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Alleviating Festive Period stress on families with babies and toddlers

Posted by Kerrie Gottliebsen | 19/12/16

In 2016 thousands of families turned to Tweddle for help. We are honoured that parents place their trust in our team to provide support and education through challenging times. We are also grateful to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) for their continued support as this allows us to improve outcomes for vulnerable mums, dads, babies and toddlers through our Residential, PASDS and Day Stay programs.

We’re also grateful to The Collier Charitable Fund, Give Where You Live, State Trustees, William Angliss Foundation, The City of Wyndham, The Rotary Club of Footscray, the Flora and Frank Leith Charitable Trust and North Western Melbourne PHN for funding that allows us to deliver critical early intervention and prevention programs beyond our DHHS funding.

While many families are preparing for holidays and busy gatherings, it’s important to remember that challenges with parenting, mental health and family violence don’t go away over the festive period. In fact, stress and frustration can magnify existing problems.

The expense of buying gifts, financial and time pressures, isolation, family tensions, separation and divorce, bereavement, step-family challenges, or just reflecting on another year gone by can make for a time of significant anxiety.

Strategies to help reduce stress include having realistic expectations, avoiding alcohol and appreciating that everyone is under stress will help. If you are in a separated family, it can help being prepared and try not to take arrangements too personally. Appreciate that now is not the time to sort out long-standing grievances. Christmas is stressful enough as it is. If at all possible, wait until things have settled down in the New Year.

If you are a parent of a baby or toddler, we wish you much joy as you build special memories with your growing family. Remember that they can hear and feel your stress and anxiety so it’s important that you look after yourself and those around you.

There are many 24 hour help lines available including LifeLine and Beyond Blue’s 24 hour helpline.  Tweddle will be closed over the festive period from Friday 24th December and reopen on Monday January 9th 2017. We wish you and your family a happy and safe Christmas and New Year.

Parentline  13 22 89

Lifeline 13 11 14

Mensline 1300 78 99 78

Beyond Blue 1300 224 636

1800Respect (family violence/sexual assault) 1800 737 732

24 Hour MCH Line 13 22 29

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