Hi @helpmeplease866, welcome to the ReachOut forums!
Thank you for sharing a little bit about your situation with us. It sounds like it has been both an exciting and challenging time for you and your partner as you navigate parenthood with a newborn baby. I imagine that anyone starting out parenthood would share your concerns about being a good parent, as no one really knows how to be a parent when their first child comes along. It sounds like your partner and the baby mean a lot to you, and I can sense from reading your post that you are determined to be the best parent you can be for the child.
You mentioned that you’re looking for some advice on day-to-day parenting. I wonder if it might be helpful to look into some resources for parents with babies. I found a range of articles on the Raising Children’s Network here , about raising babies. They also have some resources specifically for fathers here . Could this be something you’d be interested in looking into?
I am mindful that as we are based in Australia, we don’t have any suitable services to offer that provide support to parents in the UK. H owever, I came across this parent helpline based in the UK that might be worth looking into.
You also mentioned that your partner has shared that they feel that you aren't doing enough for the child. I imagine that on top of the pressure of raising a child for the first time, bringing a baby into the world can add some pressure onto the relationship. Have you been able to speak to your partner about things? Or is there anyone else you can chat about things with?
Thank you for reaching out to the forums, I hope some of the resources I have shared are helpful :)
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Hello wonderful parents and carers!
Recently we have been hearing more and more from parents with young people who have been refusing to go to school. For some, this has been happening for a while, and for others it has worsened with the impact of COVID and aftermath of lockdown periods. There are many reasons as to why a young person may be upset or worried about going to school, it is important to consider whether school refusal is a part of a bigger problem going on in the young person’s life.
It can be extremely worrying, stressful and frustrating for a parent to cope with a child that is refusing to go to school. It can also be really confusing for a parent trying to figure out a way to handle the situation. We thought it would be helpful to share some resources that ReachOut has available to support parents dealing with their young person’s school refusal.
If you are someone that likes to read articles, ReachOut has some great reads to support parents with teens’ school refusal:
How to deal with school refusal
How to motivate your teen for school
Problems at school
If you enjoy watching video-clips, ReachOut has a great one of these too. Lucy Clarke, an author and mother of 3, shares her story of how she coped with her daughter’s school refusal. Watch it here .
If you find it helpful to chat and connect with other parents in the community going through something similar, there is a forum thread for parents dealing with their teens' school refusal here , where you can hear from other parents, and join in on the conversation if you feel comfortable. ReachOut even had a psychologist respond to one of these posts, which you can find in our ‘Ask a Professional’ space here .
If you’re wanting to find a more personalised support option, ReachOut offers one-on-one support sessions for parents. If you are interested in signing up or finding out more, head here .
Supporting a teen going through a tough time can be tough on parents too. Remember to check-in with yourself and take care of your own well-being, and reach out when you need some support. We would love to hear about some of the things you have tried when dealing with school refusal, feel free to share your experience in the comments.
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Hi @ashhh, welcome to the ReachOut forums, and thank you so much for sharing what is going on for your family at the moment.
It sounds like your brother is going through a really tough time, dealing with a lot of worry around cleanliness. I can only imagine yours and your family’s concern for your brother when you see your brother go to such lengths to avoid situations of uncleanliness, it must be really difficult to understand why he is behaving this way. I can understand how this would be affecting you and your family, as all any of you want is to see your brother’s mental health improve.
I am wondering if your brother has any support for his mental health? As we are based in Australia, we limited in our ability to recommend services that provide mental health support in the Philippines. However, I have found these two services that might be worth looking into, and would encourage you to look into any other mental health supports for your brother that may be available in your area
National Centre for Mental Health
Philippine Mental Health Association
You mentioned that you and your parents have been experiencing troubles with getting your brother to listen to your advice. I found this article on how to effectively communicate with teenagers here , I wonder if this could offer any helpful tips for talking with your brother?
I just wanted to thank you again for reaching out to the forums. It is clear how much you care for your brother, and he is incredibly lucky to have such a supportive family looking out for him during this difficult time.
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Hi, thank you for sharing what has been going on for you and your son lately. I am sorry to hear that you are feeling at loss with how to get your son through his schooling. It sounds like it has been a difficult time for both you and for your son. Something that struck me when reading your post was what supportive parents you and your partner have been for your son. It is evident that you care a tremendous amount about his well-being and future, and you have the utmost belief in him and his capabilities.
I was wondering whether the school has offered any support around your son's struggles with school? I am also curious to know whether there is any specific support at his school for students who are looking to pursue music?
You mentioned that your son has never really thrived in the school system. I can definitely understand your son’s struggles with conventional schooling, it can be really tough for children that have other ideas for education and career pathways. ReachOut has put together a video clip for parents that talks about when school just isn’t working for children, which I thought might interest you.
While it sounds like you have thought of many possible avenues, I thought it might be helpful to share the resources we have on our website on school refusal and things to try when there are problems with school. I wonder if any of these might give you some ideas?
Thank you again for sharing what has been going on for you and your son, it takes courage to reach out. We are here for you :)
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Hi @Samysam, thank you for sharing your situation with us. It sounds like it has been a challenging time for you and your partner at home as you support your step-son living with autism. I can hear your frustration and exhaustion. It sounds like a really difficult situation to be in, especially when it is preventing you and your partner from finding quality time to spend with each other. I wonder if this is something you have spoken about with your partner? Perhaps before you do, identifying what your needs are at the moment might help, for example, do you need time for yourself? Do you need time for you and your partner to spend time together alone?
The Raising Children’s Network has some useful parenting-related resources specifically for children living with autism that might be helpful to look into, you can find them here .
There are also some great resources out there for step-parents and blended families. ReachOut has some articles on how to navigate being a step-parent here , and another on blended families here . The Raising Children’s Network also has a range of articles on blended families, have a look here if you’re interested.
As it looks like you are posting from overseas, I wanted to mention that the resources I have shared with you are based in Australia, however they might still be very helpful for what you are going through at the moment.
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Hi @Riannyn1, I have just read through your posts and wanted to chime in and say thank you for sharing what has been going on for you at the moment. It sounds like the news of your daughter coming out as non-binary and lesbian has been quite challenging for you to process. It is understandable that it has been really difficult for you, wanting to understand your daughter as they explore their identity and ensure they are supported while doing so. You truly seem like a parent who is doing your best to support and be respectful of your daughter and their needs.
It is really important that when someone tells us about their gender identity or sexuality, we validate that and support them in the ways they need. To be supportive of your daughter, some of the things you can do is try your best to use the correct preferred pronouns and to support the way they express their gender through what they wear. It might also be really helpful to keep the line of communication open by asking how else your daughter would like to be supported by you. Are these things you would feel comfortable supporting them with?
Another way to be supportive of a child coming out is to educate yourself about gender diversity and sexuality. Did you have a chance to read through any of the articles that @Courtney-RO has shared?
I also just wanted to let you know that I have removed your first name from your original post to ensure that your posts remain anonymous.
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Hi @jalago, welcome to the forums :)
I understand you have some questions around how to approach a conversation with your daughter about her relationship with her first boyfriend. First relationships can be tough to navigate both for teenagers, and for parents who are there supporting them through it. We have an article for parents on romantic relationships and teens on our website here , do you think this might help answer your questions?
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Welcome :) We are so glad that you have found your way to the forums, we’re here to support you.
Thank you for sharing a little bit about your situation with us. It sounds like it has been a challenging time for you while you adjust to your partner’s children living with you full-time. Blended families can be really challenging. Although in saying that, step parents can also be such important figures in childrens’ lives, and it really does sound like you are someone who is dedicated to being the best step parent you can be.
I can hear that things have really been taking a toll on your relationship with your partner, which makes things feel all the more difficult. I imagine it’s especially hard during the times when it feels like your partner isn't having your back when it comes to making decisions as parents. I’m wondering if you have been able to talk with your partner about how this has been making you feel?
I thought it might reassure you to know that you’re not alone in feeling this way, we’ve had many posts on the forums about step-families sharing frustrations similar to yours. We had a psychologist respond to one of these posts in our Ask a Professional section, if you’re interested in having a read you can find it here . There might be some helpful tips.
ReachOut has some great resources on how to navigate being a step-parent here , and another on blended families here . Another great website is the Raising Children’s Network, they have a range of articles on blended families, have a look here if you’re interested. I wonder if any of these articles might be helpful to your situation?
I thought it might also be worth mentioning that ReachOut offers free one-on-one support with an experienced professional for parents looking to navigate parenting. You can find more information on this service here if this is something you might be interested in.
With the challenges you have been facing recently, I am also wondering if you have support for yourself? Is there someone you can talk with about this, such as a trusted family member/friend? Talking to a mental health professional such as a counsellor about this can also be really helpful, is this something you have ever considered? Please feel free to let us know if finding a mental health professional is something you would like guidance on :)
Thank you again for sharing what has been going on for you, it takes courage.
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Hi @FlorenceSamuels , it’s nice to hear from you again. We really appreciate you taking the time to reach out and share what’s been going on for you. It has shown a lot of courage :)
I am sorry to hear that your son had a falling out with his friend, that can be really tough for a young person to go through. It’s such a bummer that the club in your area doesn’t offer the Explorers group, I wonder if there are any other clubs or activities in your area that interest your son?
You mentioned that you found a run club/counsellor service in your area, and that your son isn’t too keen on engaging with them at this point. I found this article on things to try when supporting your teen getting help here , I wonder if any of these tips might help with this?
It’s really positive to hear that you have been able to establish a routine around screen time, it sounds like routines work really well with your son
You mentioned that some adults haven’t been speaking in a very supportive way about your son, and I’m really sorry that you had to experience that. It sounds like the comments made were really hurtful, especially coming from family.
With everything that is going on, I am wondering if you have any support for yourself? Supporting someone through a tough time can be tough on you too, and it’s important to take care of yourself just as much as it is to take care of your son. Is there anyone you trust to talk about this with? Such as a friend/family member or a counsellor?
I want to remind you that you’re not alone in this, we are here to support you.
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Welcome! We are so glad that you have found your way to the forums, it’s great to have you here.
Thank you so much for sharing a bit about your two daughters and your situation at the moment. We appreciate you taking the time to reach out - it can take a lot of courage :)
I am really sorry to hear that your daughter is facing some challenges with getting to school. May I ask if you have had a chance to speak with your daughter about what it is about school that is making it hard for her to go?
While it sounds like you have tried lots of things already, I thought I'd suggest some articles that might help you find some things you might not have thought of yet. You can have a read of one about school refusal here , and another one about problems at school here .
I thought it might also be worth mentioning that ReachOut offers free one-on-one support with an experienced professional for parents looking to support their child through a tough time. You can find more information on this service here if you’re interested.
I really like your approach of keeping the stress down by singing and moving your body, and I think you’re totally right, these challenges won’t last forever. You have done such an awesome job already reaching out for support. Your daughters are really lucky to have a caring parent like you.
I am also mindful of how tough it can be to support someone else going through a tough time. I was wondering if you have any support for yourself? Anyone you can talk to about this?
Thanks again for sharing with us, we are here to support you
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Hey @DK2690 , thank you for sharing your situation with us, we are really glad you have reached out for support. It sounds like it has been a challenging time for you having your partner's son move in. Sounds like it has been a very tough position to be in. I can hear that things have been taking a toll on your relationship with your partner, which makes things feel all the more difficult. Have you been able to talk with your partner about how this has been making you feel?
We want you to know that you’re not alone in feeling this way, we’ve had many posts on the forums about step-families sharing frustrations similar to yours. We had a psychologist respond to one of these posts in our Ask a Professional section, if you’re interested in having a read you can find it here . You may find some helpful tips.
We have an article on our website about blended families here . The Raising Children’s Network also has a heap of articles on this too, have a look here if you’re interested. I wonder if any of these articles might be helpful to your situation?
I am also wondering with everything going on, do you have support for yourself? Is there someone you can talk with about this? Such as a counsellor or a trusted family member/friend?
We appreciate you opening up about your feelings, it takes courage! We are here to support you.
- I also just wanted to let you know that we have sent you an email.
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Hi @HelpPls, welcome to the forums and thank you so much for sharing what is going on for you and your son at the moment. I am sorry to hear that things have been quite difficult for you and your son lately. It sounds like it has been really stressful and tiring for you at times, especially having to deal with this almost all on your own.
Although it sounds like you have tried everything you can think of, I thought I'd suggest some articles that might help you find some things you might not have thought of yet. You can have a read of one about school refusal here , and another one about problems at school here .
I thought it might also be worth mentioning that ReachOut offers free one-on-one support with an experienced professional for parents looking to support their child through a tough time. You can find more information on this service here .
It can be really tough supporting someone else through a tough time. I just wanted to check with everything that’s going on, do you have support for yourself?
Thanks again for reaching out to the forums today. You're not alone, we are here.
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Hi @Hope23 , I have just read through your posts and wanted to say well done on reaching out for support with what you’re going through. It sounds like it has been a journey full of ups and downs for you and your daughter, with you being there to see her through the good, the bad and the ugly. Your daughter is lucky to have such a caring parent like you to turn to for support. It must have been such a relief to hear that your daughter has responded to her uncle to let her know she is okay. Although I imagine it would be so worrying and upsetting to not know where she is or how she is doing at the moment.
You mentioned that you’d like to find out more about BPD and how it may be affecting your daughters behaviour. I found some fact sheets on BPD here , as well as information and resources for family and friends here . I hope that you find these helpful.
I am aware that there are many parents who have children affected by BPD, and I am wondering whether you might find it helpful to read about some of their experiences or engage with parents going through something similar to you. If so, there is a ReachOut forum thread here that might interest you.
I just wanted to check with everything that’s going on, do you have support for yourself? Such as a supportive friend or health professional that you can talk to about things? You deserve to get the support you need to make things more manageable during these tough times.
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Having concerns about suicide for your teen can be extremely worrying. As a parent, you play an important role in supporting your teen who might be having thoughts of suicide, or like their mental health is spiralling out of control. You might be wondering, what are some of the things you can do to support them? To get started, know the warning signs of suicide and where you can go for help . If you’ve noticed your teen is displaying signs that they may be considering suicide, it’s important to have a conversation about suicide . If your teen tells you that they are having thoughts of suicide, it’s super important to ensure that you get them help that they need.
What can you do next?
Help your teen create a safety plan! When things start to feel like they are out of control for your teen, it can be extremely helpful to be prepared ahead of time, and to have a plan of the next steps to take to keep them safe. A safety plan is a document that maps out your teen’s mental health needs and guides them through their coping strategies when their mental health starts to spiral. It’s all about what works for your teen, so it should contain any information that might be useful to them or the people in their life when things are getting out of control. Some things to consider including in a safety plan are:
Identifying your warning signs
Making your environment safe
Reminders of the reasons for living
Family and friends you can reach out to
Crisis support lines
Once you’ve helped your teen brainstorm some things to include in their safety plan, encourage them to hand-write or type it up, save a copy on their devices, or print out some copies to have in the places they’d be most helpful.
It’s also a great idea to encourage your teen to consider who they might like to share their safety plan with. Sharing the plan with supportive people in their life might help those people know how they can help. For some, safety plans are really personal, so if it’s something your teen prefers to keep private, that is completely fine too!
To get started on helping your teen create their safety plan, check out this article . Also check out Sue’s story here about how she and her daughter Chloe worked through Chloe’s mental health challenges together, for some inspiration!
We would love to hear about your thoughts and questions below!
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Hi @Macska, welcome and thank you for reaching out to the forums to tell us what is going on for your daughter. I am sorry to hear that your daughter has been having a hard time with bullying and friendships. It sounds like a lot for your daughter to be going through, and a lot for you as a parent as well. I can see how much you love her and how heartbreaking it would be for you to see her going through these things.
It is never a nice feeling to be sent snapchats of an event that you were not included in, I imagine that this could make a young person feel really hurt and isolated. How did your daughter respond to receiving those snapchats?
I can definitely understand how the pandemic would have been an especially tough time for a young person experiencing depression and troubles with friendships. Was there anything that your daughter enjoyed during this time that you noticed lifted her mood at all?
I was wondering if your daughter has ever spoken to a professional about her depression, such as a psychologist or counsellor? If she isn't seeing anyone at the moment, do you think that it might be something you and your daughter would be open to explore? A few possible starting places could be a GP, school counsellor, Kids Helpline , eHeadspace or the ReachOut's youth forums .
ReachOut also has some articles for parents on tips for supporting your teenager with depression here , and Raising Children Network also has some helpful information here , in case you'd be interested in having a read through.
I wanted to also point out that it is really nice to see what a caring parent your daughter has to support her through what she is going through. What an amazing strength for a young person having a hard time
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Hello @Frustratedmum77, welcome and thank you for reaching out to the forums to tell us a bit about what is going on for you and your daughter. I understand your concern for your daughter, first relationships and sex are big steps in your daughters life. I can sense that you want to ensure your daughter's safety and wellbeing as she navigates through her new relationship. It seems like while this is a new experience for your daughter, it is also a new experience for you as a parent, and I imagine navigating these new stages of life with your teen can be confusing and scary at times. I can see that you have already set some boundaries with your daughter around nights during the week, and you are feeling unsure on whether you are doing the right thing. To help answer your question, I thought you might find this article helpful, which gives tips on setting boundaries with your teenager.
When it comes to supporting your teen through relationships and sexual activity, often having an open and honest conversation about your concerns can be helpful too. Have you had a chance to talk about your concerns about sexual activity with your daughter?
I imagine that having these discussions with your teenager isn't always easy. For a bit of extra guidance on how to have these conversations, you might like to check out this article that has tips on how to talk about sex with your teen. Another good read that might be of help is this article on how to help your teenager engage in a healthy romantic relationship.
I hope that some of the articles I have shared help, thanks so much for posting here and please feel free to keep us posted with how you're getting on
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In light of a recent celebrity drama involving an adult singer and a teenage actor in the US, we wanted to have a chat about cyberbullying. While social media offers us a place to connect and interact with others super easily, when online interactions become nasty it can make social media feel like a really unsafe place. Like any form of bullying, cyberbullying is really distressing to deal with, so it is important to know how to support your teen if it happens to them.
Cyberbullying involves all forms of bullying that takes place online and is a common concern among young people, affecting 1 in 5 young Australians. It can look like receiving intentionally hurtful messages, spreading rumours, sending images or videos to embarrass someone, or using fake profiles to embarrass or intimidate someone. Regardless of how it is received, it is really distressing to experience. Cyberbullying is especially challenging to deal with because it can be public and seen by many, and others tend to jump on the bandwagon and join in. It can be really difficult to control and escape from.
There are a number of ways you can support your teen experiencing cyberbullying, you can read about some strategies here . Zoe shares her story here about how her and her mother worked through the impact of cyberbullying together. How might you support your teen if this happens to them?
You may also be wondering how you can work with your teen to make their social accounts as safe as possible. Selecting the right privacy settings, and managing interactions using control functions, improve the safety of the social account. Control functions include blocking a user, deleting a comment or reporting a user, to name a few. Keep in mind that if your teen has an account on multiple platforms, each comes with its own privacy settings and control functions. Learn about how you can help manage your teen's Instagram account using a Parents Guide to Instagram here . Instagram also recently launched parental controls, enabling parents to link to their child’s account and access supervision tools, you can find more information about this here .
Please feel free to comment your thoughts, experiences or questions below.
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Hey @EmilyJ, thanks for letting us know how the event went over the weekend. That sure is a lot of pies, I can see how that wouldn't have been easy for you to watch! Luckily it sounds like your daughter got some enjoyment out of it, even so that she is willing to do it again.
We are glad to hear it all turned out OK. If you find yourself wishing to reach out to the forums again, please feel free! We are here.
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Hey @EmilyJ, it’s so great to hear that your daughter has a great school environment and is also taking part in the event with many of her friends! Having supportive friends around for events are always helpful to ease the nerves on the day, and they can make the event all the more fun.
It’s also nice to hear that parents can attend the event and support the kids! Even if you decide not to take part in the pie-throwing event itself, I’m sure she will really appreciate you being there on the day to support her. How are you feeling about watching the pie-throwing event?
Your worries about your daughter’s feelings during and after the event are completely understandable. I can see by reading your post that you are a caring parent who is sensitive to the emotions of your daughter, which I can imagine is very comforting for her. Nobody knows your daughter better than you, so I am curious to ask how you would usually support her when she’s feeling embarrassed or humiliated?
We are here if you would like to continue chatting about your concerns leading up to the event or any that may come up after the event
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Hi @Katherine2022 , I am so sorry to hear that you went through that a few years ago. That must have been extremely scary for you and your two boys. It sounds like you’re going through a really tough time dealing with your ex and you are worried about the effect this is having on your two sons. Sounds really overwhelming to deal with. With everything going on, I wanted to check-in and ask if your sons are safe? Have they also experienced violence from their father?
It might be helpful for you to contact the 1800RESPECT hotline, they offer free and anonymous telephone counselling for those impacted by family and domestic violence and abuse (which includes verbal violence). This service is available to you 24/7.
Relationships Australia is another resource that may be worth looking into, they offer a range of services, programs and articles that could be useful to you.
I am really glad you reached out for support today, we are here for you.
Ps. I edited your post slightly according to our community guidelines, which you can read about here if you like
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Hi @StayingStrong, I am sorry to hear that you are finding yourself in a similar position. It sounds like you and your partner are going through a really tough time dealing with the conflict with your partner’s ex. It sounds really overwhelming.
It seems like you have some questions around how to manage the conflict you and your partner are experiencing in a legal sense. It might be helpful to access a legal support service such as Women’s Legal Service QLD , where you can access free legal help or information on domestic violence/abuse and complex family law.
It can feel really overwhelming when dealing with blended family conflict. I did also want to mention another service that may be helpful in terms of supporting you, 1800RESPECT is a counselling service that is available 24/7 to help you when you’re experiencing family abuse.
I am really glad you have reached out for support, we are here for you.
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