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Guiding Families Through Coronavirus

Talking honestly with children about the current health crisis may help to reduce any anxiety they may be experiencing.

While the coronavirus pandemic threatens the physical health of people globally, it is also affecting our mental health.

This makes starting a conversation with children about the risks and possible consequences of COVID-19 without instilling panic a challenge.

The Australian Psychological Society says as the number of cases rises the level of anxiety within the community rises.

It advises families to keep things in perspective, limit related media exposure and seek facts from reliable sources such as the Australian Government’s health alert or the World Health Organization.

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY

“Children will inevitably pick up on the concerns and anxiety of others, whether this be through listening and observing what is happening at home or at school,” the APS says.

“It is important that they can speak to you about their own concerns. Answer their questions. Do not be afraid to talk about the coronavirus with children.

“Providing opportunities to answer their questions in an honest and age-appropriate way can help reduce any anxiety they may be experiencing.”

RESOURCES

The Australian Government’s Department of Health has developed a collection of resources for the general public, health professionals and industry about coronavirus (COVID-19), including translated resources.

See: http://bit.ly/39ZISDx

World Health Organization updates can be found here: https://bit.ly/3cQUwCw

DISCUSSING COVID-19 WITH CHILDREN

  • Speak to them about coronavirus in a calm manner.
  • Ask them what they already know about the virus so you can clarify any misunderstandings they may have.
  • Let them know that it is normal to experience some anxiety when new and stressful situations arise.
  • Give them a sense of control by explaining what they can do to stay safe (e.g., wash their hands regularly, stay away from people who are coughing or sneezing).
  • Don’t overwhelm them with unnecessary information (e.g., death rates) as this can increase their anxiety.
  • Reassure them that coronavirus is less common and severe in children compared to adults.
  • Allow regular contact (e.g., by phone & video call) with people they may worry about, such as grandparents, to reassure them that they are ok.

Download this blog post as a free flyer here:

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Jess Chooses Life


Jess Chooses Life – A Play About Overcoming Bullying and Mental Health

Parent Guides is very proud and excited to be involved in delivering the play ‘Jess Chooses Life’ – to be performed Wednesday 19 Feb 2020, at 7 pm, at McKinnon Secondary College, Melbourne. 

Admission is free, and the play will be accompanied by a meaningful discussion alongside mental health professionals.

Use the following link to book your FREE tickets: https://www.trybooking.com/BHQJH

Get FREE Tickets

Some words from Angus (Gus) Clelland, Chief Executive Officer, Mental Health Victoria:

“In 2018 there were 3,046 deaths by suicide, and 458 of these were young people under 25 years of age.

In the face of this national tragedy, both the Federal Government and the Victorian Government have made mental health and suicide prevention top priorities.

Community, family and friends are fundamentally important when it comes to suicide prevention.

With this in mind, Mental Health Victoria – the peak body for mental health organisations – is very pleased to commend the collaboration of Health Play, Parent Guides and PoPsy to produce Jess Chooses Life, a sensitive and thought-provoking play that examines the pressures faced by young people and how parents can broach challenging topics such as mental health and suicide.

The format of the production – which includes audience discussion supported by mental health professionals – is highly engaging and thought-provoking, while being sensitive and supportive to audience members who may have lived experience.”

View the video testimonials from the previous play: https://vimeo.com/327637872/a0f46a1fc9

Parent Guides and Health Play


Parent Guides & HealthPlay

Parent Guides are a proud supporter of HealthPlay, a contemporary theatre company based in Melbourne.

In 2019, Parent Guides partnered with Healthy Play to deliver a successful play about mental health and teenage bullying. You can read more about the successful event here.

With their unique and humorous approach to health issues, they are writing and performing plays to educate and entertain. You can learn more about their four mental health plays for 2020 and previous plays below, and visit their website for bookings.

Approaching the Issues of Online Pornography With Your Teenagers

The University Of Melbourne Public Lecture – Approaching the Issues of Online Pornography With Your Teenagers.

Pornography in the online age is a concern for many parents and carers. Are our kids accessing it? If so, how? What are they watching and what impact might it be having? The University of Melbourne’s Department of Rural Health is partnering with not-for-profit organisation Parenting Guides Ltd to present an information evening for parents, carers and educators about porn in the 21st century.

In collaboration with The University of Melbourne’s Centre for Excellence in Rural Sexual Health (CERSH) Parent Guides with guest speaker Jenny Walsh, we are proud to present the Public Lecture ‘Approaching the Issues of Online Pornography With Your Teenagers’.

Jenny is a Relationships and Sexuality Education Expert who has worked with the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation(VACCHO) and the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Excellence in Rural Sexual Health to develop sex ed resources. Jenny will address the impact of modern pornography on young people and provide information on how to best approach the issues many parents and carers face.

Dates/locations:

  • 5:30 – 7:00 11 Feb 2020 / Shepparton / The University of Melbourne Department of Rural Health, 49 Graham St, Shepparton / RSVP here: www.trybooking.com/BHCRQ
  • 5:30 – 7:00 18 Feb 2020 / Bendigo / The Engine Room 58 View St, Bendigo / RSVP here: www.trybooking.com/BHDFT
  • 5:30 – 7:00 25 Feb 2020 / Ballarat / Ballaarat Mechanics Institute, 117 Sturt St / RSVP here: www.trybooking.com/582160 

RSVP – Please register online or contact Di Doyle, Events, Community Engagement & Alumni Administrator, The University of Melbourne E.ddoyle@unimelb.edu.au or P. (03) 5823 4512. *This is a community event and there will be no charge to those who attend.

See the flyer below or download by clicking here.

Respect Can Stop Domestic Violence


Parent Guides has been featured in a number of high profile publications including SBS News, Perth Now and the Daily Mail. With domestic violence being such an important issue, it is great to see awareness and interest from the public. See the full article and links below. *All content belongs to rightful owners AAP Media.

SBS: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/respect-can-help-stop-domestic-violence

Perth Now: https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/social/respect-can-help-stop-domestic-violence-ng-s-1942384

The West: https://thewest.com.au/news/social/respect-can-help-stop-domestic-violence-ng-s-1942384

The Daily Mail: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/aap/article-7002737/Respect-help-stop-domestic-violence.html

The Examiner: https://www.examiner.com.au/story/6112237/respect-can-help-stop-domestic-violence/

Respect can help stop domestic violence.

Charity begins at home and so should respect, according to a new guide trying to help combat domestic violence.

Melbourne media identity Eileen Berry says teaching respect in the home is the first step to stamping out negative behaviour.

RESPECT 101 is the latest in the Parent Guides 101 series.

It helps families define respect and encourage it in their children.

“RESPECT 101 identifies what respectful behaviour is, how to turn disrespectful into respectful, how to create life-long relationships and how to embed respect within the culture of adolescence,” Ms Berry says.

“This can apply at home, in school, in relationships and the community. It is important for parents and carers to model good behaviour and talk to their young people about what is and isn’t appropriate.”

The resource contains statistics, expert advice and case studies to inform and start important conversations between parents and carers and their teenagers.

Parenting Guides Ltd, a registered charity, has produced five other parenting resources that cover topics including drugs, sex, social media and body image.

1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)

Lifeline 13 11 14

Raising Respectful Teens


Recently, Parent Guides was featured in the Star Weekly and Domain Magazine. See the full article below along with clippings and images of the article attached.

 

How to help kids navigate the teenage abyss with respect for themselves and others.

Building resilience
Instilling strong values, helping to build resilience and providing support when needed is critical in helping children to develop self-confidence. This is equally important for girls and boys. Resilience is about being realistic, thinking rationally, looking on the bright side, finding the positives, expecting things to go well and moving forward, even when things seem bad.

Being yourself
Openly supporting diversity will help your child accept who they are, regardless of their sexuality or gender identity.

Raising boys
Traditional gender roles have changed but society still often considers it a sign of weakness if a boy shows emotion. It is crucial that boys (and girls) learn about empathy, expression and mental health strategies. They need to know it is OK to cry, how to articulate fears and anxieties, and to seek help if they need it.

Raising girls
Some teen girls still hear messages about what they can or cannot do, or how they are to blame for bad experiences, such as sexual harassment. Teaching them that they can reject gender stereotypes and control their destiny can help boost their confidence.

Raising children
Self-respect is a great building block for resilience, says Associate Professor Julie Green, the executive director at raisingchildren.net.au. “Teens can build self-respect by setting their standards for behaviour,” she says. “If your teen has self-respect, they believe they matter and should be treated respectfully by others.” Associate Professor Green says parents and carers are role models, so their teen should see and hear outlooks that are positive and optimistic. Good, honest communication is also crucial. Tackling difficult conversations with your child indicates a healthy relationship. “If you’re warm, accepting, non-judgmental and uncritical, and also open to negotiating and setting limits, your child is likely to feel more connected to you,” Associate Professor Green says. If potential mental health issues arise, Associate Professor Green recommends talking to them and seeing a health professional together. This will also reassure them that they are not alone. “You could start by talking to your GP, your child’s school counsellor, teacher or other school staff. GPs and other health professionals can suggest strategies and give advice,” she says.

Sexuality
Education and communication are key in helping young people embrace their sexuality, and to respect that of others. Family Planning Victoria recommends parents and carers educate themselves and clarify their values and messages before talking openly and honestly with their young person. It is also important to support their right to develop healthy, respectful and consensual sexual relationships and not assume everyone is opposite-sex attracted or the gender assigned at birth. Accept that young people may have different views to yours and take a positive approach that acknowledges that sexual activity and experimentation can be a healthy part of adolescence. Everyday moments, such as watching TV news or other shows, can be good starting points from which to ask your young person what they are thinking or feeling.

Promoting self-confidence
A key to respecting yourself is having confidence in yourself. As parents, we play a pivotal role in developing our children’s self-confidence. Self-confidence can be encouraged at home through the acceptance of who a child is as a person and by promoting healthy eating alongside appropriate physical and mental activity. Help is also out there if needed – Beyond Blue has a youth program and both the Alannah and Madeline Foundation and the national Office of the eSafety Commissioner work to reduce bullying.

Respect 101: It’s Time We Talked by Eileen Berry


You can spell it out in a song like Aretha Franklin, but any way you look at it, respect is the cornerstone of our society. It is so important it should be in capital letters – RESPECT – because this fundamental base forms the sum of our nation.

As the founder of Parenting Guides Ltd, a not-for-profit organisation providing resources for parents, carers and educators, I believe in the importance of instilling respect in our children to protect our future.

We have all seen recent public displays of disrespect whether it be online trolling, media figures mocking the disabled, radio jocks bullying staff or women being harassed in the workplace. AFL Collingwood president Eddie McGuire recently apologised to double-amputee Cynthia Banham after his negative comments when the number one Swans ticket holder struggled with the coin toss at a game against the Crows.

Some public examples of disrespect have had tragic results, such as the RM Williams teen model, Dolly Everett, who took her life after being bullied online.

AFLW star Tayla Harris was bombarded with misogynistic comments on a picture of her booting a fantastic kick, but she hit back saying she didn’t want to give “animals” oxygen. Now that’s a resilient, young woman and she gathered so much support.

But how do you make a child or young person resilient? You start with the basics. I have developed a new resource, RESPECT 101, with the support of the Federal Government’s Office for Women, because I am passionate about encouraging and developing the resilience of our young. Being respectful of yourself and others is a key and RESPECT 101 offers insights and advice to nurture our children.

RESPECT 101 is part of a suite of Parent Guides’ resources including Social Media 101, Sex 101, Drugs 101 and Mental Health 101, all developed to arm parents and others with knowledge in this ever-changing world. RESPECT 101 is an XYZ page resource, written by educational and psychological experts with input from students, educators and other teen specialists, designed as a starting block to build respect in children to develop their resilience.

It looks at how we, as adults, can provide positive role models while guiding our youth through today’s cyber minefields, and empowers children to be strong. This resource cuts across classrooms, sporting clubs, the home, the broader community and other places, to put kids on track where-ever they might find themselves.Respect 101 Booklet Cover

It considers relationships of all kinds but dwells on the most important – a child’s respect for themselves and how to build on this, and from there, with resilience, they will flourish. Experts in the RESPECT 101 resource look at family life and values, and the effect of family breakdowns and domestic violence on children. There are sections on the hot potatoes in today’s schools – sexism and equality, racism, social media and LGBTIQ+, as well as providing pointers to more assistance.

These resources are close to my heart. I wouldn’t be here unless I cared. Why does a childless, single woman care? By choice, I was a parent/carer of a nephew with serious substance abuse who now lives daily with mental health issues. Parent Guides was my response to the battle I faced finding resources and agencies to help my nephew and led to me to launching Drugs 101 at a parent night (Strathcona Baptist Girls Grammar) in 2015. It gave parents, carers and others the guidance and skills I wish I’d had as a carer.

As a group of professionals, we go from strength to strength, identifying the next challenges. We recently ran a teen suicide prevention project (funded by the State Govt), Suicide: It’s Time We Talked, tackling the once taboo subject of teen suicide using a professionally-written play by Alan Hopgood and an expert panel (GP, headspace and PoPsy) to dispell the myths that talking about suicide triggers an event.

Parent Guides create trust, credibility and confidence in families and our next projects include Gaming & Gambling 101, Resilience 101 and Money 101. We hope they will make a real difference.

For more information re parent information nights at your school see out Schools Contact Page or call us on 0407542655

 

Parents Must Model Respectful Behaviour


Parent Guides “tell it like it is”.

With the consequences of bad behaviour and broken relationships in the media spotlight, a new guide aims to help parents and carers to develop in their children a sense of respect.

Melbourne media identity Eileen Berry says many topical issues, such as violence against women and generally abusive behaviour, stem from a lack of respect. She says most people are respectful, but a significant minority do not demonstrate it in public or at home.

“This can result in sexism, racism, violence and other destructive behaviours,” she says.

Respect 101 is the latest in Eileen’s Parent Guides series. It helps families define respect and encourage it in their children. “Respect 101 identifies what respectful behaviour is, how to turn disrespectful into respectful, how to create life-long relationships and how to embed respect within the culture of adolescence,” Eileen says.

Read more

Suicide – It’s Time We Talked



See the Play on the 29th of March. At Sacred Heart College, Retreat Road, Newtown – Geelong. Register and Get Your Free Tickets!

 

It’s time to talk about suicide:

A new and engaging production that combines a play about suicide with a panel of mental health experts will connect and bring people together in local communities.

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