Stress And How We’re All Still Learning As Parents

[vc_row type=”full_width_background” full_screen_row_position=”middle” bg_color=”#ffffff” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” bottom_padding=”10%” overlay_strength=”1″ shape_divider_position=”bottom”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_row_inner column_margin=”default” text_align=”left”][vc_column_inner enable_animation=”true” animation=”fade-in-from-bottom” column_padding=”padding-3-percent” column_padding_position=”top-bottom” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner enable_animation=”true” animation=”fade-in-from-bottom” column_padding=”padding-3-percent” column_padding_position=”top-bottom” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”10/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” delay=”100″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1533874379791{padding-top: 4% !important;padding-right: 4% !important;padding-bottom: 4% !important;padding-left: 4% !important;}”]Getting used to being a parent is quite the ride. Coping with the flood of emotions at having a life literally in yours hands, a life that squeals and dribbles and is allergic to sleep is what some might call an intensely terrifying spectacle. Yet we press on don’t we, through the newborn stage to the crawling, unintelligible babbling (that is so darn cute we must admit) and then on towards the terrible twos and woosh, the journey is really underway. It’s helpful to acknowledge that at every stage of parenting, from being new parents to having teens under your roof, stressful situations will arise. We’re only human and sometimes the stress of it all can feel unmanageable. Here are some approaches to managing the ‘I just cannot deal with you right now, please get up off the floor and stop hitting your brother’ moments and all the others besides.

  1. Being Aware

Sometimes we’re going at such a breakneck speed that we barely acknowledge or are aware of how we are feeling from day to day and into the weeks. Try and be aware of how you’re feeling at various points in the day. Through a journal, app or just notes on your phone, keep track of your moods. After you’ve get a log of your moods you can identify the situations that trigger high points of stress. Take a note of how your body reacts in those situations, shortness of breath, nausea, sweating, anxiety, shaking, fatigue, they can all point to feeling very uncomfortable in a situation. Use the data to talk with your partner about a plan to resolve those points. Whether you’re getting really stressed on a Wednesday because too many activities are packed in or you find yourself getting really stressed cooking for the family on Monday night, when all you want to do is prepare for your weekly Tuesday meeting at work, it’s good to plot how you’re feeling so you can address the whole context and find a resolution.

  1. Practice

If you find the morning routine very stressful and shrink back at the thought of wrangling clothes onto a wiggling toddler, practice. You can make it a game, in the afternoons or evenings, ask your little one to partner with you in seeing how quickly you can both get ready and dressed. If you achieve a certain time then you can both get a treat. Same goes for the bedtime routine, bathtime or dinner time, if they are points of stress for you and your partner or the whole family, practice approaching them from different angles. Practice making bigger batches of soup, freezing them and then whipping them up for a quick meal, troubleshoot ways to do the times of stress differently to find the right angle for you. You are allowed to keep trying different things and ways to do your family life to the optimal way that works for you.

  1. Care For Yourself

Both parents need to look after themselves. While you may be parents you are also still humans and individuals who need recharging time. Prioritise sitting down and figuring out a schedule for when each of you can engage in an activity that feeds back energy into your weary bones. A tip is to focus on getting out into nature, reading a good book at your favourite local cafe or doing an activity where either your mind and body are healthily stimulated. Exercise is a great way to get out all the wobblies and pent up emotion from a week of parenting and working. It doesn’t have to be intense exercise, a leisurely walk around your neighbourhood (at least 30 min is what doctors suggest) can be a great way to be physically active without adding pressure on your system. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Aware Parenting In A Digital Age

[vc_row type=”full_width_background” full_screen_row_position=”middle” bg_color=”#ffffff” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” bottom_padding=”10%” overlay_strength=”1″ shape_divider_position=”bottom”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_row_inner column_margin=”default” text_align=”left”][vc_column_inner enable_animation=”true” animation=”fade-in-from-bottom” column_padding=”padding-3-percent” column_padding_position=”top-bottom” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner enable_animation=”true” animation=”fade-in-from-bottom” column_padding=”padding-3-percent” column_padding_position=”top-bottom” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”10/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” delay=”100″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1533092982255{padding-top: 4% !important;padding-right: 4% !important;padding-bottom: 4% !important;padding-left: 4% !important;}”]We are well and truly into the digital age. It has never been easier to get your hands on new technology and to it use all day, every day. This is true for our children as well as for us. Many of us wake up, stretch for the bedside table, grab our phones and voila, we’re into the system and a range of social media accounts, messages and connections. Yet with any new age there are challenges and areas that we should be aware of and plan for. In order to tackle this digital age of technology as a parent, it is best to know the lay of the land, what apps are trending for kids, what they do, who can access them and ways to help keep our children safe. Here are some tips on how to approach the digital age well.

1 Access

It is best to have a passcode on all the devices in your household. Having a passcode that only you and/or your partner know will ensure that you have ultimate control over accessing the devices. You will be able to check what sites and apps your child is accessing and respond accordingly.

2 Moderation Is Key

It can be so attractive as a parent to use technology as a way to manage our children’s behaviour. While a little bit of screen time is ok, too much can cause serious development issues in a child’s brain in the long run. Scientists and academics are now starting to see worrying trends from studies started a decade or so ago when it comes to children, screen time and the long term consequences. What we are seeing is that large amounts of physical activity outside, healthy social interactions and a nutritious meal plan are key to the healthy development of children. Screen time can be used as a vehicle of reward and learning (there are some great educational apps out there) but they should not be relied on heavily or take the place of outside and social play.

3 Use Child Safety Software And Options

Most software developers from Mac to Windows have child safety options installed ready on the devices they produce and there are many free and yearly payment software packages available. Make sure you take the time to figure out how to use them best for your situation. Many of the features are useful to keeping children safe such as preventing access to inappropriate sites or apps where they can talk to strangers.

4 Your Children Accessing Your Content

While we may not give a second thought to the content we watch, remember that when sharing your device with your child, either in the car so they can play a game or letting them use your computer for their homework, likely as not they will be able to access your content. Many of us have become obsessed with The Walking Dead or Game Of Thrones yet we should thoughtfully consider if we want our children stumbling onto our Netflix account and starting one of those episodes.

5 Social Media

Be very aware that most social media platforms allow anyone and everyone to sign up without in-depth verification processes. If you allow your child to open an account be aware that almost anyone can contact them. Be sure to sit down with your child and address some of your concerns and expectations for how you expect them to use the platform. A tip would be to give them advice about how to respond to someone they don’t know, i.e. tell you and ask for your opinion. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Paving The Way To Healthy Eating Habits

[vc_row type=”full_width_background” full_screen_row_position=”middle” bg_color=”#ffffff” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” bottom_padding=”10%” overlay_strength=”1″ shape_divider_position=”bottom”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_row_inner column_margin=”default” text_align=”left”][vc_column_inner enable_animation=”true” animation=”fade-in-from-bottom” column_padding=”padding-3-percent” column_padding_position=”top-bottom” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner enable_animation=”true” animation=”fade-in-from-bottom” column_padding=”padding-3-percent” column_padding_position=”top-bottom” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”10/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” delay=”100″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1532658184784{padding-top: 4% !important;padding-right: 4% !important;padding-bottom: 4% !important;padding-left: 4% !important;}”]Sometimes it can seem like an uphill battle trying to make healthy eating the norm. We can sometimes swing so far in that direction that the pressure to always abide by an absolute code is more than we can bear and we crumble! Or we can not pay enough attention to what we eat on a daily basis and bad habits can creep in. The middle ground, which is usually the hardest to come, Murphy’s law right, is to try to make healthy eating accessible, practical and usual for your family. Here are some tips to get that balance just right.  

APPEALING

Now, unfortunately the oldest trick in the book for smooth mealtimes and healthy is the most cliche. To encourage healthy habits is to make the food you’re serving and eating appealing. Regardless of age, from adults, to babies and everything in between, if the food is appealing, getting everybody to eat and finish what is on their plate is a billion times easier. If the eater desires the food a muchos amount, down the hatch it goes. The thrilling challenge ahead of us to make healthy and nutritious choices appealing to our little ones (and maybe even to ourselves).

THE GRAND PICTURE

Try and focus on your families overall diet rather than particular ingredients. So for example, attempt to avoid processed food and opt for a range of vegetables, fruit and meats. The less processed the food, the better, for the body, the mind and overall health. Instead of structuring the meal around particular ingredients, like always having broccoli but coupling it with a creamy sauce from a bottle, approach the meal from the overall perspective of, ‘how can I create a yummy meal with as natural a range of ingredients as possible?’.

BE THE HERO

As parents, how good are the moments when our kids say ‘you’re my hero’ !? They are like beacons of light through the dark times for sure. Well, when it comes to food, it’s no different. It is incredibly difficult for a child to start seeing and enjoying healthy eating as a viable and exciting way of doing life, if we as parents are chowing down on potato chips and sugary fizzy drinks. We have to lead by example.

THERE IS A WAY TO CHEAT, HEALTHILY.

No one in their right minds would expect us to, without help, make a bunch of broccoli as appealing as a pizza, we’re parents, not sorcerers. Disguising healthy food with the help of a variety of forms can aid in the endeavour to make healthy food the norm. Pop a heap of veggies into a beef stew, use chicken stock (you can purchase reduced salt options) for a delicious soup filled with carrots, turnips, egg noodles, chicken and garlic. Feel free to use every spice under the sun to help give the meals you prepare that are sensational to the nose, palate and tum.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Cherishing Moments

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Lasting Moments: The heartbreaking reality of childhood dementia

Meet two families dealing with Batten disease,
an incurable form of childhood dementia.

Posted by The Feed SBS VICELAND on Tuesday, 24 July 2018

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”full_width_background” full_screen_row_position=”middle” bg_color=”#ffffff” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” bottom_padding=”10%” overlay_strength=”1″ shape_divider_position=”bottom”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_row_inner column_margin=”default” text_align=”left”][vc_column_inner enable_animation=”true” animation=”fade-in-from-bottom” column_padding=”padding-3-percent” column_padding_position=”top-bottom” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner enable_animation=”true” animation=”fade-in-from-bottom” column_padding=”padding-3-percent” column_padding_position=”top-bottom” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”10/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” delay=”100″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1532659030202{padding-top: 4% !important;padding-right: 4% !important;padding-bottom: 4% !important;padding-left: 4% !important;}”]Dementia is mostly associated with the elderly but there is a condition called juvenile Batten’s Disease that can occur in early childhood. This condition is a really tough situation for kids and parents to deal with. It usually means significantly shorter life spans and difficulty with movement, speech and cognitive thought from an early age. The video gives a poignant and moving glimpse into how two families are dealing with the diagnosis within their family and in their children.

FAMILY

Both the Mickler and Cartwright families bravely give us an insight into what it is like to family, live and love with a child that has significant needs. From doing the daily tasks such as getting dressed, enjoying sports and loving each other, the short clip displays the possibilities and hope when a family bands together. The Cartwright’s speak of being a great team and it is evident to see the depth of affection and care that is shared within their family.

SUPPORT

Importantly, information and awareness of disability and the needs that come along with it are vital for how we view policy, medical care and support in Australia. Through being aware of the different challenges faced by families around our nation, we are able to partner with them in thought, understanding and with our calls for action and support. Whether your child has a disability or not, to be leaning into collaboration when it comes to looking after our kids will certainly bode well for our children and nation at large.

COMMUNITY

We at KidNest are about community. Community is front and centre in our philosophy of child care, logistical management and vision for the future. We want to facilitate community through our app, to create the village that we all need in raising our children. Families in banding together can create community that strengthens, guides and brings about hope.

INSPIRATION AND REALITY

The Mickler and Cartwright family beautifully display through their vulnerably that while raising children with disabilities is tough there is the reality of laughter, love and joy. There are challenges that you don’t think you can overcome but they inspirationally champion that joy can be had. Their story calls us to acknowledge the significant challenges that come with the journey of parenting children with special needs but they rewrite the script on how they are defined. They are family. They are a team. There are bad days but there are also good days. And there are precious moments that will continue to endure.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Weekend Fun In The Sun

[vc_row type=”full_width_background” full_screen_row_position=”middle” bg_color=”#ffffff” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” bottom_padding=”10%” overlay_strength=”1″ shape_divider_position=”bottom”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_row_inner column_margin=”default” text_align=”left”][vc_column_inner enable_animation=”true” animation=”fade-in-from-bottom” column_padding=”padding-3-percent” column_padding_position=”top-bottom” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner enable_animation=”true” animation=”fade-in-from-bottom” column_padding=”padding-3-percent” column_padding_position=”top-bottom” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”10/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” delay=”100″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1532657521115{padding-top: 4% !important;padding-right: 4% !important;padding-bottom: 4% !important;padding-left: 4% !important;}”]Sometimes it’s hard to muster up the energy to go outside, we so, so get it. Yet the benefits of having a little run around outside far outweigh the bliss (we know) of staying indoors and binging on the latest Netflix show you’ve come to love! Here are some easy ways to encourage yourself and your kids to nip out for a bit and get the heart pumping, all the bright eyes and bushy tails!

1 Soccer Fun

Grab a soccer ball and head out to your local park. If you don’t have one, Kmart, Big W and most of the big chains have sports sections where you can get your hands on a host of sporting goods, from soccer balls to nets and hockey sticks. Affordable and relatively long lasting, investing in a sports ball can have great effects for you and your family down the track. Once you’ve got your soccer ball, make it a habit of heading out on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, with the whole family to the park to have a kick around and general frolic in the sun. Working on ball handling helps kids (and maybe us adults, ha!) develop fine motor skills, develop sports muscle memory and helps everyone stay a healthy weight and wellness.

2 Cycling Times

While bicycles may be a little bit more expensive they can provide for hours of leisurely (or more paced if your little one has the need for speed) entertainment for the whole family. Thankfully as more and more cycle ways are put into our cities, the opportunities for safe cycling with the family is becoming a more accessible reality. A trick is to go onto your local municipalities website and look up the safe cycle ways they suggest for families. With either a child carrier on the back of your bike or your little ones on bikes of their own, pack a picnic and head out for a few hours of cycling fun.

3 Drawing Outside

Regardless of your skill as an artist, get some canvasses, pencils, pencils and arts and crafts supplies and head out to your favourite beautiful spot. Spend some time sketching the outline of the scene you want to recreate and build your layers according to your gut or skill. A way to encourage kids to explore their visual creativity is to encourage them to just have a go, it doesn’t have to be perfect or specific, the process of creating can be just as rewarding as the final product. Through being outside, using tools and resources, outdoor creativity can develop fine motor skills, ignite the creative side of the brain, along with points of emotion, connectivity and imagination. An environment of relaxed focus may also allow you to have some precious conversations with your little ones and to uncover more of their unique personalities and selves. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Weekend Wonder

[vc_row type=”full_width_background” full_screen_row_position=”middle” bg_color=”#ffffff” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” bottom_padding=”10%” overlay_strength=”1″ shape_divider_position=”bottom”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_row_inner column_margin=”default” text_align=”left”][vc_column_inner enable_animation=”true” animation=”fade-in-from-bottom” column_padding=”padding-3-percent” column_padding_position=”top-bottom” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner enable_animation=”true” animation=”fade-in-from-bottom” column_padding=”padding-3-percent” column_padding_position=”top-bottom” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”10/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” delay=”100″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1532657293142{padding-top: 4% !important;padding-right: 4% !important;padding-bottom: 4% !important;padding-left: 4% !important;}”]Sometimes it can be all about just getting through to the weekend. Monday is the first hurdle, looming large and unapologetic, Tuesday is little better and we keep going until that glorious day Friday, when we just have to get through lunch and then maybe snooze until home time.

The week with all its incessant demands like school lunches (that must be super duper healthy), remembering to pack sports uniforms on the days that sport is on (Monday and Wednesday, Mum! It changes every odd week! It’s not Tuesday and Friday anymore!) brushing hair, it’s a miracle we remember to brush our teeth let alone our hair. Yes, sometimes it’s all about getting to the weekend but what happens when we get there? Often times we can be so consumed by getting to the weekend we don’t know how to use it well. Here are some tips and tricks to making the most of your weekend.

  1. Prepare Early

Around about the Tuesday mark, start doing some soul searching and family sleuthing. What have you been craving? What have the kidlets been interested in or non-stop talking about this week? Has your youngest started to become obsessed with giraffes and monkeys? Is it all about meerkats and marsupials? Maybe a trip to the zoo would do everyone some good and allow you to let your inner monkey out. Have you been craving to get out of the city and swan about through some delicious countryside? Hope on to google on your lunch break and see which regional towns you could get to over the weekend. Book a quaint bed and breakfast and have yourself an escape to the country. Trips don’t have to be far and they don’t have to be long. With a little research and planning, weekends can be great little get-a-ways.

  1. Home Time Shenanigans With Forts

Get as much linen from around the house as you can. Take a trip to Kmart and buy a few of the stick on hooks that can be easily removed after using them. Put all of the linen ‘resources’ into one big pile and then call the family over. A tip is to put your eldest in charge to allow them the opportunity to engage with and figure out their leadership style. Then, it’s fort time. You can split your family into teams or all work together to create the most epic fort possible! Be sure to have a few packets of ready-to-pop popcorn in the cupboard, along with any other foodstuffs you think would go great in a fort and then have a picnic in your newly created oasis!

  1. Getting Active

It is hard to get the ol’ bod out of bed on the weekend but researchers and scientists say that a little bit of movement and exercise has great effects down the track (daily and in terms of a lifetime). Head to your local park and kick or throw a ball around with your brood. A great way to get yourself (let’s be honest, we need the incentive too) and your little ones out of bed it to treat the family to a cafe breakfast after the morning family walk and run around. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]