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They’ll be Okay

With special guest:

  • Collett Smart
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Collett Smart has written her book They’ll be Okay: 15 Conversations to Help Your Child Through Troubled Times for parents. Parents often see the world today as being in troubled times. There are new challenges. To name just a few, think of the availability of pornography, the internet generally, excessive use of game technology, bullying and the high levels of competition in every field of endeavour.

But our guest Collett has a message of hope and we get to hear about it firsthand. We are alerted to some of the hidden messages that are propagated, for example in advertising. This is where modelling on the good examples is important. We all know a good male role model but what is often shown on TV is a Dad who can only be described as a “dumb dad”. What should we do? We should call it out for what it is and give credit to the good dad.

The 15 conversations in the title to the book are arranged so that some conversations are for the very young, others are for the more grown-up young children. Along with the suggested conversations there are lots of tips and suggestions to give parents confidence. And Collett supports a clear delineation between childhood and adulthood with a rite of passage. There are groups recommended by Collett who provide rite of passage activities such as The Rite Journey run by Andrew Lines.

Or you can do your own version by for example arranging camping trips with just one parent and the child. This would be an opportunity to embark on some of the suggested conversations. What is interesting here is that Collett has found children often do want to discuss with their parents what parents think they want to avoid. So there could be a few surprises in following Collett’s advice.

It is not always convenient or quick to get these conversations going but Collett says when the opportunity arises you must grab it and then allow time for the strong relationship to develop. This raises the question of the difficulties in divided families when time is not so readily available. Collett says in that situation do not think that you have lost your parental right. You should still proceed with the conversations.

We hear about chores, setting boundaries, developing conversations from a starting point of a grunt, differences between boys and girls and how good men far outnumber the bad examples that get attention.

Collett’s advice is valued around the country and it will be no less valuable to anyone dealing with young people in a world that has changed in many ways.

Collett Smart

Collett Smart is a psychologist, qualified teacher and author. Collett has more than 20 years’ experience working in private and public schools, as well as in private practice. She appears regularly on national television and radio as an expert in teen and family issues.

Collett has taught and delivered psychology workshops and seminars around the world. Her seminars are grounded in current research, as well as years of practical experience in both one-on-one counselling and schoolyard settings with young people. She is mum to 3 children.

Song selection by our guest: With Arms Wide Open by Creed

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