Helping Children Overcome Self-Esteem Challenges – SE2EP3 Peter Anthony

Peter Anthony is a consultant and author with over 40 years of experience in influencing customers, stakeholders, and donors. He is an expert in helping businesses win pitches and has worked with clients all over the world, from Australia to the Middle East, China, and the US. Peter is also passionate about working with non-profit organizations such as Fred Hollows Foundation, International Justice Mission, and UNICEF.
Peter has distilled his expertise into a storytelling pitching method, which he has taught to others and has written about in his book, "Collabradabra: The Magic of Collaborative Conversations". He has a Master's degree in Communication from Sydney University, and his work has been recognized for its effectiveness and impact.
Peter shares the story of his teenage daughter and her journey battling peer pressure and self-esteem.
This episode is sponsored by Skill Samurai – Coding & STEM Academy

AI Generated Transcription

Speaker 1 (00:03):
Welcome to the Parenting in the Digital Age podcast. Many parents are concerned that their child might be falling behind. Others are just looking for ways to help their children thrive, not just in the classroom, but socially and well into their future careers. Each episode, we explore the challenges facing parents in the modern world, from behavior, education, and nutrition to device and gaming addiction. We interview a range of leaders in the area of childhood development to help you successfully navigate parenting in the digital age. Here is your host, Jamie Buttigieg. Hello, 
Speaker 2 (00:39):
Parents. Welcome to another episode of the Parenting in the Digital Age podcast. Today we have a very special guest on the show, uh, a local I like to say Peter Anthony is a consultant and author with over 40 years of experience in influencing customers, stakeholders, and donors. He's an expert in helping businesses win pitches and has worked with clients all over the world from Australia, the Middle East, China, and the us. Peter is also very passionate about working with nonprofit organizations such as the Fred Hollows Foundation, International Justice Mission, and UNICEF. Peter has distilled his expertise into a storytelling pitch method, which is taught to others, and has written about in his recent book called Collabradabra, if I've got that right, the Magic of Collaborative Conversations. He has a master's degree in communication from Sydney University, and his work has been recognized for its effectiveness and impact. Now, today, Peter is here to share his insights on a topic that I know is of interest to many parents and listeners, and that is helping children overcome self-esteem challenges. But before we get into that, Peter, welcome to the show. Please share with our listeners in your own words, uh, a bit about yourself and what you're passionate about. 
Speaker 3 (01:54):
Yeah, Goodday, Jamie. As I said I'm, I'm a passionate business person. Uh, but that's not why I'm here today. I'm also a passionate, uh, parent. And, uh, the reason I'm here is that, uh, about four years ago, uh, I was, uh, um, a recently divorced dad. Uh, and I got a call one night. I was going for a walk, one of my favorite walks between Manley Beach and Shelly Beach, uh, in Sydney. I got a call from my daughter, um, and she said, Dad, can I come and live with you? And I said, well, what's up? And she said, can I come and live with you? And I said, sure, absolutely. Of course, I'm not gonna say no. Um, she landed on, on my doorstep, uh, the next morning, uh, in a, in a hole to put it, uh, mildly. Um, she, uh, was having, uh, she had a, a toxic relationship with a, with a boy. 
Speaker 3 (02:44):
Um, she was smoking a packet of Marlboros a day. Uh, she'd stopped going to school. Uh, she was mixing with a group of kids that, uh, let's say weren't really supporting her, um, her lifestyle. Uh, she had, uh, all of the issues, a lot of young women, uh, were facing then, uh, body dysmorphia, a whole range of things. And, uh, that, that started a, a huge steep learning curve for me about how to parent, uh, a daughter in particular that was, uh, in a, in a hole like that. So that's why I'm here, sir. 
Speaker 2 (03:23):
Uh, a very important topic. And, uh, I myself as a father of, uh, a teenage daughter, um, and very keen to hear your insight and your experience. Uh, um, so, uh, thank you for joining us today. Uh, and you kind of touched on this already, mate, but, uh, what are some of the common self-esteem challenges faced by children? And maybe we can look at some of the causes and, and give parents some insight. Yeah, 
Speaker 3 (03:46):
Yeah. I, I think there's a, um, there's a lot of challenges and, and one of the reasons I reached out to you as, as parenting in the digital age, uh, one of the challenges is the digital age. These kids are growing up in which, which is overwhelmingly positive. I'm, I'm not, I'm not like a, a Luddite that wants to smash all, all social media. Uh, but there are some quite, uh, insidious consequences. Uh, the, the most, um, recent Apple Research, uh, I saw suggested that, uh, about 80% of mobile phone usage now is on short term, short form video, like TikTok, uh, and, uh, YouTube shorts. Um, kids are spending less time than ever using phones to make calls or have conversations. In fact, it's been falling every year since 2006. So the, the kids are having less conversations. Uh, they're, uh, they're spending more time, uh, consuming, uh, social media. 
Speaker 3 (04:43):
And, uh, part of the problem that sets up is that they are constantly comparing themselves to a heavily curated world. Uh, and if, if you think you're on that, uh, the, the, they're on the device, uh, upwards of nine or 10 hours a day, it's really away from their hand. And what they're getting is, is, is constant, heavily curated lifestyles, images of, uh, how they should be, where they should go, what they should look like. Uh, and it's, it's very, uh, I think it's particularly insidious for the young women cuz uh, it's, uh, that they're comparing themselves more to these, uh, idealized, uh, environments. And what's a bit more insidious is that, uh, when they do feel anxiety, like, like, like my daughter was feeling, those short term term videos give you, like a dopamine hit, a very short-term hit, which sort of makes you feel good instantly. 
Speaker 3 (05:38):
But it's almost like a sugar pill. You get the sugar, you get a hit, and then you, you fall back, get a sugar, get a hit, and fall back again. Uh, and I originally, Jamie, thought the answer was a lot of love. I thought, yeah, I'll just, if I just show her how much I love her, uh, that will work. I also thought as an old school business person and a Tony Robbins devotee, I mean, I've been to unleash the power within twice. I've walked on fire twice. I've, um, I've, I've been to your Date with Destiny, and I used to have the, Tony Robbins CDs stacked in my car playing constantly in, in the background. And he's all about, you know, taking massive action, never leave the scene of a decision without, you know, taking action. And it's, it's the opposite of what, what works. So I tried initially the opposite, take massive action, love, like so much I loved her, but neither of those things worked. Uh, it, in fact, they were causing more damage than, uh, than than good. Uh, that was, that was where it started. 
Speaker 2 (06:44):
Yeah. Look, I really appreciate you, you sharing your personal journey because, uh, it can be, uh, uh, sometimes tough. Um, one, how about bullying? Like one another? Um, I, I guess cause of low self-esteem and or anxiety, particularly in the digital age, like you've talked about this comparison to others and in, in the digital age, you know, they're comparing with every single thumb scroll. Uh, my daughter had a few ins, uh, issues with, uh, bullying and um, uh, you know, if you go back to when you and I were at school, uh, you know, we'd get bullied in the, in the schoolyard and, you know, maybe it was between periods you'd pass the bully and you'd see them twice a day, then you'd go home and you wouldn't see them again. Now that bully is ever present, you know, with that phone and that device, that bully is never, um, you know, more than one scroll away from, you know, my daughter as it as it happened in that case. Um, but that's certainly another, uh, I, I would think a, a major cause of that, uh, anxiety and self-esteem. 
Speaker 3 (07:44):
Yeah. E e, exactly. And, and what happened in, in Belle's case, was that, uh, yet she was, uh, she was mixing with a fairly tough crowd, and what she decided to do was, was rather than retreat, uh, she became one of them. She became part of the tough crowd. Uh, hence the Marlboros. Hence they're not going to school, uh, hanging out with the tough kids, thinking if she hung out with the tough kids that was gonna help. Uh, I wouldn't actually call her a bully, but she was hanging out with some bullies, if you like, or some, some pretty tough kids, uh, which made it more challenging for her because there was no one in her peer group that she could really reach out to, because the whole idea was, was be tough, be strong, uh, and, uh, like push everything down. Like get a feeling, push it down if you like. 
Speaker 3 (08:32):
Uh, so bullying was very much part of the, uh, part of the context. I think it's also, uh, trickier for young women too, because I think as guys, uh, we basically, we just become bigger versions of boys. We're just like <laugh> bigger boys, right? But girls is a lot more complicated, uh, a lot, a lot trickier, uh, as, as their bodies are growing and developing, it's a lot more challenging for them. And if they don't look like this ideal image that they're, they think they need to look like, um, that can also add an extra layer of challenge. So you can, you, you can imagine all the, all those challenges rolled into one, uh, and rolled into one broken kid. I mean, she was, what, 16 then? But she was still a kid, uh, like particularly emotionally, uh, and, uh, her relationship with her mother had broken down because of, um, it, it, the, the way, the way her mother was mothering her wasn't working. 
Speaker 3 (09:28):
She loved her, but it's, that particular approach wasn't working. And I was her last resort. And she even said to me, she said, dad, I'm not here because I love you. I want to be here. This is the last resort. I think, oh, great, thanks, thanks for the vote of confidence <laugh>. Like, so, uh, uh, that was, um, that was, that was where it all started. So you, you can imagine it was like a, I can, I mean, I'm, I'm an ex football. I played a lot of footy. It's like getting, we used to call them hospital passes, like one of one of those fellow players with the pass of the ball just before you get hammered by four or five big forwards. That was, it was like a hospital pass. Think, okay, I, I've inherited this. I've, I've got this. I love her. She's a complete mess. Um, and I've got no idea what to do and everything. I'm trying's not working. Uh, and it's, I I'm sure there's parents listening that can probably relate to that. Think, what, what am I gonna do? Like, what, what do I do with this? 
Speaker 2 (10:24):
Yeah. And, and it's not just the pressure to fit in. It, it's a, it's a human need, this need for inclusion, this need for, for social status to fit into a group. Do you think she knew, uh, I'm not asking you to speak on your, on her behalf, but do you think she knew she was in the wrong group, uh, and was kind of felt a bit stuck? Uh, or she was literally trying at all costs to be part of this group? And then, uh, maybe how did you deal with that? Like, how did you, how did you maybe pull her out of that? Or could you pull her out of that? Just talk about that for a minute. 
Speaker 3 (10:53):
Yeah, we, we did, we did talk about that very early on. We, we talked about, uh, because I, I met her friends, uh, pretty quickly cuz they were over quite regularly. And, uh, I believe quite strongly that you become who you hang around. Uh, and I knew that wasn't the right environment, and I think she did too. But she, if, if she, if she left them, uh, she'd literally nobody. Uh, so what, what we decided to do, or what we arrived at, uh, very early on, uh, was to, um, rather than taking massive action as Tony Robbins would recommend, is look for the tiniest possible steps we could take. Uh, and changing the friendship group wasn't a tiny step. It was a big step that came a little later. Uh, what we worked on was, was tiny steps. Tiny steps like eating, uh, tiny steps, like getting up in the morning, tiny steps, like seeing daylight, uh, tiny steps like that. 
Speaker 3 (11:56):
And, uh, looking at, uh, helping her to feel, uh, better about how, how she was feeling, uh, by, um, by building on those, on those tiny steps. And rather than, rather than her, rather than me telling her how much I loved her, which was like almost an ego trip from my, my perspective was to help her, um, care for herself and love herself. And it was really interesting because, uh, at that stage we were just living, it was just her and I living together. And, uh, I said to her one night, I said, look, um, we had had a meal, we're cleaning up in the kitchen. And I said, bill, look, uh, it not, not about being a, a princess, not about, uh, thinking that you are, that you're shit or that you're nothing. Uh, it really is just about being enough, right? Just smart enough, beautiful enough, strong enough to take all these little steps. 
Speaker 3 (12:54):
And as these little steps build up, as you can see is starting to feel better. And that became like our catch cry became like our joke, if you like, not like you are enough spelled properly. It was like, you're enough. And in u w F, like, I'm enough. And it became a bit of a joke between us, right? And, and that, that sort of like sparked something off in her cuz she thought, yeah, I'm enough. I'm enough to get up. I'm enough to go to school. Uh, I'm, I'm enough to eat properly. I'm, I'm enough to get sleep. Uh, and uh, that was like the, I guess the fuel, if you like, that she needed to, uh, to get going at this stage. She was in year beginning year 11, uh, at school. And she said, dad, I've got this, um, I've got this HSC project coming up cuz she missed a year of school. 
Speaker 3 (13:43):
She actually ended, ended up repeating year 11 cuz she'd missed almost all the year <laugh> all the year that she was in. Uh, and she said, I've got a H S C project coming up. Do you think I could, I could do this enough thing? And I said, yeah, I thought, I thought initially I'm thinking, that's not a great idea, but why not? Why not support it? It's her idea. And she said, what I'm gonna do is, uh, you know, there's too many girls I know, too many kids I know that don't think they're enough. They either think they're too much and they've got ego problems, or they're not enough and they've got really low self-esteem. So she said, I'm gonna, I'm gonna do this as a H S C project and um, I'm gonna, um, start this little business. It's gonna be called Nuff, and I want you to, um, buy some t-shirts with nuff written on them and we're gonna sell them right. To get the message out. And I'm thinking, who in the hell would buy a t-shirt with enough written on it, right? <laugh>, 
Speaker 3 (14:40):
That's, that's my business brain kicking it, right? <laugh> spent all those years consulting and traveling and doing this stuff, thinking that is such, but I said, and no great idea. And I, and then she said, and we need, you know, five sizes and three colors. I'm thinking, God, I'm thinking money, money, money. I'm thinking, uh, like, how much is this gonna cost? Like how much is this agreement gonna cost me? Anyway, so we ended up, I I agreed, we bought these, what, two, no, three different colored t-shirts in five different sizes. And she said, dad, you know, we're gonna make a website, we're gonna post it, we're gonna sell 'em. I think, okay, great taste. Maybe this is how Elon Musk's mum thought about him when he was little. Or Greta Thunberg, uh, mum or dad. Sure enough, we, we did that. I posted it on, uh, on Facebook thinking, no one's gonna buy these. 
Speaker 3 (15:27):
I've got a garage full of t-shirts, but enough written it on it, right? Think no one's gonna buy this. And sure enough, on my Facebook, s going, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. And we sold 'em all like in one afternoon, right? Yeah. No way. All all, all on the northern beaches of Sydney, right? Like all, all around the suburbs where, where we, we lived, like, I live in Manley. So it was like, it was narrow bit, it was diy, it was Palm Beach, it was Avalon, it was all the, all the northern beaches around where we lived. And it wasn't, it wasn't girls buying them, it was mums, mums buying them for themselves and also for their daughters and their kids. And, uh, and then she said, oh dad, what we're gonna do now, we're gonna deliver them all. And I wanna write a personalized note on everyone we sold, I think. 
Speaker 3 (16:12):
Oh great. So we, we sat there, she sat down, wrote a personal note to everyone that bought a shirt, she wrapped them all in tissue paper and put little like, love heart stickers on all the tissue paper. We wrapped them all up like in, in plastic cuz it was raining a fair bit at, at that stage. And then I put the satin nav on and we just drove around for a weekend after weekend just delivering all these shirts, right? <laugh>. And, but the, but the bizarre thing was that, uh, that was like part of her journey. Part of her journey was to like, get inspired and, and get connected. And, uh, we built like, or she built like a, what I call a mum's mafia. The mums picked up the idea, uh, as a way of making them, them feel more comfortable with themselves and also their daughters and their kids. 
Speaker 3 (17:06):
And she, she started this, uh, it's almost like a movement. Yeah. Yep. Um, uh, and, uh, that was, that was the second piece I think, because what I learned about, the second thing I learned about self-esteem, uh, was that, uh, when you've got low self-esteem or high anxiety, it means, or it's likely to mean you are disconnected with yourself. So it's really about getting reconnected, not with social media influencers or whoever's on TikTok or wherever you're watching, or the Vampire Diaries or <laugh>, whatever you happen to be watching. It's about saying, okay, uh, getting more connected with yourself and thinking, okay, who am I? And what am I here to do? And who I am is really cool, whatever that is. And what am I here to do? What, what passion do I wanna follow? Like, uh, and how, how can I bring that into the world? And through her doing that, that was bringing more of her into the world, if you like. And I noticed that, uh, as that was expanding, uh, she was getting stronger too, because she was, uh, realizing more about who she was and what she wanted to do with her life. Does that make sense? 
Speaker 2 (18:20):
Yeah, it does. So you talk about connecting with yourself. Was there a an exercise or a tip that you would share with parents? Or this kind of happened organically where she figured it out? Like, you know, with support, like what was there, was there a moment or was it a journey? How, how, how does, how as a father who's potentially going through something similar, how would I help my 16 year old daughter connect with herself? 
Speaker 3 (18:43):
I, I think the, the, the best, the best way to do it, or what, what I would recommend, and this is also what Beier recommends, it's a charity we've been working with that runs workshops for young women with, uh, self-esteem issues at school. Uh, as a, as a parent, I guess there's two answers. One's as the parent, one is, one is as the, uh, as the kid, as a parent, uh, what I would strongly recommend is to, uh, keep the conversation flowing. It doesn't matter what it's about. It doesn't matter whether it's about basketball, football, netball, whatever it is. Just keep that conversation going. And, uh, it's a conversation where you're doing more listening than than telling. Uh, and, uh, just be really inquisitive about, uh, what she's doing. Not, not so much what you're doing and why you're doing it, but more a matter of what are her dreams? 
Speaker 3 (19:32):
What is she thinking about, uh, what really, like, who or what really inspires her? Because, uh, as, as, uh, young adults are growing, their personality traits are being reinforced. Um, and part of its d n a, uh, part of it is, is, is upbringing and, uh, who they're with and what they're thinking, but really inspire her or him, if you've got a son, uh, to, to dream, to think about, okay, who am I and what do I wanna do? And maybe that I'm a fireman engineer and whatever the not occupation wise, not, not in that sense, like, you're gonna go to uni and do with this. No, no, no, not that. Just what really excites you, what really interests you? And keep that, keep that conversation alive. I definitely recommend that. I would definitely recommend taking tiny, tiny steps and also recognize that this is pretty normal. 
Speaker 3 (20:21):
Uh, something like 70% of young kids have got issues with self-esteem. It's a, uh, remarkably common thing. And that's higher in, in, in young women. So almost expect it to happen at, at some stage. And if it's not happening, uh, maybe it isn't. You, you are not aware of it. And that's when it can get, get really concerning. So that's what I'd, I'd say it's primarily a disconnection with self focus on the tiniest possible steps you can think of, uh, and keep that conversation going. And keep her thinking or keep him thinking he's enough to, just enough, like not, like you are more than enough or less than enough just, and all you need is enough. I mean, if you were to win a hundred meters race at the Olympics, all you need to do is be fast enough to beat the person behind you. 
Speaker 3 (21:11):
That's all you, you haven't got a break world record. All you gotta do is just be fast enough, just, just enough. I mean, we talked about golf earlier. Think the ball's just gotta roll into the hole, hasn't gotta be drilled into the hole. It's gotta roll. It's gotta be enough just to be, just be on the fairway. Or if you, if you're sailing just enough wind, I mean, I do a lot of surfing and, and, and ocean swimming. It's just enough, just enough swell to, to catch hasn't gonna be huge, hasn't gotta be tiny, just enough. And I think that's a really important message. And if I can add a, what, a third one or a fourth one. Uh, what Belle do, um, is they teach kids to tell different stories or to think about a different story about their life and think of their life as a story. 
Speaker 3 (21:53):
And you can start conversations with kids about favorite movies or Netflix shows or whatever story is engaging them. I know, uh, with, with Belle was all about vampires at that stage. And I, Romance with Vampires <laugh>, which I thought this weird, but that's okay. That's okay. Uh, you think, well, uh, what story are you listening to there? Uh, like, uh, and just be really curious about the stories they're listening to and, and the movies they're watching, Netflix shows they're watching, because all those stories have a couple of in, uh, couple of essential ingredients. They've got, they've got a central character that you like, you meet the central character that you, and you really like them, and you realize what they want. I mean, one of the movies I love recently was Tom Cruise in Maverick, the top guy, movie number two. You meet, you meet Tom Cruise again, you meet Maverick. 
Speaker 3 (22:43):
You, you like him, you, you see what he wants and why he wants it. He wants to be relevant again. He wants to, you know, participate in freedom. But there's a problem. He's getting a bit aged. He's got a few broken relationships, like with senior guys, uh, in, in the military, uh, and the rest of the movie. The rest of the story is about him, uh, finding ways, uh, of getting what he wants despite what's getting in the way. And that's what all, and that's what all good stories have in common. And just, and don't tell them that directly, but get them thinking about these stories, thinking about why they like those movies, why they like those shows. And what they're seeing in themselves is, uh, they're seeing themselves in that story and remind them that this is, this is, this is how stories unfold. This is how your life's gonna unfold. It's not gonna be like a perfectly upward trajectory. Uh, you're gonna want something, uh, you're gonna, uh, people are gonna like you, you're gonna want something. And then a whole lot of things are gonna get in the way. And those things in the way designed to help you find, uh, what you need to find in your own bones, in your own soul, to meet that particular challenge for you, not for me. That's your life, not my life. 
Speaker 2 (23:58):
Yeah, yeah. 
Speaker 3 (23:59):
And get a thinking, like get a thinking like this. Just like start sowing those seeds and a event. Oh, that's right. Yeah. When I'm watching this, I'm watching myself. When I'm watching that movie, I'm watching myself. When I watch Maverick, I'm watching me. Yeah. When they're watching their Vampire Diaries is they're watching themselves. Yeah. Does that make sense or does that get a bit too deep? 
Speaker 2 (24:20):
No, it's not at all because so they, they're the practical conversations that any parent can have. Yeah. They're just asking some curious questions. Uh, and that coming back to your one on, uh, earlier point about, uh, uh, getting in touch with yourself and that, uh, you know, looking internally is that's a great, that's a great way to do that. So, I, I wanna go back for a step, um, talking about school. So, um, my daughter's at this stage where she doesn't want to go to school, and, um, she, she's a, uh, an extremely intelligent, uh, young girl. And that's not the dad speaking, like she's academically gifted, 
Speaker 3 (24:55):
But she's got a mum's gene, has she 
Speaker 2 (24:57):
All, all dads are gonna say that <laugh>. Uh, but, uh, but, but she's, she, she's, uh, largely, uh, with a crowd that, you know, doesn't wanna go to school. They have, you know, wanna, they're rebels and they're breaking, um, you know, the mold, so to speak. So it's, uh, acceptable to this group, which she's trying to fit into to not go to school, you know, uh, how, how any advice for, uh, a parent who would be dealing with something like that, 
Speaker 3 (25:24):
But not going Yeah. Well, what we, what we did was we, uh, well Belle, uh, changed schools. 
Speaker 2 (25:32):
Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, 
Speaker 3 (25:33):
Uh, that was, that was, that wasn't a quick decision, uh, or an easy decision. But, but she did change schools, I think before, before that though, it's about, uh, helping her understand that the people that she's with, uh, don't love her. Uh, you'll often hear from young kids, and I talk to them all the time, uh, in this, this sort of, uh, environments I'm mixing with, uh, in now, in this whole self-esteem piece, one of the big issues, uh, that these, uh, these kids are facing is they don't love themselves. They're disconnected, and they're reaching out for the love of these so-called friends. And I'll put that in inverted commerce, because they think those friends love them. Right? But in fact, those friends are toxic to them. Uh, and it's not, not about telling them, Hey, those friends are toxic. It's about, um, making them more aware. 
Speaker 3 (26:35):
But what, what these friends are suggesting and recommending is really quite dangerous. I mean, we are involved in a situation an an example of danger. There's a, uh, there's a dam close to it. Very few people know that in Manley, there's a place, there's a Manley Dam. There's a, an old dam that used to be the freshwater supply, uh, uh, around where I live. Uh, and now it's used for swimming and water skiing and, and picnicking and stuff. And kids often go there at night. Her friends went there, uh, her friends, uh, inverted commons, and her went there one particular night. Uh, and, uh, they were possibly doing some drugs, possibly night, uh, possibly drinking some alcohol, possibly night. And she rang me. It was about 8:00 PM and I said, Belle, where are you? And she said, oh, um, up at Manley Dam. I said, whereabout? 
Speaker 3 (27:24):
She said, all it, there's no lights there. Cause it's, it's also like a wildlife sanctuary. It was dark. Um, they, they were lost. Where, where they were, they couldn't see anything. There was about seven or eight young women there, young girls there, about six. Oh, I was just, my God, this is like recipe for disaster. I drove up there, the gates were closed. I couldn't see in there. I said, look, I'm gonna put my headlights on high beam. Uh, just walk towards headlights. I was just hoping she was somewhere near where my car was. Fortunately, one of the girls saw the cars that, the, my car, and they walked towards the car, and I, I got 'em out of there. So I'm thinking, obviously the worst that could happen in an environment like that. But afterwards, uh, after that settled, and I got the kids, uh, back home, uh, we just had a conversation about just how dangerous that was. 
Speaker 3 (28:09):
Not that I was angry about it, but that her friends had encouraged her to do this. And just how dangerous it was. And if you really loved somebody, would you be encouraging someone, uh, to be in that much danger? And that began her thinking about these, these friends, like the consequence, like, and did they really care and love about her? And that sort of put a bit of a crack in the armor Yeah. Of this friendship group. And then over time, that friendship group changed. She got some better friends in, if you like, and the older friends, not quickly. Not quickly. It just, this would've taken several months for the older ones to disappear as the newer ones came in that were genuine friends and really cared about her, and really loved her, and wanted to be with her and look after her and care about her. 
Speaker 3 (28:53):
And then she, she gets the experience of friends that actually care, which as we know, it's one of the awesome benefits in life as having people that care about you around you actually give a shit about you. Right? Yeah. Yep. Not these other so-called friends that they're, they're like poison, but it, but they need to almost experience that themselves rather than you tell them, oh, they're bad friends, you should change your friends. Well, that's just gonna sound like a lot of, you know, um, dictating. It's more a matter of saying, Hey, let's, do these guys really love you? Do, do people love you? What is that, what they would do? Put you in that much danger? Because she was scared. Yeah. It really shook her up under, and I, I'm glad she was scared, because it was a really dangerous environment for those kids. 
Speaker 2 (29:36):
Yeah. It, it definitely is. Peter, now I'm just, uh, mindful of our time together, and I know you've got a, a deadline and this, this is such a diverse, important and multifaceted conversation. Um, so, you know, and, and even so many paths we could go down, um, today, but, uh, really, I appreciate your perspective. I appreciate your openness in sharing, uh, your story in Belle's story in particular. Um, uh, one question that we do like to, uh, finish on in a more lighthearted, uh, approach, <laugh> is, uh, let's, let's, it sounds 
Speaker 3 (30:08):
Get happy, doesn't it? I'm selling very doom and gloom, but there is, there is a happy ending. There's a, there's a happy ending to all this. It, it was, uh, she did get a, I mean, she's now, uh, at uni, um, she's, uh, doing a law degree. She's in a long-term relationship with a really great partner that really does care about her. Uh, and, uh, she really has turned that corner around. And it would, it's awesome as a parent to watch that happen. It's, it's, it's, I, I can't, apart from watching your kids be born, that's pretty high on the list. But, uh, watching them deal with something like this and, and, uh, being part of that journey with them, it's, it's priceless. There's, I can't think of anything, uh, that it is more important to me than, than watching her grow through this. So there, there's a happy ending. She came out at the other end. 
Speaker 2 (31:00):
Yeah. And you mentioned she's, uh, she's doing some work in, uh, a charity field or in that, uh, um, self-esteem area for girls still. 
Speaker 3 (31:08):
Y Yeah, she is. Yeah. It's, she's got a little, uh, I shouldn't say a little business that, that sounds condescending. Uh, she started a business called, you Are Enough. It's Y O U R A N U F. You're enough. Uh, and, uh, what she does is she sells, uh, clothing, like caps and t-shirts and sweatshirts and candles and a whole range of things. Uh, and, uh, the money that she makes after paying for the cost of getting the things made, uh, all goes to supporting, um, more of these, uh, workshops and programs in schools. So she's not doing it directly. She's, uh, and her message is, uh, have conversations about self-esteem. Uh, have conversations with your kids about, about you being enough, and her idea, which has worked so far, is this enough idea to, uh, participate in that idea so that you can have that conversation. 
Speaker 3 (32:01):
Like, remind them of they're enough. Like, Hey, you're enough. Not more than enough, not less than enough, just enough, right? And, and spread the word. And, and just get those, keep those conversations flowing. No advice, no dictating, no, you should this, you should be something else. Just you're enough. How you feeling? Are you feeling enough today? How you feeling enough to do the exam? To go here, to go there to, to, to wear this, to whatever it is that they're facing. And they're facing a whole range of things. Just remember to remember that you're enough, that, that, that that's the message. And, uh, if, uh, if, uh, people like to support it, just check it out. It's just you're That's her business. Um, and have a look and see whether you'd like to support her. And you'll, you'll see a good picture of her there too. 
Speaker 2 (32:45):
Well, uh, we'll put that in the show notes, uh, that website so listeners can, uh, discover that. Cause it is, uh, such a worthy, um, uh, movement. It is an, it's a powerful message, an important message, uh, not just for young girls, but for, uh, for young, young boys and, and, and all children, uh, in who are growing up in this digital age that is, uh, infinitely more complex than it once was. Oh, absolutely. Um, yeah. Yeah. Uh, so just, just to fi finish off on that lighter note that we all promised, uh, one question we'd love to finish, uh, on, is, if we said to you, Peter, to go back to your 10-year-old self, and, uh, you know, if you could give yourself one piece of advice, what would that be? 
Speaker 3 (33:27):
I, I'd say, um, with apologies to her, um, the girl that I was in love with when I was 10, uh, won't be the first girl you love, cuz I was devastated when a girl I loved called Joanne, who lived two streets over, I'd walk her to and from school, she moved out of the suburb. Uh, and I was completely heartbroken, like devastated <laugh>, right? And I said to my mum, I said, oh, love of my life is just left that I'm only 10. And I was devastated. I'd said to my 10 year old self, it's okay mate. <laugh>, you, you'll meet somebody else. 
Speaker 2 (34:06):
That, that's wise, wise advice, Peter, definitely. Wise advice. <laugh>. Uh, now Go ahead. Go ahead. 
Speaker 3 (34:12):
No, you go. You go, you go. I just laugh at myself back then how devastated I was. I was just completely heartbroken If I had a heart when I was 10. Completely heartbroken. I love, I just love walking her home from school and taking her to her house. It was just bizarre how much I cared about this girl. 
Speaker 2 (34:28):
Yeah. Yeah. We, we have feelings at every age. Peter <laugh>, even at ten <laugh>. Uh, where where can our listeners find you online? So if they wanna get in touch with you, uh, or, or through Belle and and her organization, uh, where can, how can they connect? Well, 
Speaker 3 (34:42):
If you wanna connect with me, I mean, he would, what some advice or some, uh, wanna share some ideas or give us some support, uh, um, you can just find me, I'm, uh, Peter Anthony mail Just send me a note, give me some advice, give me a suggestion. Happy to be involved in that conversation. I've, I've got, uh, like a bit of a, a mum's mafia, uh, I work with, or you can check out Bell, contact her through, uh, her website, which is your Uh, and you can, you, you'll get her contact, uh, details there. We'd love to hear from you. You got any ideas, experiences, suggestions. We'd love to have them. Like, we're not the experts in this. We're just like on the journey with you guys. 
Speaker 2 (35:19):
Yeah. You're spread an important message, Peter. Peter, thanks for your generosity and your time. Pleasure. Bye bye for now. Hope we cross paths again soon. 
Speaker 3 (35:27):
Thanks, Jamie. Bye mate. Bye. 
Speaker 2 (35:28):
Yes, and bye for now. 

If you enjoyed the show, please connect with Jamie on LinkedIn or Instagram. You'll find links in the podcast description. Parenting in the Digital Age is sponsored by Skill Samurai Coding and STEM Academy for Kids. Skill Samurai offers afterschool coding classes and holiday programs to help kids thrive academically and socially while preparing them for the careers of the future. Visit
This episode is sponsored by Skill Samurai - Coding & STEM Academy