Wellbeing News

De La Salle and White Ribbon

As an all-boys school and in our Lasallian tradition of raising boys to be fine young men, the College is committed to stopping violence against women.

The statistics regarding domestic and sexual violence against women in Australia is incredibly confronting.

  • One in three women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by someone known to them
  • One in five women over 18 have been stalked in their lifetime
  • One in five women experience harassment within the workplace
  • Over 12 months, on average, one woman is killed every week by a current or former partner
  • In Australia, one in four children are exposed to domestic violence

Unfortunately, the list goes on.

Ending men’s violence against women is good for everyone. In demanding an end to violence against women, we are calling for:

  • A new vision of what it means to ‘be a man’.
  • Fair, empowering, happy and peaceful relationships.
  • Girls and women living free from the threat of violence, abuse, intimidation or control.
  • Girls and women experiencing greater equality in the home, workplace and community.

When this happens, men will have better relationships with women and increased emotional connection to themselves and other people. The safety of men will also improve, as the threat of violence from other men will reduce.

White Ribbon is encouraging people to host a #cheeseforchange initiative. The idea is to make a platter, host a gathering and promote the change we need to be in order for our society to move towards an end to violence. The College has proudly partnered with Moondarra Cheese to supply a wonderful range of cream and cheddar cheeses to supply the means to host such an event.

Over the next few weeks, our Kinnoull students will be provided with some of these confronting statistics about Violence towards Women and be encouraged to take the White Ribbon “Oath”. This will tie in with International Women’s Day 8 March 2018, our Year 12 Seminar Days, Mentor Home Rooms and the College’s Personal Development Program. A list of Moondarra products will be emailed to you and available on our website to be purchased on Parent/Teacher evenings. Proceeds from these sales will be donated back to White Ribbon. This is an incredibly confronting issue but one that needs to be discussed with our sons. It is in all our interests to raise caring, respectful young men who are willing to act against violence against women.


Adolescence has been famously described as a period of “storm and stress”. It is a period of development when young men and women test limits of family, school, society and authority in general. While this has been widely regarded as true, it is probably only mostly true.

There is certainly a move away from parental authority and a move towards peers and there does seem to be an increase in risk-taking behaviour. It is helpful to remember that the overwhelming majority of adolescents move through this developmental stage and come out as well adjusted adults. When I speak to parents about their sons, I reassure them that the young boy you put into adolescence is usually the young man you get back at the end of it. And this has always been the case. One of my favourite quotes goes like this…

What is happening to our young people? They disrespect their elders, they disobey their parents. They ignore the law. They riot in the streets inflamed with wild notions. Their morals are decaying. What is to become of them?”

The author of this was Plato in about 400 BC…so not a lot has changed in the roughly 2500 years since then!

Adolescence is changing. Adolescence is different for today’s young people in that it lasts much longer than for previous generations. Prior to the early twentieth century, people experienced puberty later in their teenage years. They also became adults sooner by starting a family and beginning employment at a younger age (activities that traditionally mark the transition from adolescence to adulthood). Their adolescence was therefore much shorter. By the mid-nineteenth century, the age of puberty started to decline (possibly due to better nutrition) before stabilising at the current average in the 1960s. As a result, young people these days undergo puberty earlier than previous generations. The activities that signify the transition from adolescence to adulthood also occur much later. Young people tend to stay in education longer, thereby delaying their entrance to the workforce. They tend to live with their parents until they are older and continue participating in the risky behaviours associated with adolescence. Many young people now also delay parenthood until their thirties.

As a parent, it is important to consider where your son is in his developmental stage. Different stages have different cognitive and emotional abilities. Keeping these in mind as you (attempt to) negotiate limits and expectations. I’ve included some information for you to keep in mind that outlines some of these… GOOD LUCK!

AGE Ages 10–14 Ages 15–19
Physical Body fat increases (girls) Girls usually reach full physical development
Breasts begin to enlarge (girls) Boys reach close to full physical development
Menstrual periods begin (girls) Voice continues to lower (boys)
Hips widen (girls) Facial hair appears (boys)
Testicles and penis grow larger (boys) Weight and height gain continue (boys)
Voice deepens (boys) Eating habits can become sporadic—skipping meals, late night eating
Breasts can get tender (girls and boys)
Height and weight increases (girls and boys)
Skin and hair become oilier, pimples may appear (girls and boys)
Appetite may increase (girls and boys)
Body hair grows (girls and boys)
Hormonal levels change (girls and boys)
Brain develops (girls and boys)
Emotional Sense of identity develops Independent functioning increases
May feel awkward or strange about themselves and their bodies Firmer and more cohesive sense of personal identity develops
Focus on self, increases Examination of inner experiences becomes more important and may include writing a blog or diary
Ability to use speech to express feelings improves Ability for delayed gratification and compromise increases
Close friendships gain importance Ability to think ideas through increases
Realization grows that parents are not perfect, have faults Engagement with parents declines
Overt affection toward parents declines Peer relationships remain important
Occasional rudeness with parents occurs Emotional steadiness increases
Complaints that parents interfere with independence increase Social networks expand and new friendships are formed
Friends and peers influence clothing styles and interests Concern for others increases
Childish behaviour may return, particularly at times of stress
Cognitive Interests tend to focus on the present, thoughts of the future are limited Interests focus on near-future and future
Intellectual interests expand and gain in importance More importance is placed on goals, ambitions, role in life
Ability to do work (physical, mental, emotional) expands Capacity for setting goals and following through increases
Capacity for abstract thinking increases Work habits become more defined
Risk-taking behaviours may emerge (experimenting with tobacco, alcohol, physical risks) Planning capability expands
Ability for foresight grows
Risk-taking behaviours may emerge (experimenting with tobacco, drugs, alcohol, reckless driving)
Sexual Girls develop ahead of boys Feelings of love and passion intensify
Shyness, blushing, and modesty increases More serious relationships develop
Showing off may increase Sharing of tenderness and fears with romantic partner increases
Interest in privacy increases Sense of sexual identity becomes more solid
Interest in sex increases Capacity for affection and sensual love increases
Exploration of issues and questions about sexuality and sexual orientation begins
Concerns about physical and sexual attractiveness to others may develop
Worries about being “normal” become common
Short-term romantic relationships may occur
Moral Testing of rules and limits increases Interest in moral reasoning increases
More consistent evidence of conscience becomes apparent Interest in social, cultural, and family traditions expands
Capacity for abstract thought develops Emphasis on personal dignity and self-esteem increases
Ideals develop, including selection of role models Capacity increases for useful insight
Questioning of moral rights and privileges increases

Mr Anthony Freeman
College Psychologist, Kinnoull Campus

Back to The Duce Issue 2018 03 - 8 March 2018