have on their development and overall health. Parents are encouraged to discuss the dangers of nicotine addiction and include e-cigarettes in the discussion alongside alcohol and drugs.

This Special Report highlights the facts around vaping and e-cigarettes and what are the potential risks. We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this Special Report, and as always, we welcome your feedback.

If you do have any concerns about the wellbeing of your child, please contact the school for further information or seek medical or professional help.

Here is the link to your special report https://igssyd.nsw.schooltv.me/wellbeing_news/special-report-vaping-au

SPECIAL REPORT: The Conflict in Ukraine

Around the world, people are saddened and devastated by the events unfolding in Ukraine. Both adults and young people alike are feeling the stresses of war from afar as they experience fear, frustration and helplessness. The 24 hour news cycle has shown us upsetting images raising many questions, especially for our young people, about what is happening.

Parents and caregivers need to be guided by their child’s curiosity. There is strong evidence to suggest that having a supportive discussion about a stressful event in a developmentally appropriate way, can actually decrease distress. It’s best to “name it, to tame it.” This will also combat any misinformation to which they have most likely already been exposed to through social media, pictures or video clips.

Children need to know that they are being taken seriously. So it is recommended that you don’t avoid the difficult questions. Ensure you address their questions honestly and sensitively. With less life experience than adults, young people may need help navigating news about this crisis. Use this is as an opportunity to model and encourage compassionate views towards fellow humans, regardless of distance or circumstance.

This Special Report offers guidance on how best to discuss the conflict in Ukraine. We hope you take a moment to reflect on the information offered, and as always, we welcome your feedback. If this raises any concerns for you, a loved one or the wellbeing of your child, please seek medical or professional help.

Here is the link to your special report.

SPECIAL REPORT: Managing Overwhelm

Due to the pandemic, recent world events in the Ukraine and the impacts of the floods in Queensland and NSW, the world we now live in is a very different place. The hyperconnected nature of our current environment means that we are constantly being reminded of the challenges we face via numerous media and social media channels. Our connectivity to the digital world exposes us to a barrage of messages that can leave us feeling overwhelmed. As a result, many children and their parents are reporting higher levels of stress and anxiety.

Unfortunately, our brains have not evolved fast enough to adapt to this digital landscape. The combination of constant access to information and having little control over the situations presented, can be stressful and overwhelming. It is therefore important for adult carers to check in with their children and be aware of what information they may have been exposed to. It may not necessarily be the information itself that is harmful, but more their inability to process and make sense of it. Providing children with the skills and strategies to cope will enable them to flourish and thrive, socially, emotionally and academically.

The blueprint for parenting, based on our own experiences, is no longer fit for purpose in raising kids as citizens of tomorrow. This can be inherently stressful and overwhelming, not only for parents and carers, but children alike. If left untreated or unmanaged, constant stress and anxiety can lead to a number of behavioural issues or health consequences.

This Special Report suggests a number of strategies to help manage any feelings of overwhelm that you or your child may be experiencing. We hope you take a moment to reflect on the information offered, and as always, we welcome your feedback. If this raises any concerns for you, a loved one or the wellbeing of your child, please seek medical or professional help.

Here is the link to your special report https://igssyd.nsw.schooltv.me/wellbeing_news/special-report-managing-overwhelm

This month on SchoolTV: Understanding Adolescence

Adolescence is the transitional stage of development that is usually associated with the teenage years. In 2018, the Australian Curriculum Assessment Authority, redefined adolescence as affecting young people aged between 10-24 years. During this time, they experience rapid physical, cognitive and psychosocial growth which affects how teenagers feel, think, make decisions and interact with the world around them.

During adolescence, a child’s brain can be considered as being “under-construction”. The rate at which this progresses will vary depending on the individual and also their gender. As a result, some parents may view adolescence as stressful or difficult. However, it does not need to be. Setting boundaries, implementing consistent monitoring and maintaining a strong and loving connection will help families adjust during this time.

It is also an important time to keep the communication lines open through clear and age appropriate conversations. Speak openly about changes that they are experiencing and be conscious of their mental health as many of the conditions people confront in adulthood, can begin to manifest in adolescence.

In this edition of SchoolTV, adult carers can learn how to guide and best support their young person as they transition through adolescence. We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this month’s edition, and we always welcome your feedback.

If you do have any concerns about the wellbeing of your child, please contact the school for further information or seek medical or professional help.

See here the link to this month’s edition.

SPECIAL REPORT: Respectful Language

In today’s world, it is common to hear socially offensive language on the streets, on social media channels, streaming services and in some forms of modern music. While swearing is becoming more common and less taboo, the use of derogatory language or the act of swearing at someone, or about someone, is a form of verbal violence. It transgresses the usual rules of social interaction by impinging on an individual’s self-image and sense of dignity.

It is becoming apparent that some young people are being influenced by the language they hear. Proliferating the use of swear words can sometimes normalise, glamorise and desensitise their impact for kids who may misunderstand the true meaning of some derogatory terms. Whilst some students may use swearing or derogatory terms as a misguided attempt at belonging, others may use it simply because they are still learning how to moderate their language and are not accustomed to making adjustments to suit different situations.

Although many schools enforce a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to swearing and derogatory language, parents need to also play an important part in enforcing this approach. Parents and carers can be proactive in monitoring what their children are viewing or being exposed to. Discussing the use of words or the origin of some derogatory terms and gaining insight into the reason behind their child’s use of such language can help prevent inappropriate or disrespectful language filtering into the classroom or the school yard, which in turn helps to build more tolerant, safe and connected communities.

This Special Report offers a number of guidelines to help manage a suitable approach when discussing the importance of respectful language. We hope you take a moment to reflect on the information offered, and as always, we welcome your feedback. If this raises any concerns for you, a loved one or the wellbeing of your child, please seek medical or professional help.

Here is the link to your special report https://igssyd.nsw.schooltv.me/wellbeing_news/special-report-respectful-language

SPECIAL REPORT: Having the Alcohol Discussion

With the impending festive season and end of school celebrations, some teenagers may be feeling ready to party, wanting to put the disruptions, frustrations and disappointments of this past year, behind them.

To ensure our young people stay safe during this time, parents and carers are encouraged to have the alcohol discussion – no matter how difficult or overwhelming it may be. It is important to outline the rules and boundaries around age-appropriate alcohol consumption and what the legal implications may be.

Young people are at greater risk of alcohol-related harm than adults because their brains continue to develop until their mid-twenties. The safest level of alcohol consumption for teenagers, is no alcohol at all, but this may be difficult to enforce and may not prevent them from experimenting. However, parents and carers can influence sensible drinking habits and help minimise the risks.

In this Special Report, a series of discussion points are offered to help make the conversation about alcohol consumption a little easier. We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this Special Report, and as always, we welcome your feedback.

If you do have any concerns about the wellbeing of your child, please contact the school for further information or seek medical or professional help.


SPECIAL REPORT: Transitioning back to school 

Although the reality of COVID is not quite over, there still remains a considerable amount of uncertainty. We have all experienced this event together and we are all at various levels of transition and adjustment. The circumstances of this situation have significantly impacted students, parents and teachers alike.

Emotions during this time have been varied. For some it has been an opportunity to reflect on what is important, whilst others have embraced the opportunity to learn new things. One thing that has remained constant – the need for good parenting and supportive teachers. Both of which offer young people stability and familiarity, and are vitally important during this time of transition.

Whilst many children may be excited at the prospect of restrictions being lifted, others may be experiencing mixed emotions. Each child’s reaction will differ depending on how well they cope with stress and change. As families adjust to new routines, it will be vitally important to keep a check on our young people’s mental health and wellbeing. Encourage them to focus on the things they can control or enjoy in order for them to remain motivated and ensure their sense of belonging.

Here is the link to your special report.

SPECIAL REPORT: Instilling Hope In Uncertain Times

Although life is always filled with uncertainty, the levels we are currently experiencing are unprecedented and it is becoming evident that this is taking a toll on our young people. The most recent research from Mission Australia makes clear the breadth and depth the pandemic is having on our youth across the nation.

It appears that lockdowns and tighter restrictions will be with us for some time, but it is important in such times of uncertainty to instil hope and remain optimistic. Adult carers can play a vital role in helping young people reframe their worries, encouraging them to see life as it is and getting them to focus more on the things they can control, rather than those they can’t.

It’s important young people remain connected with their social networks during these times as often their natural response to uncertainty is to exhibit varying degrees of fear and anxiety. With the continued disruptions, mental health concerns are on the rise and it is evident that many students may need some extra support to achieve their goals. Parents can help their kids focus more on the good things in their life, rather than fill in the blanks with catastrophic narratives.

This Special Report outlines how adult carers can help instill hope and offer support in such times of uncertainty. We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this Special Report, and as always, we welcome your feedback.

If this Special Report raises any concerns for you, a loved one, or the wellbeing of your child, please seek medical or professional help.

Here is the link to your special report.