Renowned Australian psychologist, parent educator and writer Steve Biddulph who says girlhood has become more lonely, pressured and unkind. At the same time, he says adults are less available to support their daughters through. He talks to Kathryn Ryan about his new book 10 Things Girls Need Most.
United States


00:00:00well now goes in young women what they need growing up in twenty seventeen have the system now straightened psychologist parent educator and writer stupid off is the author of four books raising boys the secret of happy children raising girls on the new man hunt the latest book is
00:00:16called ten things go sneak most and he is what he sees in the introduction somehow in the last twenty years childhood and adolescence has changed its more lonely more pressured and more on kind on the one hand there is pressure from advertising TV and social media to be
00:00:30cold and amazing and pressure from parents and school to be successful and then at the same time the friendly support on availability of adults who love them is being reduced they will design and human like busy time spent a night shift time for a fiction time to dream
00:00:45time to create and to be themselves has been stripped away we've done this to our daughters and with simply but relentlessly and now we see the results Stevens in Sydney good morning good morning how you doing that was a pretty good summary of the picture thank you well
00:01:02you're not the first in many ways our tune highlights the individual elements of the US including school principals who were talking about they consume about how much we are assisting and driving now kids are at high school of course there's a lot of them concerns also about the
00:01:20impact of social media but you put it very directly and you also my kid a cool too arms what what is it that you see forty years in the business what is it that you see that backs your position on this yes well I think if everyone around
00:01:39the world in the mental health field the speech saying the same thing the schools that the psychiatrists that the doctors and and the researchers and SO and parents themselves anyone is gonna daughter over about the age of eighty seeing how she's getting hammered and and really %HESITATION not
00:01:56knowing where to turn about gay so what's happening and what I think is that the kind of inside story about child psychology is that if the kids are not a problem it's it's what we in the adult world are doing to this generation of young people and so
00:02:14this book I know I've written before about kills but I still we needed some strong medicine and so ten things ghostly most is a has a it's an interactive book way you write your family you look at the stress picture that you're living in you look at your
00:02:31own childhood to look at what we're into you might be passing on to your daughter without knowing it because we've got to get on to this problem plus one in five girls now it's as diagnose things ID disorders and and it's knocking them all over and and it's
00:02:46often the lowest %HESITATION dubbed the most sensitive or more open hearted killed two of the first ones to fall and and so what we have to do is look at ally style at the high re at the that how we convey that pressure to them that they have
00:03:02to be successful and the week Kanye lies that how does that make sense to you and says the woman and is a mom it totally makes time that's hardly make sense to come allies download allies and especially the lives of the the the bed that struck me out
00:03:17of that introduction they will doesn't humanly busy is those very things that we had of my generation time span tonight should time for fiction at time to dream and some to create in many ways that is what we have stripped but when you again back these solutions talk
00:03:35us through your class of fifteen year olds %HESITATION that you envisage here and what the research tells us delights might be locked well yes I don't I mean I don't want to be all about scaring people in the short time that we've got but again you know that
00:03:51the kids whose self harming and the kids who are already tricking into tripping into eating disorders you'd be looking at that's two out of five girls are struggling in some way or other and one of those one will happen is that parents will be prompted by the to
00:04:08make changes and they'll pulling back and we tell a lot of stories in the book about parents whose %HESITATION made changes to their family life and it's for the Toyota back on %HESITATION but I'd rather than focus on the whole the whole the negatives I think the thing
00:04:22to look at it particularly the early is that the the foundations of mental health come from from a baby who is in total hoot and so what mothers whose father so listening to us today you can do is to realize that little brains need a lot of two
00:04:39lap time they grow best %HESITATION when life go slowly and that we all like excitement and drama but we need time then to integrate that and settle and so in the rhythm of your tie is there peaceful time in nature %HESITATION when kids come home from school do
00:04:56they get to chill out we're not rushing on to the next thing and do we hang about without kids you're not close to the happiness of life is mostly hang in the balance splicing in the barn door taking delight in some little insect that you found on the
00:05:11flower and and so he was very good at that kind of thing very much close to nature and I think the urbanization and money precious of really taken a ways %HESITATION that the things that we just took for granted duty to you know what I'm talking about I
00:05:28do and I'm really happy to talk about the solutions but Alison signed fragile and many of them know exactly the things of which you speak in a worried all of the things which he speak either with their own daughter or in Dayton and who group of friends sorry
00:05:41yes we know that the the the the research is telling us that will be an element of self harm as a means of carping that there will be some with eating disorders one I'm really interested in here because this is some top of mind to a generation of
00:05:55mothers who came through a very in different environment themselves is the fact that several of those who will be sexually active will tell press not the parents but might tell you they don't enjoy six but do it just because it pleases boys end this is weird people don't
00:06:16need to protecting them they know the stuff they very much shop interested in what it is that very and the community can do about it so let's take that particular example the sexual pressure on young women and this idea that a lot of water generation kind to take
00:06:34for granted about the right to my body %HESITATION and the right to respect and the right to consent all of these things the particular challenges that this generation is dealing with and how you communicate to them about this yes that's that's one of the most important focuses in
00:06:53the book one of the ten things girls need most is to have a happy sexuality and and the the the studies that are coming in to us saying that once we haven't done successfully is it educate girls of the house the policies of six and the what happens
00:07:12now very often it is young women start having sex at about the age of fourteen or fifteen that they'd be up for about fifty to sixty percent of them depending on the country it's not a happy experience I don't enjoy it they've done in this sense of pressure
00:07:28from a from a boy on also pressure from their own culture that this is what you have to do is to be cool and and to be honest and and and up with things and so it's it's like feminism never happened and and and it's it's a kind
00:07:44of a use sexuality being something that's done to you and that's why we use the term sexual isolation so sexuality is what comes from the inside and if we kill your wrists really ready to be sexual and whatever her her sexuality is expresses that was no problem with
00:08:04that it's it's when she doesn't exploration is it means when it's imposed from the outside so right is six realization and child abuse it but so is you know is is your fourteen year old on the feeling that she has to send selfie school boy because he did
00:08:22Jesus really wants that includes pressuring her now what was stand by pathetically grateful coat that I draw on a log are interesting in the states was the girls who have from the moms and their %HESITATION teas and up the culture around them the message that sixties photo fantastic
00:08:40when it's when it's good when the when the conditions are right %HESITATION that's the thing we never teaching schools we teach the biology because of the whole to teach in the hole in the ceiling is brave enough to say look guys sixty second test because one of the
00:08:54best reason to be alive when you go to get that message what we find happens is that they they they hold out for what they want when they want it in the conditions that they want to know that that brings the onset of first intercourse back for about
00:09:10two years on average and so it means the girls are not just doing it to comply or to please hold onto a ball you'll go somewhere else if they don't come across and that that's a you know that we need to get six back to being a happy
00:09:27exciting and usually that means something that slow down the way you just hold hands sing is really enjoy kissing and don't rush possible was lovely aspects of young love that we'll grasp of looks at the time this pad in the book that that issue with passivity and compliance
00:09:45on behalf all schools and and in particular seems to me at the heart of them powering them in this mess in season late in all of his generation by the way to have live with these realities but we did go through many many years many many battles to
00:10:01empower young girls and women to have a sense of being in charge of the sexuality and an expectation of the partners to route respect %HESITATION when we deal with the realities of the online porn which is someone play he is not going to stop their axes to a
00:10:18particular boys exes tourism if I understand the research in your book more than girls access to it but the girls are dealing with the boys expectations what are some of the advice that you give about how he talked about the realities of porn in two cigarette that to
00:10:35talk through with it when it comes to what a healthy boost of sexual relationship with him is going to be about I'm talking about things like six anonymous no one even looks at each of the six as fast as nine four play okay single chorus and six is
00:10:48often a degrading to women women or was really women was compliant these little subliminal messages that can come from modeling one six two development on what they see online how do you you as a parent and a group of parents who care is to click through in a
00:11:06way that's gonna with empower you to yes because points that you just listed a %HESITATION are straight out of the book and they're great they're good delineations of how porn is different to the real world and Alex we really need to be saying this to our boys in
00:11:24particular X. %HESITATION if this is up to the getting the young man to to wake up to themselves as much but but the same foot for the girls as well that that we we need to not be afraid to talk about the whole image because saying to you
00:11:39know kids as young as you know with little eight year old said %HESITATION sometimes you someone was so you yucky stuff about about six and bodies that schools will be someone will come and you know show you pictures and it looks really yeah constraints and and that's around
00:11:56but just it you know sixes rex the in the real life is really nice and and always we can always talk about it and by the age of twelve or thirteen what you'll be saying is look you get that you'll probably see some **** sometimes and it's what
00:12:14you see is the difference to the real world and he is how it's different in the real world people talk and laugh and tickle and and cuddle and date and they care about each other's feelings in a in Congress he people put you down they they treat you
00:12:29like a piece is made %HESITATION now we having accounts from girls all over the world heads boys a trick boys who often actually not bad boys but they think this is how you're supposed to call being there leaning is six Willis in the six will go ahead with
00:12:46this website on is this six six extension for a whole generation at an age appropriate in an age appropriate why he had that varies with individuals you simply confront you simply talk it through and contextualize for them %HESITATION and is this a case often with like most teens
00:13:04in many instances they gonna go Jakks begin I got it what if %HESITATION and and you know walk away and and and the kite perhaps they not listening but value will totally be taking on board what you are saying if you were saying it in a way that
00:13:17again help some Palam doesn't so to say you can't do this you don't do this but helps impel them what Steve I'm just I'm the Biggie that really I was out of this again are when it comes to the pre show that young women are under that goes
00:13:33around at that time pressure that you talk about and the lack of space to do nothing parents are in the same situations in many cases they have into it multiple jobs I might be out on their own %HESITATION co parenting in this a logistics involved and and %HESITATION
00:13:49coordinating the it how do you come again trying to create that time in a in a time pressure environment time for you just to hang out with your daughter and indeed to try and create some space in this okay for who to have some space and time that
00:14:08isn't she joked how do we confront what is almost the disease in many cases of era over at Martin family lives so I think it starts with a man I cancel that on a personal level for each of your listeners but it has to be making it a
00:14:24priority first and to realize if this is the price of your of your told his mental health what wouldn't you do to save her from from that having a lifelong anxiety condition and so %HESITATION we just got mistaken about what helps our kids we thought that success at
00:14:41school and looking amazing in being fantastic it's sport was was the meaning of life now what we know from euro science now explains code based when they grow smaller and that you have to hang around with kids along %HESITATION before they'll tell you the things that are really
00:15:01wiring them %HESITATION in the primary school years skills will come home Austin from school with people social Larry and if we were around it'll they'll sit about for five minutes and then let's say something like you know long life and so I mean or you wonder boys behave
00:15:17like that and it's only thing that will get the opening to listen to them and and have a bit of a chat about what's been going on and so that was just terrible %HESITATION paradox on to assist parents that we have to bring about quality and and be
00:15:36at least not look busy and if we think that our job is to work out to buy them you know fancy schools please and and clothes and holidays overseas because thinking that's what makes a good childhood and we'll get it wrong and so it's a it's a complete
00:15:53social re evaluating of where we going and I don't apology on the bike sixties now I've been writing books of forty years of parents and my focus now is we're in a sick culture we need to I counter cultural move away from consumerism and if that means getting
00:16:10everyone on the page and and we have a Facebook community that talks about this every night about how people can make changes you know the hang about the same yeah hang about is a great concept because it's tempting to think of it is wise to time was so
00:16:25should Judah cells and we so should you Acasuso should show what you during the practice went on your home but where are you up to with this model that set up and down with the best of intentions but just by hanging about at to do nothing is exactly
00:16:41the spice exactly the spicy trying to open up the something else that applies to this particular generation of girls and boys actually the scrutiny on the twenty four hour seven day a week dnia surveillance of them that happens through primary through social media including their own addictions as
00:17:00we all have we can't put the Dame find out five six and we have to say what led stopped I doesn't who's done this and he's tweeted million whose eluded me and his face but my there was the law it was almost a veiled and the most wonderful
00:17:13thing about the good parts of childhood or adolescence of those times where you can just do stuff and if you stop five or if you do nothing more if you do something about we had no one else gets to see and comment how can we create that kind
00:17:28of spot spice years well as parents I think who is always involved wielding a spear you you know we we got off the hyenas and escape from the bears for millions of years and we still need to wield ski is in the modern world in that that we
00:17:46have to %HESITATION since Alice %HESITATION social media and not have a TV always on in a living room and so we we had a terrific reaction last week to this thing that you must leave the phones in the kitchen from seven o'clock but we shouldn't have ten year
00:18:03old girls waking up at night to check their Instagram feed because they're not doing it in a happy why %HESITATION it's the just in case I missed something and but we need to all the moms and dads to be on the page about that is because the kids
00:18:17are %HESITATION you know still texting at three in the morning then it's it's been it's harder for at kids to you know we feel like with the most on said parent in the in the schools we don't let out to that and so missing does involve boundary setting
00:18:33when we do that we show backbone without kids that's when they grow back on cells and it and it becomes once again against safe havens in the die this time to just be a dole key you know lobby not care about anything not not achieving anything wonderful except
00:18:53that a peace of mind is growing and out in a beauty is growing older sorry just thinking about that angle that everyone puts if I someone the tight this social media fade pick you know it kind of sideways pose thing you get you base out a record on
00:19:09we just need to drop it kids should not be walking through life having to pose you know %HESITATION but anyway good luck with that %HESITATION what what are the point of the check through nineties with the literal antes or with the IRA talked about these but then idea
00:19:27again that it's not just your it's not just you struggle in some ways it is a struggle is not just your concern and it certainly is a concern because everyone of these parents as you know it's something on a scale of consumes to petrified about some of what
00:19:42the kids are having to navigate that sees so I'm on fear but the role about those in particularly at the for to to pull others into the picture pullovers into the team at certain times of life %HESITATION especially around people to you point out in the case over
00:19:56and he's because again the some pretty to some very practical things to be navigated at that time as well as a very strong emotional things what what is the vice there about insuring their %HESITATION antes of what it will take %HESITATION in your in your daughter's life yes
00:20:11there's there's a a beautiful story in the book about a guy killed his mother dies when she's on the twelve years old and and at the funeral of a circle of women control her side into a room and and made friends with her mom and people that have
00:20:27known her growing up and the steps and so completely encircles twelve year old girl and say we we will be in your life for as long as we leave we can't replace your mom but the week here and and it was a a very strong instance of of
00:20:44the fact that it is not enough of moms and daughters often go through a very tense times and and around about the age of twelve every girl seems to be determined which in turn out like a month and it's it's very sad but the it's a part of
00:20:59her individuality and so we think that these are the forgotten key to girls mental health because they talk on a deeper level with gills that sometimes less embarrassing to talk to and there and you can give it a niece can go some of going stale around his house
00:21:17%HESITATION and spend the night there and have a monthly %HESITATION lunch with her this as a young woman an older woman pain when Gil Serena's high risk situations you know they're about to get into a car with a bunch of voices had too much to drink she'll see
00:21:34how are the spice and she'll see a show here are these woods thank you that you know you it is agree that what you're thinking girl and and that'll be the beginner exhaust that she's droning from the role modeling and so anyone listening has got me through some
00:21:51and the same with men and that she's really urge you to to be really be in her face and be a be a strong element in a life because it's hard for moms on their on and and we could not meant to be doing it all it's it's
00:22:04it's the the good the job of the tribe to look after those killed one of the points because you talk about %HESITATION so a you know a new feminism being needed and I'm so sometimes what we've agree so if you want to sort of that and I just
00:22:17ahead and what you want I know what it will do sometimes when I feel like we get sucked and I feel my was the lucky generation it didn't have to do the hard yards %HESITATION and and it's it's got the benefits of those he did do the hard
00:22:28yards and now we're watching so much a road and we're talking about those basics about what Tony and ends %HESITATION you know a sense of control over one's self and one's life an expectation of respect and %HESITATION we having again on one of linking the two with the
00:22:44antis begin the ones who can model and could just lay down the law about what goes on women should expect and it's going to be more received behaves them the mom giving the lecture about how it wasn't here today years so I I I try to incorporate some
00:22:59really of the past feminist writers and thinkers and dissemination missile is the ninth of of that intending to go makes because most often McGill will just think this is her own low in the battle against disrespect and and being ogled by men on the bus going to school
00:23:17and and put down by boys and feeling you know that she her legs up the right site Time my daughter had a bowling party school sale we should shave your legs and she was just in two years when she came out of the month so will you know
00:23:30telling me since it's close to spice you know or who are you looking at my legs but we we we need to have that %HESITATION to go to realize this is a worldwide movement it's gone on for century already and and she can be part of that that
00:23:47that it's not an individual thing but it's %HESITATION it's the it's an entire gender standing up and saying this isn't on and I think feminism was stolen in a white by the consumer society became too individualized when when it began in open when forty years ago when I
00:24:05first started in my work it was very much about two five a group action standing together for each other it's not about having to you know a glittering career as a bus at a thank you see a are I mean that's possible but it's it's more about old
00:24:22women and old men raising the the freedom of of of women and so I think we need to get back some of that spirit and I need you to go to cotton on to this their self esteem isn't from I'm pretty it's from one of the most wonderful
00:24:39female human being and all of us women are so fantastic in a contribution to life and then they take a collective pride in that and so it's really important that we get at spirit revived and and back on the massacre in some %HESITATION by the way thanks very
00:24:55much good talking to you Steve a bit of ten things girls need most is the latest book it's published by French publishing

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