Dr Ben Furman, an expert on helping children develop, says kids need to take responsibility.
Dr Ben Furman, an expert on helping children develop, says kids need to take responsibility. Sharyn Oneill

Expert tackles juvenile crime

FORGET tougher punishment, the best way to change a young troublemaker's behaviour is helping them take responsibility for their action, an expert in the field says.

Dr Ben Furman is a world-renowned Finnish psychiatrist and psychotherapist who has created a method of helping children overcome behavioural and emotional problems.

On Thursday, he will deliver a free public lecture at the Pilbeam Theatre, where his focus will include responding to undesirable behaviour among children and the use of appropriate punishment and praise.

Yesterday, he answered media questions about how to tackle Rockhampton's juvenile crime problem – the ratio of young offenders facing a magistrate is nearly twice as high in this city as the rest of the state.

And his message wasn't one that those who want to see harsher punishment meted out would want to hear.

“We are very good at punishing our children,” Dr Furman said.

“What I suggest is to help our kids learn to take responsibility for their actions.

“We need to teach them the skills of responsibility ... stop punishing them and help develop an understanding of what is right and wrong.”

He said all children had problems at some stage of their development.

“When you change from talking about problems to about the skills they need to learn they become partners,” Dr Furman said.

“They need the skills and abilities to take responsibility for actions.”

Kids talk

Rockhampton Regional Council's Strengthening Family Connections Program, in partnership with Queensland Government Department of Communities, is hosting a free lecture by Dr Ben Furman, a world-renowned Finnish psychiatrist and psychotherapist on Thursday from 6.30pm to 9pm at the Pilbeam Theatre.

A free bus will run for Yeppoon/Emu Park and Mount Morgan/Gracemere residents, bookings are essential. Call Dowies on 49391379 to reserve your seat.



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