Tag: Responsability

Childhood Independence

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

It is often said that children seem to be growing up quicker than ever before. In light of this phenomenon, parents can feel both confused and conflicted when it comes to their child’s independence. They wonder at what ages certain events should be permissible, and how much freedom is appropriate. We have prepared some useful information below as well as a video from one of Kimberley’s appearances on the Today Show

When Should my Child be Able to:

  • Sleep at a Friends House (7+): Sleepovers should only be encouraged if children are in a good night time routine at home. It’s also important for both sets of parents to meet and establish certain ground rules before a sleepover, so that you can be sure that your child is going to be both comfortable and safe in these new surroundings. There is often at least a six-month build up to a sleep over both for the child and the parents. While going to a birthday could be at the start of a friendship, a sleep over is often a step up from that.
  • Go out Unchaperoned (14+): That first trip to the movies without Mum or Dad is now almost a rite of passage for children.  On average, children between the ages of 13 to 16 are allowed to go out to a public place, only if they are being dropped off and then picked up. After that, daytime trips to the shops or movies where they make their own way there by themselves, is often determined on the basis of whether it feels safe and reasonable for all family members.
  • Get their own Mobile (16+): Parents are not encouraged to purchase a mobile phone for their child under the age of 16. It is important that children are made aware that phones are expensive, and it is recommended that they have a part time job to contribute to the cost of their mobile. This way, children are able to learn the value of money and develop a sense of responsibility.
  • Have their own Email (16+): There can be a lot of pressure for parents to give in and allow their children to have their own email account. However, all the media attention that has been given to internet predators isn’t just hype. Experts recommend that children be carefully monitored on the internet up until the age of 16. A good idea is for you to have a shared family account that your children can email their friends from. That way, parents can control the situation and know exactly who their child is communicating with. Installing a ‘Net Nanny’ type device (that blocks certain websites) is also essential if your children are going to be surfing the net.
  • Wear Make-up (depends on the occasion): While most parents would agree that wearing a dusting of sparkly eye shadow to a fairy-themed birthday party is perfectly acceptable, plastering on a full face of make-up is an entirely different matter. Also, while make-up may be okay for special celebrations, wearing make-up everyday shouldn’t be allowed while children are still at school.

In general:

Although children need not be given full independence, despite their clear desire at times, it is recommended that children are consulted on major issues that effect their lives. While it is ultimately the parents’ decision, asking your children to give their opinion, helps them feel that their views are valued. This often helps make children feel more comfortable in novel situations. For example, kids may feel less apprehensive about starting a new school if they help choose which school they would be attending.

Parents should become familiar with the Convention on the Rights of the Child available at:  http://www.unicef.org/crc/

If you would like some assistance in establishing independence with your child, please contact us. Some of our resources are very useful for establishing good communication with your child. You can purchase them at our online shop

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Information for this fact sheet was sourced from Kimberley O’Brien, Child Psychologist, and the Raising Children Network

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Children’s Pocket Money @ Sun Herald

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Kimberley discussed children’s pocket money and associated responsibilities with Caroline Marcus from the Sun Herald. You can find more information about how much pocket money to give your children, and what they should be doing to earn it,  by visiting our resources page or discussing it on our forum.

The full article is available on the Sydney Morning Herald website.

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 here.

Children and Video Games

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Video games and young people are a common encounter. I remember my first game and how excited about it I was. Parents can learn more about video games and how it impacts on children’s lives by reading this brief fact sheet.

What are video games?

Video games are electronic, interactive games that come in many forms: CDs, DVDs, internet downloads and online games. They can be played on a personal home computer (PC), television or portable hand-held device.

Is it ok if my child plays video games?

The safest way for your child to play video games is when you play together. This will ensure that they are learning from the game, and also give you quality time to have fun together. Here are some ideas to keep in mind when playing video games with your child:

  • Set a limit of one hour per day maximum. This will ensure there is still time in the day for other physical and creative activities. Video games are also an effective reward for homework completion.
  • Ask your child how the game works – this is the best way to engage in what your child is learning. You can also use this information to pick up on what your child is currently interested in, and broaden their knowledge of the topic through other means such as books and movies.
  • Choose games that have learning value and portray positive messages. Ideally, games for kids should explore real activities, provide opportunities to take turns and play as a team, and involve decision making process to promote control and independence.

Benefits of video games

Video games can have benefits, but these are dependent on the content of the game, time spent playing the game and whether the game involves group play.

  • Developmental benefits: hand/eye co-ordination, decision making and problem solving skills, multitasking and improved self esteem through mastery of the game.
  • Social benefits: Learning to take turns, be part of a team and a sense of fairness.
  • Educational benefits: Assist memory and processing speed skills, can incorporate curriculum-based material.

Problems with playing video games

Most risks associated with game playing come from prolonged use. Therefore, moderation of your child’s game playing is the key. Unregulated gaming may have the following effects::

  • Obsessive behaviour
  • Reduced capacity for empathy
  • Increased antisocial tendencies
  • Lack of physical exercise and associated health effects.
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Teenage Tattoos @ 9 msn

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Kimberley discussed the impact of teenage tattoos  with the reporters Jay Savage from Nine msn News.  You can find out more information about tattoos, responsibility and adolescents parenting tips by visiting our resources page or discussing it on our forum.

The full interview is available on the Nine msn News website.

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.} else {