Tag: Child Psychology

Generalised Anxiety Disorder

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Children with Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) experience high levels of anxiety and worry about a number of events or activities, and find it difficult to control these worries.  They may worry about as punctuality, school performance or catastrophic events such as earthquakes. The intensity, duration or frequency of the child’s worries is far out of proportion to the actual likelihood of what they fear.  In addition to their worries, these children often experience restlessness, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension and disturbed sleep. Children with GAD typically seek approval excessively and require constant reassurance about their performance and their other worries.

What should I look for?

  • Does your child have excessive anxiety or worry about a number of events or activities?
  • Does your child find it difficult to control their worries?
  • Does your child appear restless or ‘on edge’?
  • Is your child easily fatigued?
  • Does your child have difficulty concentrating?
  • Does your child appear irritable?
  • Does your child appear tense?
  • Does your child have difficulty falling or staying asleep?
  • Does your child have restless and unsatisfying sleep?

Recommended Resources:

The Quirky Kid Shoppe has select useful resources for parenting and children experiencing Separation Anxiety and others forms of Anxiety.

Recommended Resources for Anxiety

How can the Quirky Kid Clinic help your child?

The Quirky Kid Clinic is a unique place for children and adolescents aged 2-18 years. We work from the child’s perspective to help them find their own solutions.  If you suspect your child may be experiencing symptoms of Generalised Anxiety Disorder you might consider one of the following options:


American Psychiatric Association:Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision. Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Association, 2000.


Children and Money

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Giving children pocket money is an important way to teach children about money and how to manage it. Furthermore, it helps children develop independence and attitudes towards both saving and spending money.

When to introduce pocket money and how much to give:

  • While there is no right or wrong time to start giving your child pocket money, most Australian children are usually given pocket money from the age of six.
  • Research has also determined that on average, children between six and ten receive an ‘income’ of $20-25 per month.
  • It is important for parents to consider an amount that they themselves are comfortable with. Factors to consider when choosing this amount should be based upon the family’s financial situation, and the child’s spending needs.

Important concepts for parents to teach children:

  • the value of money: the relative price of things
  • spending: accepting that money is gone once it’s spent
  • earning: understanding that earning money can be hard work, but usually that’s the only way to get it
  • saving: using short-term and long-term goals
  • borrowing: understanding the importance of repaying borrowed money.

Tips for Parents:

  • Let your children make mistakes when it comes to saving and spending their money.
  • You may want to restrict your child from spending their money inappropriately, for example, on excessive amounts of junk food, or on dangerous toys/items.
  • Children often mimic the spending and saving habits of their parents.  Parents can teach their children such habits by modelling appropriate spending and saving techniques, and by discussing their methods with their child.
  • It is also recommended that parents pay their children on a set day in order to develop a routine. This means trying to avoid giving your child advanced payments or supplementing their usual budget with additional funds.
  • Some parents choose to link daily chores or additional chores with pocket money, while others view family contributions and pocket money as separate issues.  There is no set rule when it comes to handling this, so each family must determine what is best for them.

*Information for this article was gathered from the Raising Children Network  and Kids Money and Kimberley O’Brien


Smacking and Children


Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

The issue surrounding parents, children, and the use of corporal punishment is one that is currently of extreme importance. Here, find the information on the consequences of smacking children, and positive alternative methods of discipline.

Is Smacking Children ever OK?

Smacking children is never ok for a number of reasons. Firstly, smacking children is a form of abuse that is punishable by law. Children have the right to feel safe and protected, and therefore should not be subjected to violent treatment. In addition, children tend to mimic the actions and behavior of adults. Children who are subjected to violence often lash out in violent ways themselves.

Consequences associated with smacking children:

  • can result in trauma and extensive harm to the child;
  • can lead to the destruction of trusted relationships;
  • poor self-esteem;
  • learning difficulties;
  • behavioral problems;

Where parents can go to get help:

By seeking support and attempting to learn new methods to better discipline children, parents are taking a critically important step. They can seek various forms of support including:

  • practical and personal  suppor, information based support
  • enroll in classes- i.e. anger management, parent training classes

Alternative methods of discipline:

Parents can discipline their children in a number of ways without ever resorting to hitting or smacking. When parents are upset they should:

  • take time to cool down before disciplining a child
  • explain the reasons behind their actions to the child
  • focus on encouraging verbal communication and interaction
  • explain how to prevent future occurrences to the child
  • be sure to remain both empathetic and patient when disciplining the child

The Quirky Kid clinic offers consultation, parenting training and our popular workshop, Raised on Praise.

Raising Children Network , and  Kimberley O’Brien, Child Psychologist


Children and the Media

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

In today’s society children are becoming more connected to the media than ever before. With so many entertainment mediums available, children are continuously being bombarded with both advertisements and messages, some of which are positive, however many of which are negative. Many of these messages have led children to wrongly believe that being rich, famous and beautiful is most important. Find out more about how the media influences children below.

In order to help combat the negative effects of the media, parents can help their children in a number of ways:

  • Talk to your children about what they see on the computer or television. By encouraging them to think critically and be skeptical about what they see, they may become more inclined to think critically about other aspects of their lives in the future.
  • Resist putting a computer or television in your child’s bedroom. Instead, place such items in more public areas of your home. This way, your child will not watch indiscriminately, and you will know exactly what is being watched.
  • Ask your children to tell you what they like best about the people in their lives. By having your children make a list of these qualities, you can compare them to the most commonly liked qualities of celebrities (e.g. rich, famous), and demonstrate that most people are not liked purely for superficial reasons.
  • Make sure you remain informed about the types of media that your children are viewing. By staying current, you will be able to have intelligent conversations with your children about the messages and content that they are being exposed to.
  • Use one of our resources to create a positive home and environment where conversation and communication is nurtured. The Tell me story cards are the perfect conversation starter.

Divorce and Children @ Sunrise

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Kimberley discussed the impact of divorce on children with presenters of the Sunrise host on Channel 7. You can find out more about the problems associated with separation and divorce  and strategies to better deal with it by visiting our resources page or discussing it on our forum.

The full interview is available below:

If you have a story and would like to discuss it with us, please schedule a time. Kimberley O’Brien enjoys sharing the best of her therapeutic moments with the media.

Visit our website for more information about our quirky kid clinic. For enjoying unbelievable offers and discounts on our therapeutic resources, visit our shop page.