As Presbyterian Support launches its second tier of the Guardian Angel campaign on TV nationwide, Robyn Corrigan, Professional Practice Leader for Family Works Northern, speaks out about what we can do this Christmas to avoid a rise in harm and family related violence.
Robyn, who trains all frontline staff in Family Works Northern in working with family violence, says this is a particularly tough time for families on the threshold of high stress and this season can be a breaking point for some unable to diffuse trouble brewing.
Some of the steps you can take to curb rising stress and keep kids safe:
1.Ask friends or family for help a listening ear always helps
2.Help out by offering parents/caregivers a break -even an hour or two can make a difference
3.Count to 10 backwards and/or take a deep breath it’s ok to put yourself in time out and calm down
4.Be Positive – Emphasise the good and reinforce the behaviour you want to see
5.Agree clear boundaries in advance , such as timeframes on outdoor night activity
6.Have food alongside alcoholic beverages and provide the choice of non-alcoholic drinks
7.If money/presents are scarce place emphasis on non- material parts of the season, like outside activities, music, arts & other creative or free pursuits (see Eventfinda for free events in your area)
8.Take time to enjoy your children play together, have fun and laugh
9.Remember that children are people too they respond well when they feel listened to, respected, admired and loved
10.Look after yourself find time for you and do something you enjoy to restock your energy.
There’s help available
If you’re worried about family violence, there are resources and organisations that can provide advice and support.
The Family Works Guardian Angel Campaign Background
The Guardian Angel campaign is an initiative from Presbyterian Support Family Works which aims to help Kiwi children in need in four main ways: