Hello my name is Amanda Dounis. I’m from the positive thinking clinic at Wolli Creek. In recent times I’ve had the opportunity to speak with some year twelve boys and girls during these difficult times of Covid. Now it’s currently September 2020 and these teenagers have really had a rocky ride.

Here is the transcript with slight variation for sound understanding. But for an accurate account of the discussion please refer to the you tube clip.

Recently I upgraded my youth mental health first aid and so a lot of the discussion and conversation was also revolving around what our kids are going through these days as opposed to or in addition to what hardships they may experience, as just being normal teenagers compared to other years. 

Recently upgraded my youth mental health first aid and so a lot of the discussion and conversation was also revolving around what our kids are going through these days as opposed to or in addition to what hardships they may experience, as just being normal teenagers compared to other years. 

Now I guess we can agree with…. each child is an individual and has their own coping mechanisms and own difficulties. But I have noticed a trend, and kids are tending to group together and share, and therefore agree with themselves and each other that this is the worst year for them ever.

Now I very much understand especially in Sydney New South Wales and the local group that I’ve connected with recently, they’ve been strict about formals not going ahead. End Year Fun celebrations being banned. And this is the year that most of them are turning 18.

They can’t have their parties and I can’t help but to think somehow because I’m also a mom of a 17 to 18 year …old so I’m silently happy that they’re not having the opportunity to have these big bold parties. But it’s not about us moms or dads. It’s actually about the teenager and what’s going on in their world. They’re the teenage years. They’re difficult.

Yes I have a resource that I use when I have a lot of teens come through my clinic it’s very noticeable that. The young kids they come they talk they blab and they blab and they say what they want. And you can jump from any conversation and it’s easy to get them talking some kids that don’t want to speak. Give them pen and paper and whilst they’re drawing or writing they’re also talking with you a little bit of a sand trap TV or even Plato or or Lego or anything at all.

You can get kids talking and you can pretty much talk about a variety of different topics but the teenagers it’s not so easy. The adults who struggle to speak they want to speak and know that they are here to speak and to share their goals and their distress and pain points. But some teenagers are brought by their parents or even on their own free will but get stuck on how to communicate effectively.

Now I’ve seen a trend with these teens most of what they want to put it down to is this is the worst year ever. We can’t do this and we can’t do that for them. Their problem is the lack of social connection. As I was saying you have a resource here and it’s called Deep speak and it’s so appropriate as you can imagine the title deep speak and it’s says it’s a card resource. And it’s specifically for teenagers who really struggle to actually speak.

So it prompts you on what to use for conversation. Now even through this resource I’ve discovered kids get to talk or just showing me a card to give me an indication right. That’s how I’m feeling but I don’t want to talk about it. I’ve had a child go to this section and say okay we’ll see that rainbow there. I feel I’m part of that community yet nobody knows.

And had I not had that resource how would I have known if I had hadn’t asked the question directly and would they have felt comfortable enough to actually speak back to me and tell me what they’re honestly thinking or feeling but the kids that are connected within in recent times this social disconnection that they’re experiencing even when spo

rt was called off I think we’ve taken for granted.

How good the social interaction is for our kids that the school systems have in place now. I must say and I know a lot of people have a lot of opinions but my only focus right here right now is what our kids are saying. They’re saying we need to be able to have more freedom to go places to connect with each other.

And whilst many of them have said oh we’ve connected via our online activities like gaming or Snapchat which is what we’re doing anyway the fact that they had rules and they were not allowed or they weren’t allowed to give a gift for their Ps and some of these kids really expressed more unfair that was. And of course. Kids will say that’s unfair it’s not fair and why me. And I know that’s what that bracket adults say and other kids say too.

But we’re just think specifically with this age group a lot of these kids are experiencing anxiety. Stress overwhelm. Nobody set them up for home schooling that online learning that we had to endure for a period of I can’t remember how many weeks it was all a great online learner. I love it because I know how to do it and I’ll see the advantage in it.

It’s convenient and I’ll pay attention. Some of the kids just say I can’t do that. I have to be in class to learn and the kids were taking the easy way out they were pretending that they were online and they have found loopholes in the zoom system to show that yeah I’m there but it’s just they are a screenshot of them that somehow they’ve been able to put on there and the teachers think that they were on Zoom. It’s not just kids.

A lot of the adult courses my my. One of the courses that I did a few years back in or pay a friend of mine wanted to do that course as well. But now it’s moved online and

she she was so enthusiastic to do this course with so looking forward to it. When she found out because of covered that it’s going to go online. She withdrew and she she said I can’t learn like that.

I won’t pay attention and I guess we have to respect that. It’s a serious course and you need serious attention. And so she opted out. And so it’s not for everybody. Now some of the kids are thinking I’ll get into university easy because the borders are sharpened so we can have the overseas students come and take our positions. I’m just saying the conversations that they’re having some of the kids are saying oh I’ve given up I don’t know what I’m going to do.

I can’t think I can’t concentrate. There’s problems with their boyfriends and girlfriends. They they’re experiencing strength and they said that they’re having more stress than usual. Some of the kids are also saying that it wasn’t so bad. They enjoyed it. They got a pen. They got a new dog and offered that from the wider community anywhere and really statistically you’ll see the sales have actually increased for purchasing of pets.

The the even the aquarium industry. More fish Rimbaud and more hobbies enjoy it and I know that because my my oldest son is in the fish industry. And so but unfortunately purchasing of the popular little puppies that everyone’s been buying they. Their prices went from like. A normal converter which could have been I don’t know two three four thousand dollars I don’t know.

Now had been selling them for like six or seven thousand dollars. So speaking of money some of these kids have said for me to work effectively from home I’ve needed to upgrade my my computer my laptop I’ve needed a printer I’ve needed to set up and do my office or they’ll complain I’ve got no privacy or there’s so much noise at my house or my parents are working from home as well.

So it’s really shaken up the kids and I’ve never seen these kids say a driver be at school when typically a lot of kids are like I want to take a day off school they want to go to school now for connection they can’t wait to go and I play a team sport. They want the connection before it was just a natural part. They didn’t ever imagine and this is their words.

They never imagined life without sport or social functions because they just thought it was just just normal. And in fact it was normal. So now that it became a new normal they didn’t adjust very well even things inside the school system have changed. They can’t. But they still asked to socially distance.

They can’t go to different venues as freely as they could so that they can try and or play their competitive sports the excursions that they will do visiting other places. Some of them would. Would you two go for overseas educational trips. None of that now. So they really are feeling disadvantaged. And when that happens.

They aren’t always in control of what’s going on in their minds in their minds. Some of them have explained they’re saying. It always happens to me. This is the worst year of my life. This is going to set me up for failure. And I’ve got them all to write down their one sentence and they’re all just quote you three and there was some sad sentences I don’t need to repeat either.

Or just how unfair it was compared to my brother. And what could have happened to that person not that that’s an appropriate thing to say but I’m just sharing what they think. And. Some most of the team saw some to most of them think that their parents don’t understand and they’re just really really wanting to have gatherings of more than 10. But it’s nice to know that most of them are respecting the rules.

The schools and I’m talking specifically about these kids that I spoke to. Their particular schools which I don’t need to name have really drummed to them do the right thing because you have parents do the right thing because you have grandparents. So the kids know that. Better do the right thing because there’ll be consequences health consequences for others.

Earlier on they told me that they didn’t really care so much because they had heard that Oh it doesn’t happen to kids. Kids can’t get covered. And so they thought oh you know we’ll be fine we won’t get any symptoms until they discovered via the news of high school a conversation that you can get it you can’t get the symptoms. And while someone would affect you you can pass it on to your parents or your grandparents or aunties and uncles or any elderly.

And so the kids have really decided to buckle down and respect the rules. They’re just not liking it and they’re really feeling unfair. So I guess in a nutshell that’s what they’ve been going through. Most of these kids see a therapist some of these kids are taking medication to relieve anxiety or to help calm.

And some are taking supplements for sleep. Some of them have had suicidal thoughts. One or two or not. I’m not. Quite sure because I’ve spent such a range of kids come combat this particular group. Have done some self harm substance abuse.

And so what also I heard in that conversation is that. The schools have been very helpful. They are understanding. Very compassionate. Very resourceful and so it’s nice to know that these kids feel that they have a support network. Spring is coming. The spots are back on and you is nearly happening.

They’re going to be on holiday soon and. They’re looking forward to holidays. They’re upset with school it has been canceled. But I heard something today that school is maybe back on. So by the time I actually published this video who knows what the story is in fact don’t take any of the state rules that I may say and I’m trying my my best not to announce any restrictions because I know they just change all the time.

The whole point is our kids have been affected our kids want life back to normal. And elk our kids are suffering and they’re not telling. Most of them are not telling their parents. Some they keep these kids respect to us saying that they don’t want it to the point that I want to upset their parents. The parents are going through hard times themselves and they just take it on the chin all they want to hang out with their difference.

They’re missing the boy girl interaction because of the limited numbers these twelve students are sticking to their own. They’re in school with normally. They made up. There’s a whole bunch of them and they’re from sometimes different schools that have become friends or siblings so. That’s what these kids told me. So.

My point today is just to share with you what I’ve learned from a bunch of kids before they get together and just let me know what’s going on in their world. It’s been tough but I made sure that for the time we finished our conversation that everyone told me one good thing that they’re looking forward to and that everyone told me one good thing that has happened during comfort. So I did my best to make sure it finished on a good note.

So if you’re a teen during the HSC Good luck one day this will all be an adventure story that you can tell and it will be in the past so to not look forward do your best. That’s all you need to do.

So if you’re a teen during the HSC Good luck one day this will all be an adventure story that you can tell and it will be in the past so to not look forward do your best. That’s all you need to do.

Amanda Dounis

Positive Thinking Clinic

1/7 Magdalene Terrace

Wolli Creek, 2205

0458 850 850



It is important to know that resources are available if you are experiencing anxiety , and exploring other websites, such as mindaustralia, and headspace.  

I welcome you to visit my podcast to learn about anxiety basics.

In any emergency you can always reach out to lifeline.

Help is also available for kids, and support for families too.

You may find my Coping Skills Handbook a great resource.  It teaches kids how to cope with everyday challenges using a simple C.O.P.E. formula.

You can find out more about me on natural therapy pages or psychology today

I am a level 3 member of the Australian Counselling Association and am a member of the Hypnotherapy Council of Australia

Here is a short clip on FAQ at Positive Thinking Clinic https://youtu.be/GNWaRVsC-OU

Ways that Positive Thinking Clinic can help you https://youtu.be/m0z-f0PSQNM

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