A meeting has been organised at the Narrandera Library for the parents and grandparents of teenage girls aimed at creating a support network for them. The meeting is on June 20 at 12.30pm.
Narrandera Shire Councillor Tracey Lewis has organised the meeting, which she hopes will provide an opportunity for parents to start the support network.
“The main hope is the parents who show up can create some goals and strategies that we can implement,” Cr Lewis said.
The intention is for parents to get together and discuss the issues they believe their teenage daughters are facing. “It’s better if we can work together. I hope in the future that we can get some funding to do some youth activities for both girls and boys, but we’ll start off with the girls and find out what they’re struggling with.”
The world has never been kind to women, but today’s teenage girls face the kind of issues their parents can’t always come to terms with. In a typical classroom of 25 to 30 children, around a third of those children will have been victims of cyber-bullying at some point in their lives. Children are living online in ways they don’t always have the mental development to comprehend.
“I see so many girls who feel they need to be half-naked on social media. I want them to have respect for themselves, to have good self-esteem and love themselves. I want them to be safe and happy in the world. I see so many teenagers and they’re not happy,” Cr Lewis said.
“Parents need to know what’s going on with them and make some goals and make some strategies. I just want to work with the parents to get a plan for what the girls need and what they can access here in Narrandera. Plenty of parents aren’t sure what to do.
“You need a support network as a parent and our girls need to learn how to build a healthy support network as well. Parents need to be the ones to show the way. I’d like to see our girls take on more leadership roles in the community.
“It’s not about saying that we’re bad parents, or that we have bad girls. I think we just need to find that support system.”
Cr Lewis also raised the prospect of a similar program aimed at fathers and sons.
“I’d like to get a group of fathers together and we can talk about their sons. Different kids have different issues.”
Cr Lewis wanted to emphasise that the session is open to everyone who has a hand in looking out for girls in the community.
“Parents, grandparents, teachers from the high school – we’re hoping to have a couple of mental health workers there as well. It’s for everyone,” Cr Lewis said.