Have a Question? Need Parenting Advice? Ask Michael Hawton

The ‘teen whisperer’, Michael Hawton, is a psychologist with years of experience helping principals to better manage unruly behaviour in the classroom.

He has responded to the Federal Minister’s call of ‘zero tolerance’ to bad behaviour in schools, with a plea to fund programs to educate parents and teachers on how to help kids develop self-control.

His comments follow the release of a report this week which found that Australian school students scored “significantly lower than the OECD average” for classroom discipline.

The resulting disruption is attributed with impacting the ability of students to learn.

Michael Hawton, who has a proven track record of training education professionals and counsellors, says that unless we create the right conditions for parents and teachers to develop the skills to help kids help themselves the problem is ‘not going to go away”.

Michael Hawton will soon release a new book, Engaging Adolescents, which includes tools for educators and parents to help teens when faced with tough issues like unacceptable risk-taking, bullying, alcohol abuse.

“People do better, when they know better”, Hawton said.

Young adults, whose identities are emerging, need to be given the opportunity to learn to control impulses and self-regulate behaviour, to problem solve and negotiate. To facilitate this the adults in their lives need to commit to having those important conversations, without being in the vice grip of emotions that can derail the communication.

Just like paramedics, who train so they are prepared to deal with crisis situations, Hawton says parents can learn to ditch reactive responses and focus on solutions by being well prepared when they engage with kids on important issues.

If you would like to talk to Michael about the issue of what has gone wrong with the discipline in Australian Schools, please get in touch.

He is based in Byron Bay but in Sydney today until Sunday March 19 and has windows of availability for interview.



Michael Hawton is a registered psychologist with over 30 years of experience. He is a listed clinical expert with the NSW Children’s Court and an expert witness in the Family Court of Australia. A former teacher, Michael has spent much of his career working with parents and their children, and has been teaching family services workers and educational leaders in the area of behaviour management for over a decade.. A father of two, Michael brings a clear and unambiguous method-based approach to help parents experiencing difficulties with their teenagers’ behaviour.

Engaging Adolescents is available from www.exislepublishing.com.au and wherever good books are sold. RRP $29.99. Available May 1, 2017 (available for pre-order now)

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