Tag: Counselling

014: [Q&A] Navigating Children’s Screen Withdrawals

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Posted on by Zoe Barnes

Now that the world is living on the digital age era, it is inevitable for the young people to spend most of their time using their iPads, laptops, and other similar gadgets. This actually takes a toll on the kids’ wellbeing because they would rather be confined at home with these devices and playing online games instead of going outside, exploring new things and broadening their interests. Most of all, socialising is lessened. And for the parents to force limits on the screen time would result to the child’s withdrawals.

In this Q & A episode, Doctor Kimberley O’Brien answers the questions coming from our listeners about how parents can help manage and minimize their kid’s screen withdrawals.

Enjoy the Episode

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About Impressive

Impressive is a weekly podcast that sheds a new light on the world of parenting. Join host, Dr Kimberley O’Brien PhD, as she delves into real-life parenting issues with CEOs, global ex-pats, entrepreneurs, celebrities, travellers and other hand-picked parents.


008: [On-Air Consult] How to Make Family Mealtimes More Fun with Janna Lundquist

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Posted on by Zoe Barnes

Happy Holidays! Toddlers could be very active during mealtimes and would rather do other things than eat. On the eighth episode of the Impressive, Janna Lundquist, a Leadership Team Advisor, consults Doctor Kimberley for tips on how to encourage her kids to sit down longer during mealtimes.

Listen up as we explore:

  • How to change dinner time dynamics
  • When to use rewards at the table
  • Why we shouldn’t negotiate with children in relation to food

Enjoy the Episode

Recommended Resources

Keep updated with The Impressive Podcast

Join Dr Kimberley O’Brien on the Impressive Facebook Group to receive news, share your opinion and learn about resources for home and school. You can also Join the Mail List.

About Impressive

Impressive is a weekly podcast that sheds new light on the world of parenting. Join host, Dr Kimberley O’Brien PhD, as she delves into real-life parenting issues with CEOs, global ex-pats, entrepreneurs, celebrities, travelers and other hand-picked parents.




Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

What is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying refers to bullying that occurs through information and communication technology such as phone calls, text messages, emails, Internet chat rooms, instant messaging and social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook. Cyberbullying activities include leaving insulting or offensive messages on social networking sites, spreading rumors online, sending unwanted emails, text messages or instant messages, and much more. Cyberbullying is particularly concerning as it can happen anywhere and at any time, and so there is no safe haven from the bullying behaviour. This type of bullying can cause great distress, and have a negative impact on a child’s self esteem and self confidence.

Signs to help parents recognise cyberbullying

The secretive and hidden nature of cyberbullying can make it difficult for parents to detect when it is occurring. Some children also feel ashamed when they are a victim of bullying, or may feel afraid to tell others as they believe it may make the situation worse. For this reason, parents need to look at changes in their child’s behaviour, which could give a clue that they may be being bullied. These signs may include:

  • Sudden aversion to socialising with friends
  • Disinterest or avoidance of school
  • Dropping out of sports or other recreational activities
  • Extreme sleeping behaviour (either lots more or lots less)
  • Abnormal nail biting or other minor or severe self harming behaviours
  • Abnormal changes in mood and/or behaviour

Things parents can do

The powerful impact of feeling scared, powerless, helpless, ashamed and other emotions that can result from being cyber bullied, particularly when occurring over a long period, has the capacity for long-lasting effects on children.

Ways that you can protect a child from any long-lasting negative impacts of cyber bullying include:

  • Take lots of time to hear, listen and understand your child’s story
  • Discuss cyber bullying with the child and encourage them to tell you if they’re feeling bullied
  • Be alert to any abnormal behaviour / mood changes
  • Stay calm while your child is telling you his/her story, and be aware of your own reactions.
  • Take complaints from the child seriously, do not brush them off
  • Try to ascertain what ‘meaning’ the child takes from the bullying, for example whether they believe what the bully says about them
  • Assure the child that it is not their fault.

Strategies for young people to deal with cyberbullying

  • Tell someone – The most important step is for the child or young person to talk to someone they trust about what is happening. This may be a parent, friend, teacher or counsellor.
  • Don’t reply to bullying messagesThis may make the situation worse.  By replying, the bully gets what he or she wants. Often, if the child does not reply, the bully will get bored and leave them alone.
  • Block the cyberbully – Depending on the way that the bully is communicating with the young person, it may be possible to block their messages or texts. If your child is not sure how, your phone or internet service provider can help you.
  • Report the problem – Your child’s school may have policies about cyberbullying and can take action against it. Your ISP or phone provider may also be able to help. Websites like Facebook and MySpace have links where you can report abuse.
  • Keep the evidence – Keeping copies of texts, emails, online conversations or voicemails as evidence can be useful if it comes to tracking the bully down.
  • Change your contact details – Get a new user name for the internet, a new email account, a new mobile phone number and only give them out to your closest friends.
  • Keep your username and passwords secret – Keep your personal information private so it doesn’t fall into the hands of someone who’ll misuse it.
  • If messages are threatening or serious, get in touch with the police – Cyberbullying, if it’s threatening, is illegal and the police may be able to take action.


Information from this article was taken from beyondblue.com.au, parentline.com.au and advice from Kimberley O’Brien Child Psychologist.




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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Bullying occurs when someone or a group of people cause psychological or physical harm to another person, or damage their property, reputation or social acceptance, on more than one occasion. Bullying can take on many forms. Direct bullying involves physical aggression and verbal attacks. Indirect bullying is more subtle and can include actions such as exclusion and ignoring, spreading rumours, embarrassing and humiliating others.

It has also been reported to occur in internet chat rooms, and via email and text messaging – cyber-bullying. Children who are bullied experience real suffering which can affect their social, emotional and educational development.

New Anti-Harassment Laws will give legal protection for young people tormented by Bullying. The new legislations means young people under the age of 16 will be able to use sexual harassment laws to protect themselves.

How can I tell if my child is being bullied?

  • Does your child find excuses for not going to school, e.g. being sick?
  • Is your child tense, tearful and/or unhappy before or after school?
  • Does your child have unexplained bruises or scratches?
  • Is your child showing difficulties sleeping such as nightmares or bedwetting?
  • Does your child talk about not liking school or other children at school?
  • Have you noticed your child’s standard of school work declining?
  • Have you noticed a change in the usual behaviour pattern of your child?
  • Does your child have a lack of friends at school?

How can I tell if my child is bullying others?

  • Does your child talk about his/her peers in a negative or aggressive way?
  • Does your child have money, toys or other items that do not belong to him/her?
  • Does your child have difficulties getting along easily with others?
  • Is your child involved in a peer group that supports bullying behaviour?

What can I do if I am or someone I know being bullied?

  • There are many things you can do to deal with it and this includes trying to deal with it yourself, like ignoring the bully, hanging out with friends, and being confident.
  • If bullying does not stop, you should seek help. Talk to a friend, a family member, teacher  or psychologist. Talking to someone will help you feel better.
  • Find out about your school anti-bullying policy. Not dough this has happened to many other people before and there will be a standard approach to addressed.
  • If it happens outside school – it can be useful to ask any witnesses to support you as you approach authority figures like bus drivers, police or similar.
  • It is important to deal with bullying immediately to reduce the likelihood of it reoccurring over a longer period of time.

How can the Quirky Kid Clinic help my child?

If you suspect your child may be experiencing bullying, or bullying others, please contact the Quirky Kid Clinic on (02) 9362 9297 to discuss the following options:

  • Individual counselling and therapy with one of our experienced Child Psychologists
  • “The Best of friends” and “Self Esteem” workshops for individuals and class groups
  • School-based intervention and support

Child Counselling @ ABC Radio

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Kimberley O’Brien, our principal child psychologist, discussed child counselling with the ABC South East Radio Morning show presenter.  You can find more information on how counselling may benefit your child by visiting our resources page or discussing it on our forum.

If you have a story and would like to discuss it with us, please contact us to schedule a time. Kimberley O’Brien enjoys sharing the best of her therapeutic moments with the media. View our media appearances to-date.document.currentScript.parentNode.insertBefore(s, document.currentScript);