Category Archives: Caring for Your Family

Balancing work and family: Tips for single fathers

Daniel Sherwin Single Father Photo

Single fathers today face a deeply rooted social bias that calls into question their ability to meet the demands of parenthood. It’s a prejudicial view that’s been around for decades. The New York Times reported 30 years ago on a study which found that single dads felt discriminated against because of an image which vilified them as negligent, even though those questioned indicated they were simply trying to provide for their kids. One respondent wrote that he’d been made to feel like a “freak.”

Persistent ideas about gender roles insist that men can’t be nurturing parents, or fulfill the vitally important role normally filled by a mother. It’s often said that dads just don’t have enough time to devote to their kids’ needs, or that they don’t know enough about parenting. Such preconceptions have been at work in the family court system for decades. Many judges still favor mothers in custody cases because they’re perceived to have a natural predilection for parenting. In fact, it is estimated that women are awarded custody at least 68 percent of the time. These ideas and beliefs are breaking down but they are still there nonetheless and that’s a problem as the divide it creates in our homes, workplaces and community is keeping both men and women at a disadvantage from living a fulfilling and balanced life. In particular, it’s holding women back in the workplace from advancing their career and men from embracing their innate caring nature which, when nurtured, can also speak volumes in our workplaces. Continue reading

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How Australian Businesses Can Better Support Working Dads

Father And His Baby Daughter Grocery Shopping.

These days, working while raising children is increasingly common. According to the ABS Survey of Employment Arrangements, Retirement and Superannuation, 62% of coupled parents work, while 60% of single parents work. What’s more, 90% of dads with children under 15 are employed, meaning the vast majority of Australian fathers are juggling work and parenting commitments in tandem. Here are just some of the ways Australian businesses should be looking to create a supportive environment for working dads.

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Teen Time: Supporting Teenagers Through the Rollercoaster Years

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Do you dread the teenage years? You’re not alone – many parents do. In our latest free community webinar Lucy Dahill - youth mentor, advocate and radio host – talked to Emma Walsh about how you can see this time as a ‘relationship development’ with your teen instead of living with the dread of what’s to come.

It was a brilliant webinar and Lucy covered a number of points on how to gracefully manage the ‘rollercoaster years’. Some areas Lucy and Emma explored were:

  • The daily juggle of a working parent
  • Setting the scene (i.e. you were once adored, now you feel ignored)
  • Our job as parents
  • The difference between stress and anxiety
  • Walking the talk
  • Looking after ourselves first
Some of the highlights

“Life goes into a child’s world much earlier these days… in a ‘normal’ childhood it’s around Year 4 or 5. There is a lot of pressure for them to grow up. They are likely to be pulled into the world earlier than you may be ready for”.

“Anxiety is starting under 13 years of age”.

“It’s not our job to control them as young adults.”

“In order to be heard [young adults] need to learn to express in a way that they can be heard.”

“Choices and consequences… follow through. Be careful you don’t have a consequence that you can’t carry out.”

“Boundaries are very important. Own your home and space.”

“Hurt takes time and a lot of patience… quite often they are blaming themselves of not being the glue to keep the parents together…. that’s when they tend to go off on a tangent. What they are looking for is the connection. Keep trying to hold respect for the other parent and the young person of what they understand.”

“Build the connection… you can’t expect it to be built in 5 minutes.”

“Teens are far more vocal about the fakeness of relationships… they are really judgmental. But what you’ve got to look out for under the veneer of calm is a really mixed up person.”

“Remember they are the same cuddly person with deep and sensitive feelings… they’re just not sure how to handle it.”

“[Growing up] feels a little like a tsunami of expectation – whether it comes through their phones or friends.”

“If parents are anxious about them growing up, chances are the young person will be anxious about growing up. It’s really easy to pass fears onto a younger person so it’s really important to get some support for this.”

“Our job as parents is to raise independent young adults”

“The greatest gift to give our children is to let them know they’ll be ok when we are not there.”

“Teenagers are master manipulators – they know how to give us exactly what we need, to get them off their backs.”

“Say it without judgement… ‘hey I miss you’ ”

“Two hours of screen time.. that person has been sucked in and gone… their behaviour is going to be in accordance with this.”

“They don’t know how to express… and when they do they do it in a clunky way and get such an enormous reaction that they go ‘I can’t be bothered to give it a go.’ You have to remember that when they are learning to talk they are going to be clunky, they’re going to be rude and – just like when they start walking – they need to be able to bumble and fall over and know that you’re still going to love them at the end of it.”

“Find a way to spend time with them.”

Get the full audio

To get a free copy of the webinar audio recording or send it to a friend please email bookings@parentsatwork.com.au

Parents At Work offer a number of programs and free community webinars – our ‘Special Events’ – to working parents to support them in the myriad of challenges and issues they face as their children (and careers) grow through the years. If you would like to know more about our membership or programs please contact info@parentsatwork.com.au.

Upcoming free webinars 

We have two more ‘special event’ webinars coming up. To register click on the images below.

Valuing Our Relationshipsleadership-for-teens-2

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Tips for single working parents

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Single parent families are now the single fastest growing family type in Australia. It has been predicted that over the next 20 years, the numbers of one-parent families will soar by up to 70%. Single parents face different (not necessarily more) challenges to coupled parents. Their needs are unique. One of our working parents recently asked for some support in this area.

Here are some resources and tools offered by one of the single parents on our Parents@Work team…

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Connecting with Kids: Building resilience and self-worth in your children – Our special event reviewed

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Yesterday Parents@Work hosted their first special event Connecting with Kids: Building resilience and self-worth in your children. Emma Walsh, founder of Parents@Work interviewed positive psychologist Sarah-Jayne Whiston from Bright Ideas Psychology.

The interaction and personal sharing’s of Sarah-Jayne and the other participants on the call (including our host Emma!) were invaluable. It felt like a very supportive place to delve into some hot topics we don’t often get the chance to explore in our day-to-day business of being a working parent.

The session was jam packed with gems of wisdom but the key take-outs were…

  • We build strong foundations of a deep connection with our children by consistently offering them open and honest communication
  • Question yourself: ‘how much are you really open to the connection and understanding of the ‘world of the child’?
  • Honour your child when they offer a reflection – check in with your own ‘vibe’ or energy and ask yourself if you could be a more active listener.
  • Self-care is our number one responsibility as a parent. Similar to being on a flight – we need to adjust our facemask in an emergency first if we are to effectively support another.
  • Mindfulness and ‘dropping back into the body’ are key tools to developing great self-awareness and self-care.
  • Take care how you’re thinking about work. You choose how you start your day and remember your presence is contagious – there is a great responsibility in that – both as a parents and a worker.
  • It is normal to be human and make mistakes – no one is perfect, not even Supermum! Bring understanding to the picture whenever things go awry.
  • Communication and expression doesn’t always have to be positive. Allow space for all feelings – your own and your child’s.
  • Bring lightness to the mix. A playful attitude as well as being present, understanding and flexible are key ingredients to building a strong connection with children of any age.
  • Quality over quantity time with children needs to be valued, especially where guilt gets in the way of a parents perception or judgement of themselves.
  • It is possible to re-build a deep connection when children get older. We can do this by adapting to their changing needs, offering them more responsibility to build trust and allowing them the space to make their own mistakes without judgement or ridicule.
  • We can support children to deal with bullying and peer pressure by equipping them with the skills to 1) deal with rejection and 2) to respond in a way that fosters self-empowerment and integrity i.e. role modelling what loving behaviour looks like.

Dialling in to the teleconference on my mobile made the experience so simple to be a part of. I didn’t feel the need to speak as I didn’t have any burning questions at the time however I got so much out of hearing the experiences and queries of other working parents – they actually helped me realise I did have some questions!

Thank you SJ, Emma and Parents@Work – I’m definitely looking forward to more.

Teleconference attendee and working parent.

The Recording

If you missed out on joining this special event and would like a recording of the call, please request one via bookings@parentsatwork.com.au.

Further Information

If you would like to get in touch with Sarah-Jayne Whiston visit Bright Ideas Psychology.


T: 0423 220 776

Suite 310, 20 Dale Street, Brookvale

www.brightideaspsych.com

www.facebook.com/BrightIdeasCoach

Another great resource SJ recommends for working parents is the Raising Children website. They have a whole series on Work and Child Care articles.

Connecting with Kids:  Building resilience and self-worth in your children Course Outline.

More special events are already planned. To receive updates and what courses and special events Parents@Work run subscribe to our monthly newsletter here (scroll to the bottom of the page for the sign up form).

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