Belinda Hamilton interviews teen expert and author Michelle Mitchell.
We’re heading into the lead up to mid-year exams for Aussie high school students. What are your top 3 tips to surviving exams?
Try these tips to help keep things calm….
1. Put as much value on relaxation and exercise as you do on exams. Value and time are two different things. You may have to cut down on the time you spent watching television or sports, however don’t eliminate them altogether.
2. Eat a decent breakfast before going to school. When you are hungry if affects your concentration, mental speed and clarity. Eating a good breakfast, which includes protein, helps brain function stay stable.
3. Start assignments and study as early as possible. Stress builds when you have too much to do in too little time. Start each assignment the day you are given it and don’t leave things to the last minute.
We’ve been running a series on www.burnbright.com.au called Mirror Mirror to counteract the YouTube trend of teens asking the masses, ‘Am I beautiful?’ Our focus in this series is to highlight teen girls and women who have done incredible things with their lives. Who would you suggest we should profile for role models for young women?
I am privileged to come in contact with many young ladies who are turning their lives around and achieving great things. Chantelliene is one of those ladies. She is now a 24 years old, successful business owner. She got heavily involved in drugs and alcohol when she was a teenager but has managed to get herself back on the straight and narrow. She grew up with quite a number of challenges to overcome, including an alcoholic father. I’m so proud to see she is now kicking great goals for her own life and learning from her families mistakes.
Why do you think society places so much focus on young women to aim for beauty rather than striving to achieve amazing things?
There is so much focus on beauty and body image in society and the media. It puts a lot of pressure on our girls. I see girls wanting a ‘box’ so badly their life is melting down over it. Girls don’t put all your eggs in the one beauty basket. There is more to you than how you look. I’m blogging more about this more at michellemitchell.org this week.
There’s a saying, ‘You can’t troll a troll,’ (eye for an eye) when referring to Internet bullying, however this is inaction is perpetuating the issue. How can teens take charge of the issue, without trolling the trolls?
I agree. You can’t beat a bully by being a bully. The person who started the fight is usually meaner and stronger than you. You can however, beat a bully by outsmarting a bully. One way of outsmarting a bullying is not giving them any attention AT ALL. Bullies thrives on attention. The more dramatically we react, the more we fuel it. The other way of outsmarting bullies is by taking yourself off social media sites that are known for bullying, like Ask.fm. If you have a profile on a site like that you are a sitting duck, waiting to be bullied. That’s no way to live! Lastly, be careful who you friend and follow in the first place and keep in contact with supportive adults if you feel uncomfortable about anything online.
So much attention is given to how parents can start a non-threatening dialogue with their teenage children, but very little is taught to teens as to how to do the same with their parents, who may be just as disconnected in the relationship as they believe their teens to be. Can you suggest so me conversation starters that shouldn’t send parents into defence mode?
If you are asking your parents to allow you to do something ‘safe’ but you are still worried about your response, I’d suggest a few things. Try not to over react and scream the house down. This will get their back up more. Try to communicate your feelings calmly, slowly and with respect. Make your parents feel appreciated. Give it a few days. You don’t have to get your point across in 30 minutes. Sometimes parents need time to think about things.
An advocate, author and active youth worker, Michelle’s honest and hope-filled approach has seen her help countless teenagers transition successfully into adulthood.
Working in schools, homes and community groups, Michelle is the founder of charity Youth Excel which started in 2000. Youth Excel delivers life skills education and support to hundreds of teenagers and their families though presentations, small groups and individual mentoring.
Michelle passionately advocates for equal opportunities for all young people, regardless of cultural background, socio-economic status or family dysfunction.
As a speaker, Michelle is entertaining, energetic and passionate about helping teenagers and their families navigate through challenging crossroads.
As an author, Michelle has incorporated years of grassroots experience into her book, “What Teenage Girls Don’t Tell their Parents”. Michelle has also authored a series of five life skills programs being utilised by schools nationwide covering topics including self esteem, relationship strategies, problem solving, goal setting and self leadership.
Michelle is a registered teacher.
Along with her husband Doc and two teenagers, she lives in Brisbane, Australia
- See more at: http://michellemitchell.org/