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Would your son or daughter know how to land a Airbus A380?

NO?…Your right! because know one has shown them how too and they would crash for sure.

Its the same as your child handling new situations in life as they get older.
If they are not told how best to handle and cope with situations, they’ll probably crash.
There are many disappointments through-out life from not getting that job, breaking up in a relationship, not having the money or falling out of friendship.

One of the best things a parent can do is to talk about these things when the time is right and be a good listener.

Just leaving them to work it out or to cope from their own experiences is not helping your child build resilience or to cope and move past the upset…and we know it will past, so take the time when those moments arrive and sit down and talk it through.

Some advice I could give would be to sit down and workshop healthy solutions to problems, make sure that your child understands that they won’t be able to fix every problem straight away, and that’s ok.

Because problems generally don’t get solved immediately, there will be some stress going on so its important to talk about how to relieve the stress whilst things are working out, don’t forget to mention they always do but they might not be able to see it at right away.

When talking about coping with stressful or sad situations, try and align it to what normally your child would do in better times and that could be…watch a favourite movie, swimming, exercise, listening to music or self guided meditation, reading, drawing, talking the dog or recommend and help them do something that makes them happy, this can help relieve stress, sadness or upset.

It is super helpful that your child discuss’s their problem with someone they trust. You are their parent and a significant person in their life but depending on their age i.e. teenagers, they might not want to share it all with you so get them together with a person they would trust like a friend, family member or even a counsellor, they can all be very helpful.

A couple of things to remember:

When your child is sad, it’s a perfectly normal emotion and everyone feels sad sometimes. The difference between depression and feeling sad is that depression will hang around and sadness will disappear.

There are so many reasons people can feel sad:

  • You have had an argument with someone
  • You’re feeling isolated
  • You had a bad day at work
  • Someone said something nasty to you
  • Your relationship has ended
  • You didn’t get that job interview
  • You failed on a test
  • Parents have decided to separate

There are professional services that can be there if that is a better situation for your child, such as:

  • Kids Helpline – www.kidshelpline.com.au 1800 55 1800 for 5 to 25 year olds.
  • Lifeline – www.lifeline.org.au 131114 for all ages
  • ReachOut – www.au.reachout.com 
  • Suicide Call Back Service – www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au 1300 659 467
  • 1800respect – www.1800respect.org.au 1800 737 732

If anyone is in danger call 000 immediately, it’s better to keep safe than be sorry you didn’t act earlier.

 

Establishing good communication with your children’s Mother

This is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your children. No longer required or is it appropriate to discuss aspects of your life such as feelings, hopes, dreams, plans, finances or what you did today. Share this stuff with friends and other people but never your ex.

There must be a line drawn in the sand that any intimate discussions are out! You both must acknowledge that you are never getting back together. To lead a healthy life going forward, which allows you both to move onto healthier relationships, your discussions from here on are purely around the welfare of your children.

Appropriate and healthy discussions is one element of having shared parenting. Everything to do with the kids like, education, sport, medical, emotional and general well-being is what should be open for discussion. There are some separated or divorced couples that can have a meal or a cup of coffee together to work through their children joint plans but there are others that face to face meetings always turns into arguments. It’s mostly because the discussion goes off topic. Know your limitations and work with it, but don’t ask your children to be the messenger or for them to be the mediator.

You must be the adult and put differences aside and focus discussions purely on what needs to be worked out for the children. As mentioned most arguments happen when you go off topic, writing down what needs to be discussed and stay on topic. When you work out whatever it is, it’s then time to call it a meeting, telephone call, or coffee?

You both don’t have a relationship anymore, you are only co/parenting your children. Nothing else matters or should be of interest to the either party.

If you have a terrible relationship with your ex and can’t stand the site of each other, it would be best to communicate by email and making sure that you monitor the tone and stick to only what must be discussed. It might even be necessary to seek a formal agreement or parenting plan covering the responsibilities of each parent, the more that can be pre agreed to the less contact you need to have with each other, which means the less stress , more routine and consistency and less anxiety if communication is poor.

Consistent and a routine is great for everyone but life has it that sometimes things come up that will prevent you from having the children over during your agreed time. It could be from you, your ex or something your children have on, when this happens and it will, don’t look for make-up time, simply let your ex know that something has come up and you’ll speak to your child but will just need to pick up from the next agreed time.

Its important to support and promote healthy friendship groups for your children

As your children get older, they will have things that will stop them from coming over from time to time. Treat this as normal, it’s not personal, they just like to be with their friends (they still love you). Best thing you can do is be supportive of this, be flexible and go with the flow.

Share your comments below so others can learnt from your experiences.

Divorced dads take on choosing a life partner

Have you ever wondered if you have chosen the right partner? There are some telltale signs that can be quite subtle and will become more evident as time goes on.

Im not a relationship expert, but from relationship breakdown experience I can tell you what to look out for so you can get the out with little consequence. I should have also listened to my gut feelings earlier. We all need someone with similar interests, things to do together. You know, long walks, game of squash, swim at the beach, book reading, online business project, hiking, movies, going to the gym, sex, similar social expectations, save money, doing nothing, sitting on the couch for a whole day watching Netflix episodes, picnic in the park or whatever other things you like to do together, and there needs to be many. Its these things and more that you need to be on the same page with. But there is more…

The passion you have for your career and what you are responsible for at work?


Like, do you need to be contactable on the weekend or after hours? If so, surely you don’t want grief from your partner if you have to take a call on the weekend to sort out a crisis at work? If they don’t get that, you’re in trouble already.

Just little things like that can dissolve a marriage. Much of your happiness together is based around an easy go lucky nature towards each other and very little complaining from both of you. Aligning to similar values and the things you would like in life. Have you discussed children? Do you both want children? That can be a biggie. Don’t forget when children arrive, most people need to put their relationship on hold for 10 years and be supportive friends. You need to allow each other space and to be free from criticism. If you are both trustworthy and put each others best interest top of mind, there isn’t any reason things should go bad so long as you remember the bigger plan.

You’ve heard the saying, “It is a two way street” (It really is) and both parties need to be kind and flexible with each other, if you are judgemental, grumpy or demanding, how do you want your partner to respond to that behaviour? Any partner with self preservation will not appreciate being treated like that, cracks will appear and you’ll have a relationship breakdown in the making.

There are some people that bring out the worst in us, probably because you are fighting for survival or you have an imbalance in your relationship i.e. someone feels they have the raw end of the stick or have the short straw?

At the end of the day, you need to choose a life partner carefully and listen to your gut and intuition and take your time. Things are all wonderful in the early days, so give it a lot of time, it will be worth the wait.

We would like to hear your thoughts and what has worked for you, write them in the comments below for other to read and learn.

The Do’s and Don’ts of managing the time your child has with you.

Not living with your child everyday can make some Dads very protective, even jealous of time with your children. While many people would think this is a normal emotion it also highlights a need to look at things differently so that your protectiveness does not effect your children or your relationship with them.

It’s not about the time you have with your child. Rather, it’s the time your child has with you.

As children get older, they take on more and more external activities such as sport, friends and school activities etc and these activities can start to get in the way of your time. The feelings your experiencing are normal. But remember they are normal growing and developments pains. Understanding this and being accepting and flexible will only benefit you and your child’s growth and development.

If you are selfishly protective of your time with your children, if you believe that they would prefer to spend time on their own personal activities or with their friends rather than you, or if you complain and whinge, and think that their mother promotes this over spending time with you then you are gravely mistaken. Making your kids feel guilty about not spending their “allocated” time with you will only distance yourself from them and never achieve a normal relationship with your kids.

The best thing you can do is to show everyone including your children that their best interests are your top priority by displaying flexibility, understanding and maturity. You will gain major points with your kids if you approach it in this way.

DO’s

  • Support and encourage your child’s healthy activities.
  • Provide financial, emotional and moral support.
  • Always offer transportation and logistical support even if its not on your time or if its not the activity you would have chosen.
  • Promote practise time of all activities when they are with you.
  • Let your child go to sleep-overs or visit their friends even when its on your time.
  • Promote your child to have friends sleep-over at your place, this will help keep the normalicy around your home.
  • Get involved if possible with their sport and be a volunteer at the club.

Don’ts

  • Deny your child good things to get involved in such as healthy activities, promote these activities always.
  • Be upset that these activities get in the way of your time with them. Instead where possible get involved in their activities (in a non intrusive manner).
  • Ask your ex for “make-up” time for the time you have missed because of these other activities. Being a Dad and sacrificing time is normal and it is a growing experience for you as well as them.
  • Make your child feel guilty or sad “EVER” for the time that they miss with you. Your child’s healthy active activity is far better than being forced to stay at home.

If you do this right, I can’t stress how much this will benefit you. It will assist in your Children’s adjustment and development, they’ll have a positive attitude towards you, request more time with you, and your relationship with them will be more normal.

Share your experiences as a separated parent and be part of the conversation, it can benefit many dads going through separation.

Note: Some phrases and points I have used from a good read called: Wednesday Evenings and Every other Weekend.

Separated dads have feelings too

When we separate we feel a sense that we have lost our position in the family.  Don’t forget that you are still your children’s father,  even though you do not live with them. You must maintain a mindset and make it clear in your children’s mind that your family continues even though you don’t live with them every day. Your children now have two homes instead of one, there will be some adjustments around ease of access but your love and responsibility does not change and your efforts and determination to ensure that they know this will not go unrewarded.

Feelings of guilt, loneliness and depression can definitely come from separation and for some can be quite intense leading to avoidance and solitude.  There was a study conducted on men who after separating for 2 months, 1 year and 2 years  from the family home all showed similar signs of avoidance i.e. not going home to an empty house, they would more likely work back late or visit a bar with a friend.

One of the loneliest times for separated dads is when they are driving away after returning the children to their mothers, this was definitely real for me.  There are some great books to read on this subject. Reading can help you understand your own feelings and provide coping strategies to help you work through those times.  I spent many a times in book shops in the “self Help” section looking for answers and ways to cope.

Remember, knowledge will help you get through this, so keep searching and reading up. Check out another post on our site that can provide some answers for you, click here Practical Steps to take when separating

What to say to the kids?

These were the hardest conversations I ever had! I am sure that every dad and mum dreads telling there children that they are separating.  I wish I had of had tips on what to say to the kids.  It is the most difficult and awkward situation to comes to terms with as they are the last people on earth you would want to hurt or disappoint!

My kids were unaware of the real difficulties we were going through and it was a surprise when they learned that we were separating.  I definitely had the what, hows and why’s?  How to answer them is important and having some insight and working together with your ex on what they actually want from you both post separation is the key to keeping it all together.

Below are some of the responses to many of the tough conversations you will go through.

What to say and how to say it:

Difficult as it may be to do, try to strike an empathetic tone and address the most important points right up front. Give your children the benefit of an honest—but kid-friendly—explanation.

  •  Tell the truth. Your kids are entitled to know why you are getting a divorce, but long-winded reasons may only confuse them. Pick something simple and honest, like “We can’t get along anymore.” You may need to remind your children that while sometimes parents and kids don’t always get along, parents and kids don’t stop loving each other or get divorced from each other.
  •  Say “I love you.” However simple it may sound, letting your children know that your love for them hasn’t changed is a powerful message. Tell them you’ll still be caring for them in every way, from making their breakfast to helping with homework.
  •  Address changes. Preempt your kids’ questions about changes in their lives by acknowledging that some things will be different now, and other things won’t. Let them know that together you can deal with each detail as you go.

Avoid Blaming:

It’s vital to be honest with your kids, but without being critical of your spouse. This can be especially difficult when there have been hurtful events, such as infidelity, but with a little diplomacy, you can avoid playing the blame game.

  •  Present a united front. As much as you can, try to agree in advance on an explanation for your separation or divorce—and stick to it.
  •  Plan your conversations. Make plans to talk with your children before any changes in the living arrangements occur. And plan to talk when your spouse is present, if possible.
  •  Show restraint. Be respectful of your spouse when giving the reasons for the separation.

How much information to give:

Especially at the beginning of your separation or divorce, you’ll need to pick and choose how much to tell your children. Think carefully about how certain information will affect them.

  •  Be age-aware. In general, younger children need less detail and will do better with a simple explanation, while older kids may need more information.
  •  Share logistical information. Do tell kids about changes in their living arrangements, school, or activities, but don’t overwhelm them with the details.
  •  Keep it real. No matter how much or how little you decide to tell your kids, remember that the information should be truthful above all else.

Helping the kids express their feelings:

For kids, divorce can feel like loss: the loss of a parent, the loss of the life they know. You can help your children grieve and adjust to new circumstances by supporting their feelings.

  •  Listen. Encourage your child to share their feelings and really listen to them. They may be feeling sadness, loss or frustration about things you may not have expected.
  •  Help them find words for their feelings. It’s normal for children to have difficulty expressing their feelings. You can help them by noticing their moods and encouraging them to talk.
  •  Let them be honest. Children might be reluctant to share their true feelings for fear of hurting you. Let them know that whatever they say is okay. If they aren’t able to share their honest feelings, they will have a harder time working through them.
  •  Acknowledge their feelings. You may not be able to fix their problems or change their sadness to happiness, but it is important for you to acknowledge their feelings rather than dismissing them. You can also inspire trust by showing that you understand.

What I need from my mum and dad after divorce (from your child’s’ point of view):

  •  I need both of you to stay involved in my life. Please write letters, make phone calls, and ask me lots of questions. When you don’t stay involved, I feel like I’m not important and that you don’t really love me.
  •  Please stop fighting and work hard to get along with each other. Try to agree on matters related to me. When you fight about me, I think that I did something wrong and I feel guilty.
  •  I want to love you both and enjoy the time that I spend with each of you. Please support me and the time that I spend with each of you. If you act jealous or upset, I feel like I need to take sides and love one parent more than the other.
  •  Please communicate directly with my other parent so that I don’t have to send messages back and forth.
  •  When talking about my other parent, please say only nice things, or don’t say anything at all. When you say mean, unkind things about my other parent, I feel like you are expecting me to take your side.
  •  Please remember that I want both of you to be a part of my life. I count on my mum and dad to raise me, to teach me what is important, and to help me when I have problems

Clearing up misunderstandings:

Many kids believe that they had something to do with the divorce, recalling times they argued with their parents, received poor grades, or got in trouble. You can help your kids let go of this misconception.

  •  Set the record straight. Repeat why you decided to get a divorce. Sometimes hearing the real reason for your decision can help.
  •  Be patient. Kids may seem to “get it” one day and be unsure the next. Treat your child’s confusion or misunderstandings with patience.
  •  Reassure. As often as you need to, remind your children that both parents will continue to love them and that they are not responsible for the divorce.

 Give reassurance and love:

Children have a remarkable ability to heal when given the support and love they need. Your words, actions, and ability to remain consistent are all important tools to reassure your children of your unchanging love.

  •  Both parents will be there. Let your kids know that even though the physical circumstances of the family unit will change, they can continue to have healthy, loving relationships with both of their parents.
  •  It’ll be okay. Tell kids that things won’t always be easy, but that they will work out. Knowing it’ll be all right can provide incentive for your kids to give a new situation a chance.
  •  Closeness. Physical closeness—in the form of hugs, pats on the shoulder, or simple proximity—has a powerful way of reassuring your child of your love.
  •  Be honest. When kids raise concerns or anxieties, respond truthfully. If you don’t know the answer, say gently that you aren’t sure right now, but you’ll find out and it will be okay.

The comfort routines:

The benefit of schedules and organisation for younger children is widely recognised, but many people don’t realise that older children appreciate routine, as well. Kids feel safer and more secure when they know what to expect next. Knowing that, even when they switch homes, dinnertime is followed by a bath and then homework, for example, can set a child’s mind at ease.

Maintaining routine also means continuing to observe rules, rewards, and discipline with your children. Resist the temptation to spoil kids during a divorce by not enforcing limits or allowing them to break rules.

Thank you to the Help Guide for content.

Have you really thought this through?

I receive many emails and speak to many dads on our live chat service and recently a dad ask me a question that made me think that you didn’t think this through, did you?

He said to me …”I recently have left my wife and child, they have stayed in our family home, my wife doesn’t work and I have gone and rented my own property. Do I have to continue to pay for the mortgage on our joint property as its costing me a fortune! WHAT?

Your wife doesn’t work, you have a child still living with her in the family home and recently separated, what do you expect they do?

Its super expensive to separate and divorce, suddenly there are two homes and two of everything that need to be duplicated i.e. rents, furniture, food, bills, and everything that goes with setting up a new home for you and your child. There is massive change for both sides, its already very emotional, scary, unsettling, distracting and each person – Mum and Dad need to have a secure roof over each of your heads and while things are being settled you need to make sure that you are both ok. Remember you have a child that needs to spend time with both parents and they need to see that Mum and Dad are ok.

If you have equity in the house, savings and you both work, its still going to be tough and cost you more than living in a shared house but much easier than if one of you don’t work. It will definitely adds another level of complexity that needs to be worked out.

So think carefully if your relationship can be saved. What could each of you do to get back on track, the way it used to be… you were once madly in-love! If that isn’t possible? Do your numbers, grab a note pad, bring up an excel spreadsheet and do a full budget based on how you will both be able to live in two separate homes and cover all bills associated with the family and your child.

At least then you can make better decisions with knowledge of what you’re about to enter into and you can decide what the best next steps will be for everyone.

Should I keep a diary after separation

Dads Online speak with family lawyer, Daniel Dalli of Aston Legal Group about the important of maintaining a diary or a note of events that occur after separation. These series of podcasts focusing on separation and divorce can equip you, in making better decisions about your family matters.
Dads, we hope that you find this podcast informative. Remember if are feeling overwhelmed with sadness or grief, or need someone to talk to, there are organisations that can help. Call Mensline (www.mensline.org.au) on 1300 789 978 or Lifeline (www.lifeline.org.au) on 13 11 14.

If you need family law assistance from a lawyer, feel free to contact Daniel Dalli, Partner of Aston Legal Group (www.astonlegalgroup.com.au) on either 0423 729 686 or email at daniel@astonlegalgroup.com.au.


You don’t need to go through this alone. Best wishes and don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast.

The content of this podcast is intended to provide a general overview of the subject matter and is not be relied upon as giving legal advice. Advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

Make patience your best friend

Dads Online speak with family lawyer, Daniel Dalli of Aston Legal Group how patience in dealing with issues after separation, can be the most useful tool on your side.
These series of podcasts focusing on separation and divorce can equip you, in making better decisions about your family matters. Dads, we hope that you find this podcast informative.


Remember if are feeling overwhelmed with sadness or grief, or need someone to talk to, there are organisations that can help. Call Mensline (www.mensline.org.au) on 1300 789 978 or Lifeline (www.lifeline.org.au) on 13 11 14. If you need family law assistance from a lawyer, feel free to contact Daniel Dalli, Partner of Aston Legal Group (www.astonlegalgroup.com.au) on either 0423 729 686 or email at daniel@astonlegalgroup.com.au. You don’t need to go through this alone. Best wishes and don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast.

The content of this podcast is intended to provide a general overview of the subject matter and is not be relied upon as giving legal advice. Advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

Dads home office hacks

We have all been thrown into working from home (some call it remote) and it can be the best thing that has happened to us in our career or is it something we need to get used to?

Having more time on our hands is a gift, the time saved travelling to and from the office can give us a couple of hours back in our day. How are you using that extra time? using it to sleep in, are you getting up to exercise now you have some extra time, enjoying a longer breakfast or starting your workday earlier? Do you get dressed or stay in your PJ’s all day 🙂 All of the above is normal and you need to do what works for you.

By having that extra time on your hands and all that flexibility can be too much for some, it can make you unproductive. Let’s not discount the negative effects all that time on your own can have on your mental health. How are you looking after yourself and maintaining a positive mental attitude?

For Dads at home with the kids, how’s that working? Are you loving the extra time with your kids and getting to know them a lot better? It can take intentional efforts to balance the needs of your kids and the demands of your workday when you are all at home together.

Lets look at how you can work from home successfully

Make time for getting some fresh air and reduce cabin fever.
Start the day off with a walk, walk again around lunchtime and then again at the end of the day. This will help blow out any cobwebs, clear your head and reset.

Have a dedicated area set up as your office.
I have my office outside in an under-cover balcony. I purchased a outdoor radiator for warmth, a camp table for my desk. If you are lucky enough to have a desk/table inside? Its a good idea to set up two screens and keep your desk free of clutter. Buy a telephone/ computer headset so you can plug in for zoom meetings or connect into your smart phone enabling you to be hands free.

Stay in the same schedule as you would at work.
Meaning, get up, shower and get dressed. Its the Pajama thing that can dampen your self image. Sit down at your computer at the same time you would if you were at work, Take a break, have lunch and knock off at the same time each day. Routine is not just for kids.

Use video chats where-ever possible.
Connection is everything. We are used to seeing our colleagues more often in and around the office. That break in connection can be isolating, replace it with video conferencing when ever possible, its amazing the dfference it makes. There are lots of ways to use video meetings, some people use zoom, Facebook messenger, Teams, whatsapp and skype to name a few but there are plenty more…

Be organised with what you want to accomplish today and the week.
A daily to-do list and weekly goals is essential for some who can be easily distracted. Use your diary to place the tasks that need to be accomplished for the day. Work on the big one first, if you have ever read the book “East the Frog” will understand this. The trick is to write down plenty of things you want to accomplish and be busy!

Get dressed
I mentioned earlier the Pajama’s or trackie dacks should be avoided for your preferred work-wear. You have to dress for performance and effectiveness and be in the right mind set. Pajamas are for sleeping…right? Its also been mentioned that at the end of the day you should change again or put on a different shirt. If we don’t our home becomes our all consuming office rather than our home.

Try not to snack all day.
Having a pantry at your finger tips or within a few steps is very tempting. Snacking all day is a sure way to put on weight. Stay busy and enjoy your Breakfast, lunch and dinner with water in between. You will get used to it and your body will thank you.

Headphones with a mic will be your best friend.
If you can make them noise cancelling even better but just headphones to plug into your computer and smart phone will keep your hands free for working, if you’re an online gamer you will understand this completely.. I needed to buy an adapter to connect to my iPhone and then take it off to plug into my computer. Best home office purchase I have made aside from my 2nd screen.

Friends and family need to know you are working.
Just because you are home doesn’t mean you are 100% available to your friends and family. They need to know you’re working, so set some time limits and catch up on your breaks? If you have small children its nearly impossible, yet set them up with their own work station and get all the craft, coloured pencils and give them a daily project like The Family Tree which we recently blogged about and let them know you’ll check their work on your break 🙂

Work with a colleague on mute.
Have power sessions and dedicate time to tasks i.e. dedicate a 1 hour block to focus on any task, like, writing a report, planning for your team, calling prospects to make appointments, customer follow up calls etc. But here’s the twist, video in a colleague who wants to focus also for a couple of hours on their own task – and mute the mic! you can work like in the same office but on your own project – can see each other working but can not hear them… I love this!!

Coping strategies to keep you and your family sane…


Talk to people

Remember to pick up the phone and ring people.  We still need to hear the sound of other people’s voices.  Ring at least one person a day, whether it’s work colleague or personal friend.  Ring someone and discuss what’s happening for you and how you’ve been affected.  Listen to them also, hear their experiences, compare and discuss.  Understand that while we are all going through this together, every individual is having their own experiences at the same time.
Make it a habit to ring at least one person each day.

Managing Life
Life hasn’t stopped.  It certainly has changed, but life is still going on.  Babies need to be born, people need to be educated and the whole administration part of life continues to need attention.  Try and stay on top of your responsibilities and if you can’t ask for help.  It’s alright not to be alright.

Back to basics with Board games, art, hobbies
Dig out old games and have a think about projects you were inspired about in the past.  Bring out the artist in you, whether it’s piano, paint or playdoh, you now some to time spend on an old or new project.

Manage your exposure to media
D
on’t spend too much time watching or listening to the news or reports on the situation.  Getting an update in the morning, a small amount of news during the day and another update in the evening is all that’s needed.  If you spend too much time watching those reports, there is potential for everything seem worse that it really is.

These are strange and unprecedented times and while we need to know what is happening and stay up to date, we also need to look out for ourselves. 

Talk about any changes that you’re feeling
Be aware of your moods, attitudes and outlook at this time.  Are these changing for you and who do you talk to about these changes?

If you don’t have anyone that you talk to about this already, read the above paragraph on phone calls and think who in your circle of family, friends or colleagues could you talk to about what’s challenging you at the moment.

If you wouldn’t feel comfortable talking to anyone else, you can always ring lifeline on 13 11 14   24/7/365 – Always there to talk.

Thank you to Malcolm Guy
M. 0403 583 927 
E. mal.guy@outlook.com
Malcolm is a call center supervisor with Lifeline and a trained Mediator. Malcolm helps individuals and couples with mediation, parenting plans and will help prepare you for difficult conversations. Please reach out to Malcolm directly by the contacts details above.

How to recognize and prevent domestic violence happening in your family

All reports are telling us that one of the impacts of COVID-19 because of the population needing to stay at home is causing an increase in Domestic Violence. Firstly: If you feel unsafe or are concerned for someone’s safety please call 000 or one of the Domestic Violence Support services below.

These are exceptional circumstances and it does not excuse aggressive behavior or any type of behavior that could constitute domestic violence.

Are you working from home and feel like you’re trapped and don’t have any relief or time to yourself? You’re easily annoyed at your partner &/or kids?
Remember no-one signed up for your BS! Take accountability and go for a regular walk to get some air, exercise and if you need some space.

During these times there are many professional services you can talk to, like: Online counsellors, 24/7 phone support and even chat services. Google them and connect to a service now! If you a man, a good initial support service to approach would be men’s Referral Service: 1300 766 491 and if your a women a good initial support service to approach would be 1800 Respect National Helpline: 1800 737 732

You might even have lost your job and feeling sad and lost, these feelings are normal, remember you are human. If you don’t know how you’re going to pay the bills like rent, the mortgage, school fees or food. The best thing you can do is act quickly. Sign up to a MyGov account and register for Centerlink. Talk to your rental agents, your bank and the school they will all be very supportive during these times.

Emergency relief organisations provide immediate financial and/or material support to people in financial crisis. The type of assistance offered by each organisation varies, so log onto the Department of Social Services Emergency Relief website and find the support service closest to you.

Its especially time to be kind, supportive and tolerant of each other but it is very important to recognize the signs of domestic violence.

This is what typically a cycle of Domestic Violence looks like:

  1. Stand-over phase (intimidation)
  2. EXPLOSION
  3. Remorse Phase (Justification)
  4. Pursuit Phase (Promises)
  5. Honeymoon Phase (Behaves like the perfect partner)
  6. Build-up Phase (Increasing tension again)

Domestic Violence is not just hitting, other categories are:

  • Social
    • Isolating family or friends
    • Jealousy, accusing of affairs
    • Controlling appearance
    • Needing total attention
    • Smashing or removing mobile
    • Monitoring phone calls, internet or messages
    • Preventing social or employment opportunities
    • Denigrating family or friends
  • PHYSICAL
    • Murder
    • Strangling or suffocating
    • Throwing objects
    • Punching, hitting, slapping
    • Reckless driving
    • Use of weapons
    • Hair pulling, spitting
    • Locked Inside or Outside
    • Damage to possessions
    • Cruelty to pets
    • Forced substance abuse
    • Withholding access to medical help
    • Over or under medicate
    • Trivialization of medical conditions
    • Taunting someone in a vulnerable state
  • VERBAL
    • Insults and put-downs
    • Silent treatment
    • Name calling
    • Sarcasm
    • Fault finding
    • Lies
    • Public Humiliation
    • Threats
    • Dominating conversation
    • Yelling, shouting
    • Whispering
    • Being indiscreet
    • Always correcting
  • STALKING
    • Excessive phone calls or text messages, emails or letters
    • Driving past work or house
    • Reading or taking mail
    • Turning up at places where victim frequents
  • PSYCHOLOGICAL/EMOTIONAL
    • Threat to suicide
    • Emotional blackmail
    • Self -esteem erosion
    • Criticizing appearance or body shape
    • Undermining character
    • scaring
    • Implying mental illness
    • Spreading rumors
    • Private humiliation
    • Denying education
    • Jekyll and Hyde mood
    • Minimizing or dismissing feelings
    • Mind games
  • SEXUAL
    • Rape
    • Rationing or denial of sex
    • Sex on their conditions
    • Denying choice of contraception
    • Beliefs and practices around female circumcision
    • Enforcing sexual practices they are not comfortable with
    • Pornography
    • Sex in-front of children
    • Bestiality
    • Forced abortion
    • Risky behavior
  • FINANCIAL
    • Total control of finances
    • Restricting earning
    • Rationing or placing conditions on money
    • Drinking, gambling
    • Control of shopping expenditure
    • Concealing assets
    • Unable to buy new clothes
    • Forcing to take out loans on credit cards
  • SPIRITUAL
    • Denying choices
    • Demanding you take on their beliefs
    • Using beliefs to justify behavior
    • Not allowing negotiation in children’s spiritual education

Let’s not forget the effects to children who are living in the home of domestic violence.

There are many effects that have been documented of emotional and behavioural problems in children exposed to domestic violence, these include:

  1. Low Self Esteem
  2. Poor conflict resolutions
  3. Repressed feelings of anger, fear, guilt and confusion
  4. Adjustment problems, fewer interests, fewer social activities
  5. Unwillingness to invite friends home
  6. Increased levels of anxiety
  7. Clinginess
  8. Adolescent boys abusing girls
  9. Excessive cruelty to animals
  10. Stress-related physical ailments, headaches, stomach aches, ulcers, bed-wetting
  11. Eating problems – decreased or increased apitite
  12. Sleeping problems including nightmares
  13. Hair pulling, nail biting
  14. Fear of making mistakes
  15. Fear of being touches
  16. Aggression, temper tantrums
  17. Increased internalized problems, such as depression, withdrawal, isolation, loneliness
  18. Decreased cognitive abilities
  19. Poor school performance, difficult to do homework or study
  20. Restlessness
  21. Decreased empathy
  22. Suicidal thoughts
  23. Lower rating in social competence (especially in boys)
  24. Inability to form stable adult relationships
  25. Higher risks of alcohol – drug abuse and juvenile delinquency

There is every reason in the world to get yourself help and stop domestic violent behaviour, seek out help immediately. Don’t fool yourself, every negative action erodes both your partner, children, family relationships and your quality of life.

Family and domestic violence support services:

  1. 1800 Respect National Helpline: 1800 737 732
  2. Women’s Crisis Line (NSW): 1800 811 811
  3. Safe Steps Crisis Line (Vic): 1800 015 188
  4. Men’s Referral Service: 1300 766 491
  5. Lifeline (24-hour Crisis Line): 131 114
  6. Relationships Australia: 1300 364 277

What don’t we know?

Dads Online speak with family lawyer, Daniel Dalli of Aston Legal Group about what we don’t know about separation and family law, and how best to handle this lack of knowledge.

These series of podcasts focusing on separation and divorce can equip you, in making better decisions about your family matters. Dads, we hope that you find this podcast informative. Remember if are feeling overwhelmed with sadness or grief, or need someone to talk to, there are organisations that can help.

Call Mensline (www.mensline.org.au) on 1300 789 978 or Lifeline (www.lifeline.org.au) on 13 11 14. If you need family law assistance from a lawyer, feel free to contact Daniel Dalli, Partner of Aston Legal Group (www.astonlegalgroup.com.au) on either 0423 729 686 or email at daniel@astonlegalgroup.com.au. You don’t need to go through this alone. Best wishes and don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast.