10-19-2020 04:13 PM
Hello to all in our ReachOut Parents Community!
One of our most recent community champions, the lovely @Birdwings , suggested that we introduce a regular virtual coffee to the community, and we thought it was a brilliant idea!
Covid has meant that a lot of parents, myself included, have been feeling a bit more isolated than usual - I know that I have been missing the usual casual chats at the school gate and sporting events. Given that a lot of us are supporting our kids through some really unprecedented times, losing that sense of connection and sense of having somewhere to vent can really leave a hole in our lives, so we thought it could be great to create a space where parents could pop in and say hello!
We'd love to hear whatever you have to say - how is your week going? What was the highlight? Is there anything you'd like to get off your chest? There is so much power in sharing our stories, big or small.
I also wanted to give a huge welcome to some of the newer members of our community @Wondermumma , @Famof6 , @Anasmum , @Ruhari , @NickiSt, @Jessr21 @SeafoamGreen , @Crazymumma7 @blueskies , @AntiTechGirl , - we hope you enjoy being a part of the ReachOut Parents' Community.
10-20-2020 03:56 PM
This is Birdwings, and I'm really pleased that Reach Out has decided to run with the idea of a weekly coffee share. I've been doing this for a few years through my blog and have made some wonderful friends around the world.
However, I'm really feeling the need to mix with other parents, especially within Australia and to just share about parent stuff now that we're isolated from so many of our friends and networks due to Covid.
This really came to my attention last weekend when my daughter told me there had been a massive car crash locally and one of my old coffee friends from when the kids were in infants school, her son was in the car. I haven' seen her for years, and many of these friendships have slid since my kids went into high school.
However, what this incident particularly called to mind, was that our teens have a very extensive network of contacts vis snapchat, Instagram, their phones and just walking around the local area. They could all meet up at the local park, party, beach very easily and us parents could be none the wiser.
So, now I'm trying to spread my tentacles a bit. This is different to being a helicopter parent who hovers very noticeably above the surface. This is more long range and possibly even underground. Just needing to be aware and if alarms go off, being able to respond. If this sounds like a military operation, it's because I'm researching WWI and it's made me aware that my own game plan is rather deficient.
We've also had some really good things happening lately. Our son was doing work experience last week, which went really well and our daughter competed in her first dance competition possibly even for this year. It's certainly been a long time. She did really well, but what really matters is that we were all back there again and all these dancers have persevered through covid, doing classes at home through zoom and not given up. It was hard for us because the classes were on during dinner time and we were all shut out in the loungeroom until she finished.
Has their been something like that going on at your place?
I was also wondering if you have any pets? We have three dogs. One's a bit older, but the other two are border collies crosses and very high octane. They've loved Covid with having us at home, and got a lot of extra walks when the kids were doing school from home.
My personal interests aside from my writing and research include baking, photography and I'm also trying to resurrect our garden.
I look forward to hearing from you!
10-21-2020 12:49 PM
Excellent idea Birdwings! I too am feeling the loss of the school gate conversations and the gym meets, I've lost my parent groups and my job. So a virtual coffee sounds great - name the day. Seriously, I don't think you should apologise for the "military style operation" initiative. I wish I had indulged earlier and I might have discovered my daughters' severe anxiety and associate behaviours earlier.
08-26-2021 05:47 PM
08-26-2021 09:46 PM
Welcome to the Parents' Forum. I've probably been coming here for a year now and found it very helpful. I'm Mum to a 17 year old son and 15 year old daughter. You didn't mention who you are referring to in your message or how old they are. Are you in lockdown or being impacted particularly by covid? I tend to feel that no is really okay living in lockdown and even introverts I know are starting to hang out for a least seeing somebody. Our son had severe anxiety at the end of the last Sydney lockdown and his mind was racing. He sat down and talked with us and all this stuff came out and we realized that many of those things we do for good mental health are at least complicated. Getting a bit of sunshine, exercise, routine, trying to bring as much normality into life as possible help. How you get all these things implemented is much harder. One of the tips I use is to organise my day around meal times. When you don't have a lot on, meals can form good sign posts through the day. Information is always helpful for my anxiety and trying to slow my breathing down. We have three dogs and I bet they'd tell you they work overtime. Not only are the dogs great to pat, they're also weighted and that heavy weight can be calming.
Having concern about your kids' is stressful. I feel so powerless and quite often I have to depend on their friends, or perhaps a teacher, or therapist connecting with them. You can't make them do anything.
Our school has a program where they emphasize reinforcing positive behaviour. It can be challenging but I do keep that in mind.
I hope that helps.
08-26-2021 11:42 PM
These lockdowns are having a profound impact on our mental health and that of our children. I am sorry to hear about your son @Birdwings it is really good that he sat dow with you to talk about it. All these tips are incredibly valuable. Finding ways to bring routine back into our days which are now very often feeling chaotic, can be really helpful and grounding. Parents are putting a lot of pressure on themselves to be there for their children during this time but it is a very hard job to be there for our families and ourselves and for a lot of people, their work too! It is great to hear you have such good coping strategies. I hope this can be a place where we discuss more
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