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Pages tagged "Parenting"

Separation Support Guide

When a relationship breaks down, this guide provides advice specific to the unique needs of LGBTQ+ families.


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Neurodiverse Families Group

A number of studies have shown that autistic people are significantly more likely than the general population to identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender diverse or queer. Therefore the intersection with Autism shapes the life experience of many LGBTQ+ people. 

Autism is a neurodevelopmental condition that is often misunderstood. Autism is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects how a person thinks, feels, interacts with others, and experiences their environment. People on the autism spectrum have a lot of strengths and often find richness in having an alternative perspective on life. Essentially, an Autistic person perceives, understands and communicates differently to non-Autistic people. For most, it means working harder to adapt to and function within a neurotypical world. Autistic people have a lot of strengths and often find richness in having an alternative perspective on life. 

As well as children being diagnosed with Autism, many people who did not have this available to them as children are now being diagnosed as adults. 

Autism sits under the neurodiversity umbrella along with ADHD, sensory processing disorder, dyslexia, dyspraxia and other conditions. Some people experience more than one of these conditions. 

Aspect has been involved in key LGBTQ+ events such as Mardi Gras and Wear it it Purple Day. We are keen to work with Aspect to make our events as inclusive and comfortable as possible for Autistic members of the community. Our events have been an important way for rainbow families to connect with each other. It is important for us to also explore other ways to support Autistic people to make connections with each other, and with the Rainbow Families community generally. 

Rainbow Families has started a new private Facebook group for neurodiverse families. It embraces neurodiversity more generally and extends to neurodiverse adults, parents of neurodiverse children and those who support them. We hope that it will grow into a safe, nurturing space to share experiences and make connections. 

Join the Facebook group here


5 ways to encourage positive mental health for your kids after separation

While separation or divorce can be a difficult period of change for all family members, children often have a particularly tough time adjusting. It’s natural to worry about how your new family situation will affect your kids, but don’t worry; there are many strategies you can implement to help them cope and to ensure that every family member emerges from this period of adjustment with a positive outlook.

Here are five ways you can build a positive, supportive relationship with your children while you’re undergoing this tough transition.


  1. Encourage supportive communication

Many children will have questions about their ever-evolving family situation, and the best way to show your support is to talk with them honestly and openly about what’s going on. Open communication can include regularly asking them how they’re feeling about specific situations, sharing some of your feelings with them, and making dedicated time and space for private conversations.

When you’re talking with your child about these matters, be aware of your body language. Try to stay relaxed, with an open stance (uncross your arms and legs), maintain natural eye contact to show you’re actively listening, and offer physically supportive gestures such as hugs and gentle hand holding where appropriate.


  1. Rely on routines

Routines can help provide some predictability when other aspects of your child’s life are a bit wonky, so try to maintain some of the activities that formed part of your everyday family life. Even though something as new and challenging as co-parenting might now be your reality, you can still create some sense of stability for your child.

Try a combination of old and new routines, such as family dinners on Wednesdays, school drop-offs by one parent in the morning or soccer practice pick-ups by the other parent. Unknowns and unpredictable situations can often create anxiety, so having a few things your child can rely on can help them to handle any feelings of distress.


  1. Be sensitive to their emotions

Children of all ages are constantly being challenged by new environments. The teen years can be difficult to navigate in general, with their many hormonal changes and mood swings. A separation or divorce can often intensify these feelings for your child, so it’s important to understand the range of emotions they can experience during this period, such as anger, sadness and even anxiety.

If they choose to reach out to you for help, try to be patient with them and sensitive to all of these reactions. Give them your full attention when talking with them, and make an effort to show them that you understand how hard it can be.


  1. Band together

Although you and your ex-partner are going through your own period of change, it’s important to try to band together to support your child. This shows your teen that although some things are changing, they can always rely on their parents, no matter what.

First, find some strategies that work for you and your ex to ensure you’re on the same page when dealing with your separation. Encourage and help your child to seek out and strengthen their support networks beyond you and your partner. You could also include siblings, extended family members, other trusted adults such as neighbours, or your teen’s role models (sports coaches, teachers and the like). If your teen is comfortable with it, involving their wider network can create more opportunities for support for your child.


  1. Don’t forget to focus on yourself

It’s normal to find this situation challenging for yourself, too. In order to support your family, you also have to remember to take care of yourself. Make time to recharge, both mentally and emotionally. Having a clear mind and healthy body will let you handle any stressful situations more calmly. You’ll be showing your teen your positive communication and coping skills and that you value wellbeing and health. You’ll be a stronger parent and family for it.

Helping kids to stay safe

A new initiative tailored for children living in Rainbow Families is keeping young people safe.

Developed by Prosper (Project Australia) and Rainbow Families, the newly launched program helps young people to understand safety, develop protective behaviours and navigate complex issues, such as anti-LGBTQ+ behaviour, risk taking and early warning signs.

Our focus on children and young people reflects their importance as future community leaders. The behaviours they learn now, the attitudes they pick up at home and at school will shape tomorrow’s world. We want children and young people living in Rainbow Families to identify themselves in the pages of our programming and understand the important role they have to play in preventing violence.

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Helping Hand Activity

This weeks home schooling activity is designed to get your children thinking about five adults they can call on for help if they need. 


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Child Protection Activities

Many of us are stuck at home at the moment and looking for activities to entertain our kids.

Rainbow Families is excited to have a number of activities over the coming weeks to entertain the kids, and at the same time teach families protective behaviour strategies. 

Starting with a set of colouring in activities.

These can be easily downloaded and printed at home. We suggest you talk with your children as they are working on the sheets about how their feelings matter, that their body belongs to them, and about that they don't have to keep secrets. 

Children and young people need ways to positively express their needs, worries and good things in their lives. These resources will assist them to develop the communication, networking and personal safety skills critical for their ongoing personal safety.
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Gayby Baby Home Schooling Kit

Many of us are home schooling our kids for the first time and looking for interesting ways to educate and entertain them. Our friends at Gayby Baby have made it simple for us to weave family diversity into our home school day, while increasing representation of diverse families and watch a movie with the kids.  

Gayby Baby’s educator’s resource is Australia’s first comprehensive education resource to represent LGBTIQA+ parented families. The School Action Toolkit is a Health and Physical Education / PDHPE (Y5–10) resource that explores family diversity in a fun and insightful way, using stories drawn from GAYBY BABY. 

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The triangle of balanced parenting

Guest blogger Rachel Matthews from Lotus Point talks about how we as parents can achieve balance in our lives


It is not selfish but necessary for you to be able to navigate the challenges of parenthood and keep your self-identity and mental health intact.  It is easy to begin to neglect our own needs whilst meeting the needs of your baby.  It starts with skipping your morning coffee or shower because the feed is due.

Daily self-care can be as simple as eating well, getting enough hydration and allowing yourself time to listen to some music instead of doing the washing up right now.

Taking a nap in the afternoon may sound luxurious, however it will allow you some extra fuel in the tank and patience to help you navigate what can be the most challenging time of the day with a baby… the dreaded bedtime routine.

Daily practices of yoga, meditation or exercise are essential for you to keep in touch with what your body needs whilst practicing calm and centred mindfulness.  When faced with the chaos of having a newborn, it helps to be able to start the day with the least amount of stress possible.

Is there a chance that prior to bringing your baby home you may have been working fulltime?  Often when this is the case, we have been putting off things like going to the physio, chiropractor or dentist because we have been too busy.   

Use this time at home with your baby to tick off the list of appointments you may have been putting off and use this time to look after yourself as well as your new baby!



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LGBTIQA+ inclusive kids books

Sharing a book together with your loved ones is a special time, a great way to bond and create beautiful memories. Diverse books reflecting our community are becoming more common for a wide range of age groups.

We have compiled a list of book suggestions aimed at a mixture of aged groups from birth to late teens. You can Google the name and author to find out more about the book.

Perhaps you have discovered a great book and would like to recommend it to other families? Please let us know or post a book review in our Rainbow Families Community Group on Facebook.

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