It Will Get Better
A practical guide to combating teen issues for teenagers, parents and carers.
Trust yourself and never give up
Reach out and let people help you
Work with what you have - find a way to deal with it
If you get something wrong, learn from it and do it better next time
If someone doesn't accept your for you they don't deserve to be in your life
Being a teenager today can be overwhelming - the anxieties of depression, bullying, family break-ups, peer-pressure, alcohol and drugs can be all-consuming. Melinda Hutchings has written It Will Get Better after interviewing teens, young adults, school counsellors, health professionals and psychologists, as well as organisations such as the Kids Helpline, the Inspire Foundation, the Butterfly Foundation and Youth Insearch. Along with her own experiences, wisdom and good advice, It Will Get Better assures us that there's always a solution.
Featuring real life stories of teens in crisis, expert advice, practical tips and supportive resources, It Will Get Better helps teens come to terms with their issues and teaches them to move forward with confidence.
Melinda's Top Tips for Teens
Melinda's Top Tips for Parents
Listen without judgement
Take care in what you say and how you say it
Ask your child how they are feeling and let them talk without interrupting
Have a 'No Consequences' rule when it comes to dialling Emergency
The invaluable combination of real life experiences and clinical advice helps parents and carers understand struggling teenagers.
Melinda Hutchings is an inspiring role model, experienced public speaker and author of Why Can't I Look the Way I Want? Overcoming Eating Issues (June, 2009). Having battled and survived anorexia as a teenager, Melinda is passionate about helping teens find their way through the maze of issues and experiences facing them today. She will be part of the expert speakers panel for Generation Next 2010, a series of forums throughout Australia that deal with teen issues aimed at parents, counsellors and carers.
It Will Get Better
Allen and Unwin
Author: Melinda Hutchings
Interview with Melinda Hutchings
Could you talk about how you developed the book title, It Will Get Better?
Melinda Hutchings: I interviewed many, many teenagers and with my own experience of having a bit of a difficult teenage-hood, I wanted people to know, it doesn't matter what you are going through or how hard it is, or how much you are struggling that it will get better. You just need to keep going, keep believing in yourself and ask for help, it will get better. I wanted it to be positive and I wanted people to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I think of my book like a crystal ball, because teenagers are telling their stories of pain, struggle and what there turning point was and then how they turned it around and moved forward to create an amazing life. I want for a troubled teenager to pick up my book and read a story of someone who has been through what they're going through and actually see how they were able to come through it; that will help that person and inspire a belief that it will get better.
Is It Will Get Better written for teenagers and parents?
Melinda Hutchings: Absolutely! I think it is an important resource for parents because it helps them get into the heads and hearts of teenagers. Parents get to read what they teenagers are thinking, feeling and all of the issues that they are faced with today. It is really important that parents get acquainted with those issues so that they can have a really strong communication bond with their teenager.
What research went into It Will Get Better?
Melinda Hutchings: I did a lot of interviews with teenagers but I also talked to the top people at organisations such as; Kids Help Line, Butterfly Foundation and Inspire Foundation. I also contacted health professionals in my network, including the Head of the Adolescent unit at Prince of Wales Hospital and some other key psychologists. I really wanted to get not just the emotional aspects of what the teenagers are going through, but also the clinical and practical aspects in terms of people who specialise in counseling for teenagers and helping them through. I wanted to source all this information so that I could get a comprehensive account of dealing with these issues and how to find your way through.
Can you explain the tip for parents 'Have a 'No Consequences' rule when it comes to dialing Emergency'?
Melinda Hutchings: Sure, during my research phase I heard so often that teenagers would be at someone's house or at a party and they all would be drinking or taking 'pills' and one of them would become unconscious and the people around them were too scared to ring their parents or emergency or even tell an adult that could help them because they were petrified of getting in trouble or being grounded. The person who is unconscious is in danger of getting brain damage or even dying. There were so many cases were emergency got to this person at the last minute and were able to save their life. The 'no consequences rule' is parents saying to their teenager "if you are ever in a situation where someone is unconscious or someone needs medical attention or something happens to a friend of yours as a result of drinking or taking 'pills' and you are in a panic and you don't know what to do, ring emergency. If you ever ring emergency, I am not going to ask you any questions, you do not have to explain yourself to me and you will not be grounded, there will be no consequences". This way, teenagers know that if something goes wrong they can pick up the phone and there are not going to be any consequences. They will know to help their friend or even save their friends life.
Can you explain this top tip for teens 'Work with what you have - find a way to deal with it'?
Melinda Hutchings: I think that in a lot of cases teenagers feel like they don't like their situation and they resist it because they don't understand or know how to find their way through. It is really important to accept your situation for what it is and instead of resisting it or getting angry or feeling bitter, accept it for what it is. Find out how you can adapt and change the situation, after accepting.