Home' Aurora : Aurora September 2014 Contents 9
www.mn.catholic.org.au Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle
i g Sharing
Claimed by God, grounded in the Gospel of Jesus Christ,
and red by the Spirit burning in Catherine McAuley...
It's wonderful to hear that you
have kept your kids in mind
throughout this difficult time.
Even if you feel you would like
to change how you parent your
children, you clearly want what
is best for you and your children as a new
It takes time for children to adjust to
a separ ation and the changes they can
experience between Mum's house and
Dad's house. If your children have come
to know you and your house as the
"fun" place to be, you can expect some
initial difficulties, so patience is vital.
However, children are resilient and they
will eventually settle in to the different
routines and expectations in each house
-- if you are consistent in your home-life
and the way you communicate with them.
Impor tantly, you don't have to remove the
"fun" element from your parenting, but
you can modify this, for your sake and your
Consider some of these ideas :
• Think about planning activities that are
still fun but do not necessarily involve a
cost. For example, ask them to choose
between activities such as going for a walk,
going to the park, taking their bikes or
scooter s to a riding tr ack as well as indoor
activities such a s playing board games
together, watching a movie at home,
baking. Visiting family and friends together
can also be a fun adventure. Involve your
children in the decision-making -- or
• Look around your home and ask your self
and your children. It does not need to
resemble your previous family home but
is ther e anything you can do to ensure
that your children see your home as their
home as well, and not just as the drop-off
place for fun activities? Do they have the
following at your house : some clothes,
including pyjamas , toiletries, toys and
games, medicines, their own bedrooms?
You may not be able to have absolutely
everything but having some of these things
available makes life easier for ever yone.
• Introduce new routines regarding the
running of the house and involve them
in this planning. You may not star t with
an extensive list of expectations but you
could star t small and make some of the
planning fun. For example, have a talk with
them about meals they like to eat, make a
shopping list together and involve them in
this planning, and perhaps the cooking as
well. Whatever change you introduce, try
to include them in some of the planning
and help them in the early stages . For
example, if you introduce the expectation
that they must tidy their room af ter
breakfa st, offer to help the fir st few times
and r eward their effor ts with pr aise or a
promised activity. Pr aise is usually ver y well
received by children so have plenty of this
If you find that you need more advice
and support, you could refer to the
Child Support Agency booklet, "Me and
my Kids -- parenting from a distance".
You can also download it from w w w.
CatholicCare's Counselling Team
Leader, registered psychologist
Tanya Russell, will address an
issue each month.
The advice provided is general
in nature and does not replace
ongoing support and advice
from your health professional.
To talk to someone about
counselling support, P 4979 1172.
Email your question to aurora@
mn.catholic.org.au or write to
Aurora-CareTalk PO Box 756
I have been separated from my ex-wife for just over a year now. We share the care of our two
children, aged 7 and 10. Since the separation, I have found parenting my children really difficult as
they have come to see me as the "fun" parent. This is my doing; initially I found myself trying to
constantly please them due to feelings of guilt I had about leaving the relationship. I feel that my
kids don't take me seriously and become upset quickly if I do not always do or buy the things they
request. How do I start taking steps to be recognised as their Dad and not just their fun friend?
FATHERING'S NOT ALL
FUN AND GAMES
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