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Alicia Drummond: Why every teenager needs a parrot

This year’s Bryanston Parents' Association spring talk was given by Alicia Drummond, entitled ‘Why every teenager needs a parrot.’

On Saturday 15 February, Alicia Drummond talked to an audience of more than 150 parents at Bryanston. Whilst we may all wish to be a parrot on our children’s shoulders as they navigate themselves through adolescence, Alicia Drummond gave us excellent advice on how we can master the balance between holding on and letting go.

Alicia reminded us that we continue to be our children’s primary learning source and we should be aware that when we express our views on everything from alcohol and drugs, to sex and social media, they are listening to us. We should also, however, not forget that they are hugely influenced by their peer group. This makes it even more important to ensure that, as parents, we educate our children on alcohol, drugs and other issues so that they are absolutely clear about the consequences.

Adolescence can begin as early as 8 and continue until 25 years old. During this time children need to test their personal boundaries, so it’s essential that we provide them with a safe environment in which they can make mistakes.

Alicia talked about the Elastic Conversation whereby, as a parent, we can offer advice so that our children can make informed decisions, in return for being allowed to do something like go to a party. We can also set them up with devices, such as the X TEXT, so that if they find themselves in an uncomfortable situation they have a way out.

With awareness comes choice. Giving our children information so that they can make the right decisions should, in turn, give them the confidence to say no.

Alicia Drummond runs smaller parent workshops at Bryanston in the autumn term. The dates for her next sessions are Friday 2 October and Friday 27 November. The BPA will send out more information in the Autumn.