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New member? Introduce yourself here!

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Re: New member? Introduce yourself here!

Arr Welcome to ye both!
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Re: New member? Introduce yourself here!

1. How old are your kids and what is one thing they've done recently that made you laugh?
13 and 16.
My 13 year old is quick witted and often make me giggle usually by pretending to be me. My 16 year and I joke together a lot. Usually in high stress situations making light of the situation.

2. Parenting can be really stressful - how do you try to keep those stress levels down?
My husband and I talk a lot. We take turns to be sad, mad and angry.

3. What led you to ReachOut Parents today?
I need an outlet. I cant/don't want talk about it in person.

4. Whats your top tip for parents whose kids are about to enter teenage years?
Try and remember how you felt at the same age on the bad days. Be approachable without judgement or they wont talk to you.

5. Whats the best thing about weekends?

I work 7 days a week so don't really get "weekends". Probably that my kids are looming around and we sneak out for takeaway lunches/dinners.

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Re: New member? Introduce yourself here!

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Welcome to the forums @blueskies , it's great to read a bit more about you Smiley Happy  I love that your family use humour in high stress situations, I find that a bit of dark humour can be a lifesaver at times! It's great that you're able to talk to your husband about stressful situations. It's great to have you here on the Parents community, and I hope it can be a good outlet for you Smiley Happy 

 

 

I also just wanted to take the opportunity to welcome some of our newer  community members @Birdwings , @Kitchen , @Brock , @Freestyler , @treadingwater , @Gwinny and @Marie_069 .IIt's lovely to have you all here. 

 

 

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Parent Community Champion

Re: New member? Introduce yourself here!

Hi Everyone,

Thought I'd better introduce myself, even though I've already done a few posts. After a few efforts of trying to select a name for myself, I entered "Birdwings" which is a poem by Rumi who is often referred to in motivational quotes. 

 

1. How old are your kids and what is one thing they've done recently that made you laugh?

We have a 16 year old son and a 14 year old daughter. They're going well over all but I have a chronic/acute medical/disability situation and they've experienced trauma and stress over the years from that, and it's putting us under additional stress during Covid.

Our son may be laugh the other day. We're desperately trying to clear stuff out of the house and yard. However, it was council clean-up and he arrived home with two lawn mowers, a couple of dead laptops which he was going to pull apart for parts and an empty KFC bucket on his head. 

My daughter and I laughed about a crazy cake I made.


2. Parenting can be really stressful - how do you try to keep those stress levels down?

I try to keep my finger on the pulse and have a sense of what's going on with the kids. What's going on with them and their friends. I'm friends with some of their friends' parents. Being part of community and informed, a bit of research now and then. Organisation is a problem for us but trying to keep on top of that helps reduce stress. Routines have been thrown out or seriously disrupted this year and we're not good at it anyway. Currently weighing up moving to something more rigid versus being flexible. Things are constantly changing here, so having a solid, inflexible schedule might not be a good idea anyway. We're also working on setting some firmer boundaries in place for our daughter. She's been fobbing us off and walking around at night with her friends and getting home really late. It's reigned in now because her friend was grounded but she can be pretty strong-willed. I'm trying to move gently rather than "putting my foot down". Knowing she's home reduces a lot of stress. As does good communication with the kids and I watched a Reach Out video on this the other night which was very helpful. 

In terms of self-care, I tend to go walking a long the beach or through the bush and also doing photography. Last week, I photographed a bunch of waratahs in our local National Park, which were growing just next to the road. They were magnificent. I also like to get out for coffee, which has been complicated by covid this year. I usually see  a lot of my friend on a more casual basis revolving around the kids' activities instead of something more formal. 

I also play violin and piano which are sometimes relaxing and therapeutic and something frustrating when I make mistakes. 

We also have three dogs and they're relaxing. 


3. What led you to ReachOut Parents today?

I found the parents forum last week. I've referred to Reach Out a few times over the years. This time I was looking up for advice as a friend of my daughter's has left home and is camping on the beach and couch surfing and I wanted to let her know about reach Out for her friend. 

I've been back to the parent forum because I like it's anonymity and being able to connect with people who don't know me in real life. I've also found that there were people in the forum who have problems we've experienced in the past who I could help. Or, that I could break down someone else's situation relatively easily while my own appears quite complex and I'm in my own fog. As I said before, I'm also missing connecting with my local friends due to covid. 

4. Whats your top tip for parents whose kids are about to enter teenage years?

As a child my mother used to say to me: "Never turn your back on the sea", and I think that's very true of teenagers. Where you could send your kids to after school care etc in primary school, those supports aren't there in high school. So, keeping your teens busy is important and ideally something where they'll make friends like a sport, scouts/guides, dance, band, youth group. Having a group of friends and adults they can turn to outside your family and outside school. hat way, if they're difficulties in one pond, they can turn to another for support. I also think it's great if you can know and be in touch with their friends' parents. We've lived in the same house now for almost 20 years and my kids have friends they've know since they were babies at playgroup. Communication is also really important and don't presume to know what's going on. Listen. Observe. Maintain family meals and driving them places. 

That's multiple tips, but I think being well resourced is always important for parents no matter how old your kids are. That's not to be a helicopter parent. This allows you to sit further back and be more subtle and hopefully more effective...and have more time for yourself. 


5. Whats the best thing about weekends?

Weekends aren't particularly special at the moment for us. My husband is working from home due to covid and my daughter spends Saturdays at dancing. Try to have a family meal at least one of those nights. Friday nights my husband and I usually have to ourselves, which is nice. 

I think this question is challenging me to make the weekends more special again. 

Thanks you very much for reading.

Best wishes,

Birdwings

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Parent Community Champion

Re: New member? Introduce yourslf here!

Hi there Tenacious Dad,

I really liked how you're proud of your kids for their kindness and unconditional love they show you. These are the sort of traits which are really important to me. I was also attracted to your name "tenacious Dad". You've obviously been through a lot and that's a quality I've developed over the years through my health/disability issues. While it's easy to say "what doesn't kill us makes us stronger", surviving the crucible can be another matter entirely. I have lost touch with a lot of my friends this year, as parents aren't allowed into my daughter's dance studio. Instead of waiting upstairs and chatting, parents are lined up in their cars out the front and you can't see in through the window tinting. I can't stand it and get out and wait outside. I found this scenario one of the loneliest aspects of covid. That you have all these people who are friends lined up in their cars in their own world not connecting anymore. My kids are important to me and I see wisdom as a collective thing and I think this forum could really be life changing for many people. 

Best wishes,

Birdwings. 

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Re: New member? Introduce yourslf here!

Hello Waldo,

Lovely to meet you. I went on a short bushwalk with my husband to show him some local waratahs on his lunchbreak last week and slipped posing for a photo and am sitting here with a bag of frozen peas on my knee again. I'm not in lock down but have been largely isolated during covid this year due to my health. I don't mind this too much as I'm a researcher/writer and I blog and have an online community there. However, I really miss the friends I have based around our kids' activities. You know the people you occasionally might met for coffee but chat with. Well, that might not be your thing but I'm an unashamed extrovert and I really miss that. We've also had some rumblings with the kids and while most haven't been significant in themselves, I'm not always sure where the tide is drifting and have found through the years it's great to touch base with my friends who are also parents of their friends. 

Our cousin's daughter has a serious issue with self harm and was hospitalized and had ECT treatment years ago and we went and saw her in hospital. Our son has flown off the handle a few times and threatened to take his life in front of me a few times and there was one attempt. I drove him to emergency after getting the police out, and couldn't find a car park in the multistorey carpark and drove into a concrete divider on the way out. Cracked the radiator and my son's saying "the car's on fire". Well, by this stage, you could imagine the state I was in and I just froze. He helped me get the car out of the way and talked me through that. The car was towed away and written off. So, I didn't have to worry about finding a car space any more. When we were in triage, I booked us both in because after what I'd been through, I wasn't okay either. I have 50% lung capacity and what with stress on top of that, was struggling to breathe and feeling quite unwell. However, once we finally got through to the doctor, I was dismissed and my reaction was considered "normal". I didn't get checked out. Spending a day in emergency was a future deterrent to our son. I would also advice going by ambulance to the hospital unless you have the driver and a support person in the car so you can just drop off. 

That was also the first time I'd called the police. I did that because he ran off and I needed them to find him. While it seems more official and heavy-handed calling the Police or ambulance in, they're there to help, which can be particularly helpful if you're alone. They were fantastic. 

Anyway, that's been one of our experiences and I hope you don't mind me going into it here. It wasn't my intention, but like yourself, I'm wanting to help others and open up those lines of communication particularly on those more difficult subjects. It's these more difficult subjects were Reach Out really shines and being able to share in an anonymous, online space is really helpful and much needed.

Best wishes,

Birdwings.

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Re: New member? Introduce yourself here!

Hi,
I’m a single mom with 2 challenging teens.
I need some advice and/or support.
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Re: New member? Introduce yourself here!

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Hi @AntiTechGirl 

 

Welcome to our forums and good on you for reaching out for help.

 

When (and if) you feel up to it, you are more than welcome to create your own thread in the "concerned about my teen" and "everyday parenting" sections of our forums. That way, you can tell us a little bit more about what is going on for you and we can provide you with some more tailored support.

 

We also have some really great resources that might be of benefit to you. For instance, we have a section where child/family professionals answer questions here, and a a whole bunch of articles and self-help content here. Feel free to have a browse Smiley Happy.

 

 

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Re: New member? Introduce yourself here!

Hello! I have two sons, they like to have fun by sending me a lot of voice messages when I am working. I can't be angry with them because they want me to smile more.  

I'm happy to find this forum because I still have a lot of questions. 

My advice is to listen to your children, be near when they are in bad mood. 

The best thing about the weekend is no working and spending time with my best!

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