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An important tip for parents of teenagers

Hey Dad… or Mum

Children’s books on Separation: Helping them understand and cope

Separation or divorce can be an emotionally challenging experience for both parents and children. It’s essential to provide children with age-appropriate resources to help them understand and cope with the complexities of this transition. One powerful way to do this is through children’s books. In this blog, we’ve curated a list of children’s books on separation that address various aspects of this sensitive topic.

These books not only help kids navigate their emotions but also provide valuable insights and comfort during a challenging time.

1. “Two Homes” by Claire Masurel

This beautifully illustrated book explores the idea that a child can have two loving homes after their parents’ separation. It emphasizes that while homes may be different, the love and care from both parents remain constant. “Two Homes” is an excellent choice for young children who may be struggling to understand their new living arrangements.

2. “Dinosaurs Divorce: A Guide for Changing Families” by Marc Brown and Laurie Krasny Brown

Written and illustrated with humor and sensitivity, “Dinosaurs Divorce” takes a creative approach to explaining separation and divorce to children. Through the adventures of dinosaur characters, it addresses various aspects of the process, including the emotional ups and downs, living in two homes, and understanding the reasons behind separation.

3. “The Invisible String” by Patrice Karst

Although not directly focused on separation or divorce, “The Invisible String” is a heartwarming story about the unbreakable connection between loved ones. It’s a comforting book for children who may be dealing with feelings of separation anxiety or longing for a parent who lives in a different home. The story beautifully illustrates that love knows no physical boundaries.

4. “Was It the Chocolate Pudding?: A Story for Little Kids About Divorce” by Sandra Levins and Bryan Langdo

Geared toward younger children, this book uses a relatable story about a boy who navigates the changes in his family after his parents’ divorce. “Was It the Chocolate Pudding?” introduces the concept of divorce in a simple, age-appropriate way, helping children understand that their parents’ separation is not their fault.

5. “It’s Not Your Fault, Koko Bear” by Vicki Lansky

In “It’s Not Your Fault, Koko Bear,” young Koko Bear learns about his parents’ separation and experiences a range of emotions. The book addresses common questions and feelings children may have when their parents divorce, providing gentle reassurance and guidance.

6. “Standing on My Own Two Feet: A Child’s Affirmation of Love in the Midst of Divorce” by Tamara Schmitz

This empowering book focuses on a young girl’s journey of self-discovery and self-affirmation during her parents’ separation. “Standing on My Own Two Feet” encourages children to find their inner strength and resilience as they adapt to a changing family dynamic.

7. “When My Parents Forgot How to Be Friends” by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos

This book offers a thoughtful exploration of the changes that occur when parents divorce. It addresses the emotions children may experience, such as sadness and confusion, while also emphasizing that love from both parents remains constant. The book provides reassurance and guidance for children facing this challenging transition.

8. “My Family’s Changing” by Pat Thomas

Written for slightly older children, “My Family’s Changing” explores the emotions and practical aspects of divorce, including custody arrangements and living in two homes. It encourages open communication and provides a safe space for children to express their feelings.

9. “The Boys and Girls Book About Divorce” by Richard A. Gardner

This comprehensive guide addresses divorce from a child’s perspective, covering topics such as understanding feelings, visitation, and dealing with conflicts. “The Boys and Girls Book About Divorce” is suitable for older children and preteens who may have more complex questions about the separation process.

10. “The Family Book” by Todd Parr

While not specifically about separation or divorce, “The Family Book” celebrates diversity and the various forms that families can take. It’s an inclusive book that can help children understand that there is no one-size-fits-all definition of a family. It encourages acceptance and celebrates the uniqueness of every family, even those that have experienced separation.

In summary…

Children’s books on separation play a crucial role in helping kids understand and cope with the complex emotions and changes that come with their parents’ separation or divorce. These books provide comfort, guidance, and reassurance, showing children that they are not alone in their experiences. By reading and discussing these books with your child, you can create a supportive environment where they can express their feelings and gain a better understanding of this challenging life transition. Remember that each child is unique, so choose books that align with their age, maturity, and specific needs to ensure the most effective support during this sensitive time.

Co-Parenting Tips: Maintaining a Healthy Relationship with Your Children

The sun’s warm embrace filtered through the curtains of Mark’s living room, casting a soft glow over the space. As he sat at the dining table, sipping his morning coffee, his mind wandered to the days when family breakfasts had been a cherished routine. Divorce had redefined his family dynamic, but one thing remained constant: his unwavering commitment to maintaining a healthy relationship with his children through effective co-parenting.

Mark had always believed that a strong bond with his children was paramount, even in the face of separation. He recognized that co-parenting was an opportunity to provide stability and love during a time of upheaval. Drawing from his own experiences and countless conversations with other co-parents, Mark had distilled a set of co-parenting tips that not only helped him navigate the challenges but also nurtured a thriving connection with his children.

1. Open and Honest Communication: Communication was the cornerstone of successful co-parenting. Mark established an open channel of dialogue with his ex-wife, Lisa. They scheduled regular check-ins to discuss their children’s well-being, school updates, and any concerns. By fostering transparent communication, Mark and Lisa ensured their children received consistent messages and felt secure in their shared commitment.

2. Prioritizing the Children’s Needs: Mark understood that their children’s needs were paramount. Every decision was made with their best interests at heart, from scheduling visitations to important life decisions. By focusing on what was best for the kids, Mark and Lisa created an environment where their children felt valued and supported.

3. Creating a Consistent Routine: Stability provided a sense of security for the children. Mark and Lisa collaborated to establish a consistent routine that spanned both households. Bedtimes, meal schedules, and extracurricular activities mirrored each other as closely as possible, minimizing disruptions and helping the kids adjust to their new normal.

4. Unified Co-Parenting Strategy: Mark and Lisa presented a united front, even when their own emotions threatened to cloud their judgment. They agreed on essential parenting principles, disciplinary measures, and values, presenting a harmonious co-parenting front that reinforced their children’s sense of stability.

5. Embracing Flexibility: While structure was crucial, Mark also recognized the importance of flexibility. He and Lisa remained adaptable to the changing needs and circumstances of their children. Unexpected events arose, and they collaborated to find solutions that accommodated both parents’ schedules.

6. Respectful Co-Parenting Boundaries: Boundaries were essential to maintaining a healthy co-parenting relationship. Mark and Lisa respected each other’s personal space and refrained from involving the children in adult matters. They ensured their interactions were courteous and focused on parenting matters only.

7. Celebrating Milestones Together: Mark and Lisa set aside their differences to celebrate important milestones in their children’s lives. From birthdays to school achievements, they attended events together, sending a powerful message of unity and love to their children.

8. Encouraging Positive Interaction: Mark went the extra mile to encourage positive interactions between his children and Lisa. He praised their mother’s strengths and supported their relationship with her, fostering an environment where the children felt safe expressing their emotions and maintaining a strong bond with both parents.

9. Flexing Empathy Muscles: Empathy was a powerful tool in Mark’s co-parenting arsenal. He constantly put himself in his children’s shoes, recognizing the challenges they faced as they adapted to their new reality. This empathy guided his decisions, ensuring he remained sensitive to their emotions.

10. Seeking Professional Guidance: Mark acknowledged that co-parenting was complex, and seeking guidance from a family therapist was a wise move. The therapist provided them with strategies for effective co-parenting, helping them navigate difficult conversations and emotions.

As the morning sun bathed the room in warmth, Mark felt a profound sense of gratitude for the co-parenting journey he had undertaken. His children’s laughter echoed in his memories, a testament to the dedication he had poured into nurturing their relationship. Mark’s co-parenting tips had not only helped him forge a strong bond with his children but also empowered him to face the challenges of divorce with grace and resilience. As he looked ahead, Mark was confident that the lessons he had learned would continue to shape his co-parenting journey, ensuring his children grew up in an environment filled with love, understanding, and unwavering support.

Tips on how to keep a tidy home

Keeping a clean and tidy house is important not only when the kids come over but also for your own well-being and mental health. Here are some tips for keeping a good house when the kids come over:

  1. Declutter regularly: Get rid of things that you no longer need or use. This will make it easier to keep your house clean and organized.
  2. Clean as you go: Rather than waiting for a mess to accumulate, clean as you go. This means wiping down surfaces, washing dishes, and picking up clutter as soon as you notice it.
  3. Establish a routine: Create a daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning routine. This will help you stay on top of household tasks and ensure that your house is always clean and organized.
  4. Have a designated play area: If you have kids coming over, create a designated play area for them. This will make it easier to contain any messes and keep the rest of the house clean.
  5. Use storage solutions: Use storage solutions such as baskets, bins, and shelves to keep things organized. This will help you keep clutter at bay and make it easier to find things when you need them.
  6. Involve the kids: If the kids are old enough, involve them in cleaning up after themselves. This will help teach them responsibility and make your job easier.
  7. Keep cleaning supplies handy: Keep cleaning supplies such as wipes, sprays, and paper towels in easily accessible places throughout the house. This will make it easier to clean up messes as they happen.

Remember, keeping a good house doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By implementing these simple tips, you can ensure that your house is always clean and organized for when the kids come over.

When is the best time to introduce your children to your new partner

The best time to introduce your children to your new partner can vary depending on several factors, including the age and temperament of the children, the nature and stability of the relationship, and the emotional readiness of everyone involved.

In general, it is best to wait until you have established a committed and stable relationship with your new partner before introducing them to your children. This can help to ensure that the introduction is more meaningful and has a better chance of being successful. Rushing into introducing your children to a new partner before you are confident in the stability of the relationship can be confusing and potentially damaging for your children, especially if they have already experienced a divorce or separation.

It is also important to consider the age and temperament of your children when deciding when to introduce them to your new partner. Younger children may not understand the concept of dating or may feel more threatened by the presence of a new person in their lives. Older children may be more understanding but may also have more complex emotions and require more time to adjust to the idea of a new partner.

When you do decide to introduce your children to your new partner, it is essential to do so in a way that is respectful and sensitive to everyone’s emotions. It can be helpful to prepare your children ahead of time, letting them know who your partner is, what they do, and how they met. It can also be helpful to keep the initial introduction brief and informal, such as meeting for a casual activity like a walk or a picnic. This can help to reduce the pressure and allow everyone to get to know each other in a low-key setting.

Ultimately, the decision of when to introduce your children to your new partner is a personal one that should be made with careful consideration and sensitivity to everyone involved. By taking the time to establish a strong relationship with your new partner and preparing your children for the introduction, you can help to ensure a smoother transition and a better chance of success.

Skills, Ability and Knowledge

Not sure about other dads but I entered the world of fatherhood completely unprepared.  I didn’t realise how demanding it was going to be, I think women have a better advantage.  Women group together and talk about parenting, share stories and experiences far more than we ever would.  So it is probably no surprise that their skills, ability and knowledge are more fine tuned when children arrive on the scene.

Us blokes stand on the sidelines and talk about footy and the MotoGP whilst we cook the BBQ.  I have never been out with a group of guys discussing parenting skills.  Traditionally we just left it up to our partners, I don’t think it is hard-wired into our DNA.  BUT, it is a skill we can learn, for some it does not come naturally, it just needs some practice.  Once we do it solo a few times “whaaala” we become experts, I think, it really is that easy to become competent …and of course you need the “want” to do it.

I remember I organized a breakfast for the “new dads” (dads of the mothers group) and their babies once a month.  I booked a table of 10 in a local cafe.  It was a great sight, 10 dads and their babies, everyone in the cafe were looking and saying well done boys 🙂 We had dads feeding bottles to their babies, changing nappies and nursing their new babies all while trying to eat our bacon and eggs and catch up LOL.  It was a great morning but each month that past we lost half the dads, so after 3 months it ended.

There are challenges and trying times amongst dads when it comes to parenting, but we know that the outcome of trying is well worth the effort and the results are proof.

Not wanting to attend a fathers breakfast has nothing to do with commitment to fathering, they were all protective of their role as a father and would not allow anything that seriously interfered with it, they were all great guys and were all married at that time, I don’t see any of them any more.  The way they felt about fathering would be exactly the way I/we feel about it today, it makes no difference whether we are married or not when it comes to our approach and commitment to fathering.

In the book Divorced Dads Survival Guide there is an article on just that topic. It talks about… Beyond working hard for their families, fathers say their role also includes teaching their kids about life, being a moral role model, and being a good model for adult relationships.  Divorced fathers feel that they have important information to impart about women and relationships.  If the father sought the divorce, he may feel it is necessary for his children to know that a good marital relationship is important and that divorced people don’t lack commitment  in their character, but rather may not want to settle for a bad marriage.  If the father was left by his former spouse, he can emphasize to his children that life has no guarantees and that to adjust to any hand dealt is a challenge that must be accepted.

Either way, the father feels his “lessons of life” are important for his children.  Most parents do.  Of course we should not expect our children to be interested in learning what we have to teach. Many children, in fact, will resist parental teachings in favor of learning it on their own.

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Well done dads

Even though separation and divorce is common place, it still feels like failure and in some ways we are embarrassed at times because of it.  We get pigeon holed into “single dad” or “separated father” when in fact we are simply a “dad” or a “father”.

There are times when we have to explain our situation. I remember being at a shopping center with my daughter and a photographer had a stand set up and was handing out promotional cards. I took one and he engaged in conversation about getting a portrait done. It looked good and I was happy to discuss it until he asked “where is mummy”?  I said there is no mum that will be in the photo, he said “no problem” we can just take the two of you.  I lost interest and said no thanks! you might be better of finding a mummy and a daddy to take photos of 🙂

Another time was when I went to a cafe for breakfast and the waitress (older woman) handed out the menu’s and said “no mummy”? and tilted her head sideways as if that was the most unfortunate thing she had heard all week?  You can probably imagine I didn’t find anything on the menu I liked. It is unaware and ignorant people that seem to put their foot in their mouth, it took me quiet awhile to accept their ignorance. These days I still refuse to buy anything from a business that appears to have a negative  opinion on separation I guess so many people have an opinion i.e. friends, family, waitresses, photographers etc that you get a bit tired of feeling like you are a second class citizen.  We already feel like we have failed in some ways, we just need to be treated like anyone else and respected for our contribution for positive parenting.

We work harder at parenting our children than when we had two people sharing it in-fact, we should pat ourselves on the back and say well done. 🙂 We have turned what could have been a disaster into a positive environment for our children even if the situation isn’t how we would have preferred.  We have taught our kids some important things and we have modelled good behavior.  We show controlled conflict resolution, provide for them emotionally and financially, we behave in a dignified and mature manner and we always keep our eyes on the main event…our children.

Truth and Lies about the effects of Domestic Family Violence on Children

When people think of domestic and family violence, they often think of how much it hurts the adult victim. It’s true that domestic and family violence is most often violent, abusive or intimidating behaviour. But what you may not realise is that children also experience domestic violence and this affects their physical and emotional health and wellbeing. Growing up in a family where there is a perpetrator of Domestic Violence can cause serious long term mental health issues for the children of that home.

At Lifeline, Crisis Support Workers often talk to people who call up with anxiety, they are homeless, have been seeing a psychiatrist for their whole adult life, drug and have alcohol or drug addiction or both, depression, self harm, thoughts of suicide and social behavioural problems just to name a few!

Their life has been and is in crisis and there always seems to be a common threat to their background – they have grown up inside a home with Domestic Violence &/or Coercive Control towards a parent or even towards them.

Lets look at the Lies and the Truths about Domestic Family Violence…


  • It doesn’t effect the kids
  • The children will forget about it
  • The children are too young to understand what’s going on
  • Kids effected by DFV will always bounce back and get over it
  • Talking to kids about it will not help
  • Talking to kids about it will only confuse them
  • The perpetrator is good to the kids so they’ll be ok
  • So long as the children are not hit they’ll be ok
  • It won’t affect their education and development
  • It’ll teach the kids to be strong and tough
  • Life’s alway good when you are a kid
  • It’s part of our culture
  • It’s normal and acceptable
  • The violence is a way to show love


  • It happens in all communities and at all levels of society
  • It can seriously harm children physically and emotionally
  • It can impact on babies and infants
  • Kids are affected even if they don’t see the violence
  • It prevents kids from feel safe
  • It can interfere with a Childs developments and education
  • It can affect a Childs relationship with other people
  • It can give kids nightmares, headaches, stomach pains and regular sickness
  • It damages a Childs self-esteem and confidence
  • Children often believe its their fault
  • It can lead to substance abuse in young people
  • Children can mirror that behaviour in their adult life
  • Talking about the problems with kids can help them
  • Effects on a child are reversible with the right help and support
  • There are services that can help children and families

Some useful Links


Parenting Plan (happy plan)

Many children worry about what will happen to them when their parents split up, and it can be a big relief to them if the arrangements become clear and predictable early on.  Working out a parenting plan as early and as quickly as possible serves many purposes such as it gets your children into a regular routine, you can have certainty around access, holidays, do we share in the buying of gifts and presents, do we share clothes etc.

Being as flexible as possible is a key factor in working out a fair and reasonable plan.  Whatever your parenting plan looks like it doesn’t have to be written down, but if you do write it down calling it a parenting plan is a good way to do it.  I called mine our “Happy Plan”, I wrote out a nice well written check list of the things and considerations I believed would be fair and reasonable for both of us.

After my ex had time to read and consider the plan, she then wrote one of her own (with some minor tweaks) and provided me with her version to consider.  It was pretty close to what I was asking for and we agreed we would use that as our agreed plan.  Everyone’s circumstances are very different and it can play a huge part in what the plan might look like, for example your work commitments, distance to travel, financial, accommodation and health etc.

Some things to consider and help you with ideas that could go into your plan:

  • What time your children will spend with each of you
  • What time your children will spend with other people, such as grandparents , siblings, step-parents or other people that are important to your children
  • What activities each of you will do with your children (e.g sports, homework, music) and whether both of you can agree to attend some important events with your children
  • How you will share parental responsibility and decision making about the big things (e.g what school your children will go to, decisions about healthcare )
  • How you will talk about and come to agreement on the important, long-term issues as your children grow, their needs change or either of the parent’s circumstances change.
  • How your children will keep in touch with the other parent and other people important to your children when they are with you i.e they have access at all times to use your mobile phone and can phone the other parent every night before bedtime
  • What arrangements need to be made for special occasions such as birthdays, religious or cultural events, holidays, school concerts, parent teacher interviews
  • Financial arrangements for the children. This may include some investigation on what payments you need to make and what is deemed fair, you can calculate this by visiting the Child Support Agency estimator.  These payments do not need to go through CSA and they can be paid to either party by private arrangements.
  • What process will be followed to change the plan or resolve any problems, if either parents circumstances change?

There are no strict rules around what a parenting Plan should look like but here are some other guidelines from Family Relationships Australia

Time spent on researching and designing one that works for you, your ex and your kids, will pay off in spades!

What Every Teenager Wants Their Parents To Know

What every teenager wants their parents to knowDear Mum and Dad,

Please stick with me.

I can’t think clearly right now because there is a rather substantial section of my prefrontal cortex missing. It’s a fairly important chunk, something having to do with rational thought. You see, it won’t be fully developed until I’m about 25. And from where I sit, 25 seems a long way off.

But here’s what i want my you to know..

My brain is not yet fully developed

It doesn’t matter that I’m smart; even a perfect score on my math test doesn’t insulate me from the normal developmental stages that we all go through. Judgement and intelligence are two completely distinct things.

And, the same thing that makes my brain wonderfully flexible, creative and sponge-like also makes me impulsive. Not necessarily reckless or negligent but more impulsive than I will be later in life.

Please stick with me.

So when you look at me like I have ten heads after I’ve done something “stupid” or failed to do something “smart,” you’re not really helping.

You adults respond to situations with your prefrontal cortex (rationally) but I am more inclined to respond with my amygdala (emotionally). And when you ask, “What were you thinking?” the answer is I wasn’t, at least not in the way you are. You can blame me, or you can blame mother nature, but either way, it is what it is.

At this point in my life, I get that you love me, but my friends are my everything. Please understand that. Right now I choose my friends, but, don’t be fooled, I am watching you. Carefully.

Please stick with me……..

Here’s what you can do for me

1. Model adulting.

I see all the behaviors that you are modeling and I hear all of the words you say. I may not listen but I do hear you. I seem impervious to your advice, like I’m wearing a Kevlar vest but your actions and words are penetrating. I promise. If you keep showing me the way, I will follow even if I detour many, many times before we reach our destination.

2. Let me figure things out for myself.

If you allow me to experience the consequences of my own actions I will learn from them. Please give me a little bit of leash and let me know that I can figure things out for myself. The more I do, the more confidence and resilience I will develop.

3. Tell me about you.

I want you to tell me all the stories of the crazy things you did as a teen, and what you learned from them. Then give me the space to do the same.

4. Help me with perspective.

Keep reminding me of the big picture. I will roll my eyes at you and make all kinds of grunt-like sounds. I will let you know in no uncertain terms that you can’t possibly understand any of what I’m going through. But I’m listening. I really am. It’s hard for me to see anything beyond the weeds that I am currently mired in. Help me scan out and focus on the long view. Remind me that this moment will pass.

5. Keep me safe.

Please remind me that drugs and driving don’t mix. Keep telling me that you will bail me out of any dangerous situation, no anger, no lectures, no questions asked. But also let me know over and over and over that you are there to listen when I need you.

6. Be kind.

I will learn kindness from you and if you are relentless in your kindness to me, someday I will imitate that behavior. Don’t ever mock me, please, and don’t be cruel. Humor me — I think I know everything. You probably did as well at my age. Let it go.

7. Show interest in the things I enjoy.

Some days I will choose to share my interests with you, and it will make me feel good if you validate those interests, by at least acting interested.

One day when the haze of adolescence lifts, you will find a confident, strong, competent, kind adult where a surly teenager once stood. In the meantime, buckle in for the ride.

Please stick with me. 

Thank you to Helene Wingens for her insight and research click here to see her blog.

Thank you also to Dareen Lewis of Fathering Adventures for introducing me to this information, I love the work you do!
Let’s look at our teenagers a little differently from now on and “stick with them”.

New dad tips for parenting infants and toddlers

Parenting infants and toddlers is amazing, rewarding and frustrating and it can happen all in the same day.
Imagine being a toddler for just a minute…they can’t articulate clearly what you want, they are completely managed by a parent, given food that you might not like, dressed and changed multiple times a day and restricted to the confines of a play pen, bed or high chair.

All very normal and right but it can cause the child to occasionally throw a tantrum and its these moments we find the most difficult.

There are somethings dad you can do to help reduce the stress in your household and possibly make tantrums less frequent, such as:

Love is the first step

Firstly its super important your infant or toddler feels unconditional love. We have spoken before of about providing Attention, Affirmation and Affection to your child, let’s face it who would feel secure and loved if they received the 3 A’s all the time.

Not to many rules

Don’t bombard your child with to many rules, make your home child safe so they can crawl around where ever they want without being told “not’ to do or touch that. It can eliminate one frustration. Your child might start to get frustrated if you are saying “no” all the time, so look for many opportunities to say “yes”.

If you are getting a lot of “no’s” try not to react, simply repeat the request in a nice calm voice. Is there some way you can make what your’e asking your child to do that could be made more fun? All aged children prefer to do tasks that are fun and enjoyable.

Give them choices

If its changing into PJ’s and he or she doesn’t want to, try getting two out for them to choice which one they would prefer to put on. Same goes with going to bed, its always a trigger for pushback. Try getting two books and asking which one will we read tonight?

If there is a power struggle and we know there will be, you can use choices like “Its bed time, would you prefer to brush your teeth or put your Pyjamas on first?

Stick to a routine as if your life depends on it

Children of all ages operate far better if there is a strict routine in the home. So they know exactly what to expect each day, whether it be morning or night. I know it can become boring and mundane but trust me on this one…have routines and scheduled time for things every day and stick to it.
Routines help children feel safe and secure. Because when you introduce things that happen the same time every day, things like waking up, breakfast time, lunch time, dinner time, cleaning your teeth, what time you come home from work, time for a snack or a sleep, it allows the child to trust you and they are left feeling emotionally secure to just play, explore and be a child.

Be a good role model

Set examples, remember you might not think your child is listening but I guarantee they are watching everything you do.

  • Your moods
  • How you speak to your partner
  • How you react to news
  • If your an easy push over and don’t stick to routines
  • Do you keep the home clean and tidy
  • Do you cook nutritious meals
  • Are you comforting and nurturing with them
  • Are you intentional about the time you spend with them
  • Everything you do and say is teaching your child how to behave.

Teaching your infant or toddler new skills

You will find you get push back probably because your child doesn’t know how to do what you are asking?
Teaching them how to perform simple tasks like putting on a jumper, or putting toys away can be a great start. Start teaching them by talking through the instructions of each task whilst you perform them.

“ok Jimmy, lets pick up all the yellow toys and put them back in the box, see 1,2,3. Then we pick up the blue balls and put them in the box, 1 blue ball, 2 blue ball, 3 blue balls, into the box so they can rest for the night and it keeps the room clean and tidy. Why don’t you show me how you can pick up the pencils and put them in the box too?

Teach instruction on everything you do from the earliest age possible and before you know it, you will have a more ready to help child and less tantrums.

What tips or ideas have you got that you could share with other first time dads? Share them below in the comments box.


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 – 1800 55 1800 for 5 to 25 year olds.
  • Lifeline – 131114 for all ages
  • ReachOut – 
  • Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467
  • 1800respect – 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.