On Weekend Wondering Dave chats with Rebecca Page Public Relations Manager at  HCF who looks at Research into Parenting Tweens.

  • Four in ten (41%) parents who say they face challenges talking to their tween about cultural identity say it’s not currently an issue for their tween so they’d only bring it up if it ‘were a problem’
  • Amongst parents who face challenges talking to their tween about gender identity, Gen X parents are more than twice as likely as millennial parents to say they don’t understand the importance or relevance of teaching their tween about gender identity (15% compared to 6)
  • HCF Research released to coincide with the launch of Season Four of HCF’s Navigating Parenthood Podcast: Growing Great Teens
  • Podcast hosted by dad of tweens, TV personality Dylan Lewis, features heartfelt chats with other notable Australian parents of tweens

 

 A study into the challenges faced by Australian parents of tweens (aged 8-12) has revealed a raft of challenges from talking about gender and cultural identity to online gaming and editing photos on social media.

HCF, Australia’s largest not-for-profit health fund, has published the Growing Great Teens Report to coincide with the launch of the fourth season of its Navigating Parenthood Podcast.

The season is hosted by dad and TV and radio presenter Dylan Lewis, who discusses the experience of raising today’s tweens with other parents. Speaking with familiar voices, like Susie Maroney, Robbie Buck and Pia Miranda, he tackles issues faced by many families, from raising mentally strong kids and navigating the online universe, to how to foster family connection and recognise the identity biases faced by children in preadolescence.

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HCF Chief Officer Member Health, Julie Andrews, said parenting was a challenging task for many Australians but the tween years could present particularly complex challenges.

“The mental and emotional changes ‘tweens’ experience while transitioning from childhood to becoming a teenager can be really significant for the tween, but also for the parent,” Ms Andrews said.

“Our new podcast series helps shine a light on some of these important topics. Dylan’s conversations with guests will help listeners know they’re not alone in navigating issues all Australian families are facing.”

Podcast host Dylan Lewis is himself a father to tweens: Rose, 13, and Jethro, nine.

“Tweens are those little people in our homes who are one minute chatting passionately about climate change and politics, and then the next minute having a sock sliding competition down the hallway, which I always win,” Lewis said.

“I’m learning as much as I can along the journey in this world, in this era. And it’s mostly from my kids, to be honest. But I want to learn more. I want to get it right. And so does everyone I know.”

Episode one features Host Dylan Lewis chatting with mum, Carolyn Tate, about her eldest son’s transitioning journey when he was 12 after experiencing gender dysphoria. Lewis also speaks with father of 4, Andy Saunders, who shares about how his grandfather shaped the way he shared his Aboriginal heritage with his sons.

Key highlights from the Growing Great Tweens report include:

  • Four in ten (41%) parents who say they face challenges talking to their tween about cultural identity say it’s not currently an issue for their tween so they’d only bring it up if it ‘were a problem’
  • Amongst parents who face challenges talking to their tween about gender identity, Gen X parents are more than twice as likely as millennial parents to say they don’t understand the importance or relevance of teaching their tween about gender identity (15% compared to 6)
  • Four in ten (39%) parents who take some action to protect the identify of children in photos when posting online, will blur out other kids when posting photos on social media
  • 80 per cent of parents believe their tween will suffer long term impacts as a result of living through the COVID-19 pandemic; top three anticipated impacts are: increased dependence on technology for entertainment; struggles with schoolwork due to disrupted learning; and increased social anxiety
  • 71 per cent of Aussie parents of tweens describe their relationship with their tween as better than the relationship they had with their own parents at the same age, almost half say it’s better; only four per cent say it’s worse

To download a copy of the report, visit: https://www.hcf.com.au/about-us/media-centre/research-reports

The podcast, Navigating Parenthood: Growing Great Tweens will be available through Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts and Spotify from Friday May 13, with new episodes to be released every week.