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Teenage of Change for Dads, Herald Sun

Teenage of Change for Dads, Herald Sun

FATHERS must change the way they act when their sons hit puberty to help prevent violence, rebellion and depression, a parenting expert has warned.

Dr Arne Rubinstein said parents, in particular fathers, needed to spend more one-on-one time with their sons, share stories and teach the skills of resilience and problem solving. He holds workshops for sons and dads to help teach that.

‘‘If we try to parent teenagers as though they are just big children, it creates a lot of angst both ways,’’ said Dr Rubinstein, author of new book The Making of Men.

The style of parenting has to change enormously, from one where we are in charge and telling them what to do, to one where we are working with them and supporting them, treating them as young adults

Company director Paul Kanat, 49, who has an open and honest relationship with his 14-year-old son Luka, agrees. They recently attended one of Dr Rubinstein’s Rites of Passage workshops.

‘‘It is so easy for boys to go off the tracks; there are a lot of pitfalls,’’ he said. Five years ago his older son was getting into trouble and he turned to Dr Rubinstein for help. Mr Kanat, from Melbourne’s east, said the six-day camp made such a difference to his oldest son, he automatically took Luka when he turned 14.

‘‘It was incredible for developing our relationship,’’ he said, adding that they could now discuss any subject.

‘‘But times are changing fast. For instance, now the boys all get pornography on their phones.

‘‘There were serious eyeopeners during that conversation that a lot of dads were unaware of.’’

22 May 2013 | Hearld Sun | Blanche Clarke

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