Parents frustrated by kids’ feisty fightbacks

Herald Sun March 21, 2011
THEY are the flashpoints of parenting, the years that drive mums and dads up the wall. The state’s parenting helpline runs hottest when children are aged 2-5 and 13-15, figures reveal. The news will come as no surprise to parents – those age brackets mark major developmental periods. Most of the more than 28,000 calls to counselling service Parentline last year were about angst-ridden adolescents. Callers were also seeking advice on parent and child relationships and communication breakdowns, analysis showed. A range of problems plague 13- to 15-year-olds, who are adjusting to high school and raging hormones and seeking independence. The Raising Children Network says cyberbulling and disrespectful and risk-taking behaviour are among the problems with which parents must contend. For parents of children aged two to five, refusing to eat, breath-holding and swearing are among the distressing behaviour they confront. Then there are the tantrums – one of the hallmarks of the “terrible twos”.