Australian Capital Territory: helplines Parentline ACT (02) 6287 3833 , 9 am-5 pm Monday to Friday (except public holidays) New South Wales: helplines Parent Line NSW 1300 130 052 , 9 am-9 pm Monday to Friday, 4 pm-9 pm weekends Karitane Careline 1300 227 464 , 12.30 pm-9 pm Monday to Thursday, 9 am-3.
Category Grown ups
Step-parenting: the basics When you become a step-parent, it's normal to wonder whether you should act like a parent from the start, or take a wait-and-see approach. There's no one right way to be a step-parent . Over time you'll find a way of step-parenting that suits you and your family. Rewards of being a step-parent The rewards of being a step-parent can include the: opportunity to play a central role in a child's life pleasures and support of an extended family network opportunity for your children to develop strong relationships with stepsiblings and half-siblings opportunity for you to build a strong relationship with your partner and stepchildren.
Children in blended families: how they feel It's normal for children and young people living in blended families to have lots of different feelings , and to feel different things at different times. Excitement Your child might feel excited to be part of a family with two adults again. He might be looking forward to having new brothers and sisters.
Blended families and changing family relationships Relationships with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins often change after separation and divorce. For example, you might not continue to have contact with your former partner's family. And if you do have contact, it's natural for it to gradually reduce over the years.
Conflict management with your former partner: why it's important Conflict between you and your former partner - and how you deal with it - is one of the biggest things that affects your child's wellbeing. Conflict is a problem when parents fight a lot and don't resolve their differences. Unhealthy conflict affects children badly, whether parents are together or separated.
What is a divorce? A divorce is when a husband and wife decide that they don't want to be married to each other anymore. They sign legal papers that say they're no longer married and that they can marry other people if they want to. A divorce is a legal process that has to go through the court system.
Rules and boundaries in blended families: the basics Working out boundaries and setting up family rules can be tricky in any family. It can be more complicated in blended families because: the families coming together might have different ideas about rules and boundaries children and step-parents are still getting to know each other children and teenagers often don't like new step-parents telling them what to do children living in two different households might have two different sets of rules.
Am I a step-parent? According to the Family Law Act 1975, you're a step-parent if you: are not a biological parent of the child are or were married to, or a de facto partner of, one of the child's biological parents treat the child as a member of the family you formed with the biological parent, or did so while you were together.
About blended families Blended families come in all shapes and sizes. For example, you and your partner might both have children from a previous relationship, or one of you might be new to parenting. Your children might be of similar or very different ages. You might also have a child together. Where children live also varies across families.
Splitting property and other assets during divorce and separation If your relationship breaks down, you and your former partner will have to think about how to split up your property and other aspects of your finances like superannuation and debts. You also need to think about whether one of you should give ongoing financial support to the other.
About mental illness Mental illnesses are psychological and emotional disorders that affect the way people feel and behave. Mental illness includes conditions like antenatal and postnatal depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and schizophrenia. Some people experience mental illness for only a short time.
About IVF IVF is a way of bringing human eggs and sperm together outside the human body. The aim is to fertilise the eggs and create an embryo. IVF involves many steps, which take several weeks to complete. If you're interested in IVF, the first step is to talk with your GP , who can give you some basic information about it and refer you to a specialist.
Building a strong blended family: starting out It takes time to get used to living in a blended family or stepfamily. The first two years are about getting to know each other and building new family relationships, including your relationship with your partner. At the same time you and your partner are learning to work together to care for your children.
Children adjusting to separation and divorce Separation and divorce usually mean big changes for family life. Your child might feel upset when these changes happen. It's normal and OK for your child to feel upset, and it'll help him to know that this is a tough time for everyone. Talking with your child is one of the best ways to help him adjust to the changes in your family.
What is adoption? When you adopt a child, you become the child's legal parent and the child becomes a member of your family . Your adopted child has the same rights as any biological child - for example, she gets to take on your surname and she has the right to inherit your property. The child's biological parents and extended family give up all legal rights to and responsibilities for the child.
About problematic alcohol and other drug use Problematic drug use is when you've lost control over how much, how often, and when you use alcohol and other drugs . This includes prescription and illegal drugs. You might have a problem if your alcohol and other drug use is causing you to neglect your responsibilities, miss work or let others down.
Life in a same-sex family: a personal story Helen and Bernadette have two children - Madeleine, aged six, and Dominic, aged four. They live in a regional town in New South Wales. The children's donor father, Craig, lives in Sydney.* Helen 'We were in a relationship for several years and we both decided we wanted to have children.
What is foster care? Foster care is a type of out-of-home care for children who can't live with their own families. Foster carers are specially trained carers who take children into their own homes. Children go into foster care for many reasons. For example: There might be concerns that children's lives at home with their parents are unsafe or inadequate.
Blended families: key relationships There are several key relationships in a blended family. These are the relationships between: you and your partner you and your own children your partner and your children, and you and your partner's children your children and your partner's children all of you. You and your partner in a blended family Developing your relationship as a couple is fun, but living in a blended family can put extra pressure on your relationship.
Part-time parenting After separating from your partner, you might not see your child often - for example, one or two weekends a month or just in the school holidays. It can be hard to keep up a close relationship with your child when you don't see him often. You might feel that you're not involved in his everyday life, like tucking him in at night or meeting his friends.
About parenting with an intellectual disability or learning difficulty An intellectual disability is a problem with learning or understanding things, solving problems, concentrating and remembering. Having an intellectual disability doesn't mean you lack parenting skills or that you can't parent as well as other people.