PARENT SQUAD

REPORTER: SALLY OBERMEDER.

In today's fast paced technological world, more than ever before parents are saying that they are confused, exhausted and unsure of the best way to deal with issues like drugs, alcohol, underage sex and cyber-safety .

To help mums and dads, a team of Australia's best experts have come together, offering practical parenting solutions in a series of seminars across the country.

''A lot of the young people are spiritual anorexics. They are born with a hole in their soul. They don't have a sense of meaning purpose or belonging'', says Dr Michael Carr Gregg. ''Yes I am concerned about the internet there's so much going on these days you really have to keep an eye on your kids'' he says.

''Bullying, internet, porn, drug and alcohol consumption, performance at school -- these are the things that parents are most concerned about',' said Dr Ramesh Manora

The big issue is sending them out there into the wide world and drug problems and street problems. So, is this hysteria or real? According to Susan McLean, It is real, absolutely real.

The biggest issues are drugs alcohol and lack of education. Dr Sally Cockburn says, ''I think we need to be honest and we need to be factual, and I think a lot of the time parents are not sure where to get the facts from''. She goes onto say ''It's very hard to keep up with the websites especially all the new ones that come out and they all say this website mum, this website it's very hard''.

Dr Michael Carr Gregg says ''I think it's much more difficult to be a parent in 2009 than ever before''.

Parenthood is said to be the most difficult job in the world and being an effective parent means dealing with a constantly changing job description. ''This is the generation that was born with a mouse in their hand. So I think generation Y is one of the most difficult generation to parent and there's no question that the baby boomer parents need all the help that they can get'' said Dr Michael Carr Gregg.

And these are the experts determined to help embattled parents. They are "The A Team" - leading experts, combining forces, bringing the benefit of their combined insight to forums across the nation.

Dr Ramesh Manocha: GP and founder of Generation Next.

Dr Michael Carr Gregg: Adolescent Psychologist

Dr Sally Cockburn: GP and Sexual Health Advocate ages, just make sure you keep them appropriate'' Said Dr Sally Cockburn.

Dr. Cockburn goes onto say: ''Ask our kids if they want to bring a boyfriend or girlfriend over to stay, are you going to have sex? OOOOH they will say. If young people are informed, get accurate information, they are less likely to go and have sex and therefore less likely to have complications''.

''One in five people will be diagnosed with depression before the age of 18 and I don't think a lot of parents know is the most common psychological problem in young people today'', said Michael Carr Gregg

''When young people are depressed, one of the most important changes to look for is the fact that they withdraw from their friends, they can't concentrate, they may put on or lose a lot of weight, they will have trouble sleeping, they will very often self medicate with alcohol or other drugs and they will no longer seem to enjoy the things that used to give them pleasure'', said Michael Carr Gregg.

And the overall advice for parents is a unified message. ''Become conscious, become alert, become aware, and become involved in your child's life'', said Dr Ramesh Manora

''Sitting around a dining room table with your kids on a regular basis is not

only associated with better language development, it's a protective factor

against drug and alcohol abuse and it also a much better mark in your final year of school. So parents need to understand that time spent with teenagers is never wasted'', said Dr Michael Carr Gregg

Wendy Protheroe says: ''When we talk to kids and we try to understand what they are saying to us, often they say "we get told what to do, but no-one really listens to our view". Let kids talk to you, you don't have to agree with everything they say but nowadays kids want a lot more freedom of communicating with you and letting you hear what they want to say. Sometimes parents say I'm communicating and really what they are doing is saying do this, do it my way. Kids don't want a street directory, they want you to help navigate their way''.

For further information on the Parent Squad seminars, visit the website at: www.gennextseminars.com