ADVICE: Dr Michael Carr-Gregg visited Proserpine and was the guest speaker at the St Catherine's Mother's Day High Tea.
ADVICE: Dr Michael Carr-Gregg visited Proserpine and was the guest speaker at the St Catherine's Mother's Day High Tea. Georgia Simpson

PARENTING TIPS: Renowned psychologist talks to Proserpine

RENOWNED Psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg was in Proserpine recently, and he has some words of advice to parents of teenagers; pick your battles.

The "godfather" of parenting was the guest speaker at the St Catherine's Catholic College Mother's Day High Tea.

About 200 people attended the event, and St Catherine's College communications and publications officer Aimee Mitchell said the luncheon was a roaring success.

Ms Mitchell said as the mother to a two-year-old, she found the talking points, relevant to parenting.

Dr Carr Gregg said 14 tended to be the tipping point for young people, as it's the age where they begin to navigate their way through puberty.

Teenage brains contain 100 billion brain cells, and one trillion connections, Carr-Gregg said, and in females, their brains weren't "fully wired up until the ripe old age of 23."

He said the relationship between a mother and her child particularly daughters often pave the foundations for future relationships.

Mothers are often the first storytellers, and Dr Carr-Gregg said children learn their attitudes, values and beliefs from what their mothers do and say.

"It's important to remember that mums don't have a PhD in psychology; they're doing the best with what they know," he said.

Dr Carr-Gregg said studies showed in 2019 that one in four teenagers would struggle with their mental health, and that parents should be looking at "prevention, rather than cure."

He said the four things parents should look out for included:

*Is your child able to obtain, maintain and retain a rich repertoire of friends?

*Has your child learnt independence, and to a degree emaciated themselves from their carers?

*Do they understand and engage with their schooling?

*Do they have a "spark" or something they are passionate about?

If all the above boxes are ticked, then Dr Carr-Gregg said your child is heading in the right direction.