Parenting in Different Countries | My Australian Story

I’m from Vancouver, BC.  Met an Aussie on Halloween 1988 and by Valentine’s Day 1989 I was married, pregnant and living in Australia.  Partner lived in Australia so we’d only spent 3 weeks together in those first few months.  Pretty crazy and not something I’d ever recommend as now I know it takes 2 years to really get to know someone.  Anyhoo, was a successful marriage in that we had 2 beautiful children, lasted 15 years we have a very good relationship as far as exes go.  Spend birthdays, Xmas, etc. together with our kids.

He moved out New Years Day 2004 and we all moved back to Canada in March 2005.  Was not an easy move and not one I ever thought I’d do as Australia was home.  But, my wonderful mom was in her 80’s and had failing health.  She needed help, she needed me here. 

You can just imagine how the conversation went with my ex when I told him I wanted to move back to Canada with the kids, and I wanted him to come with us.  He’s Australian, loves Australia, as I do.  Anyway, he very graciously agreed to the move as visited my Mom and saw the condition she was in.

We had 5 wonderful years with her and 6 1/2 more challenging years as she suffered dementia and several health problems.  She died in my arms in June, 2016.

Kids were 10 and 15 when we immigrated to Vancouver so spent all their formative years here.  So, doubt we’ll ever end up living in Australia again.  But never say never :).

When I first moved back to Canada I knew I was going to start a parenting business but I had a slight disadvantage:  I’d raised my kids in Australia.  It was profoundly different from parenting in Canada, more so than I would’ve thought.  

A friend sent me this great article on Motherhood Around the World, here’s the Australian section.

Loved the article on the mom from Vancouver living in Australia, related to a lot of what she said.  The big difference between us was that she associated with expats.  I avoided that which I think helped me to assimilate quickly.

Funny Sideline:  When I first moved to Australia, the slang was the biggest challenge, didn’t know what they were saying half the time.  I worked in an office in Sydney before my son was born.  My boss asked me to get him a rubber and I just stood there stunned.  A co-worker came over and explained to me that in Australia a rubber is an eraser.  I said, “Thank gawd as I was just about to review my job description.”  Another time I was teaching an aerobics class and suggested they all root for one another as it was going to be a challenging class.  Their eyes widened and everyone just stared at me kinda frozen.  Someone walked over to the stage and whispered, “I’m assuming you don’t know that in Australia to root means to screw.”  My mic picked it up so the whole room heard.  I said, “Okay then, how about we just encourage one another”.  Aussies have a great sense of humour so those awkward moments were great.

The challenge with coaching parents in Canada was helping clients through their insecurities.  They all felt they were being judged.  I was confused by this as had never experienced anything like it in Australia.  Moms in Australia are non-competitive and very supportive of one another.  In playgroups and playgrounds we used to sit around and talk about what lousy moms we were, how horrible our kids were, etc.  Aussie humour is self-deprecating so that transferred right into parenting.  Also had a lot of Kiwi (New Zealand) friends who were the same.

A huge part of what I deal with with my Canadian and American clients is helping them deal with other people’s judgment, feeling almost bullied by other moms.  I rarely see that in clients from other parts of the world.

If you aren’t surrounded by supportive moms, go out and find them, they’re there.  Parenting isn’t about perfection, it’s often just about survival.  There are lots of down-to-earth moms out there to hang out with, you may have to be the one to start the ball rolling, but go for it, what have you got to lose?

I’m planning on starting a little support group for new moms in my area (Mount Pleasant, Vancouver, BC).  I’m just looking for a private space, just for 4-5 of us plus strollers and little ones.  We’ll be sitting around talking about what mothering is really like:  the ups, downs and funny things that happen.  I’ll also be answering any questions but it’s going to be very casual.  The best part is that it’s FREE.  

If you know of moms who would be interested in this group, please let me know.  I’ll be talking about it more once I get the space set up and decide how I want to format it.  Your suggestions are welcome.  I don’t really want to call it a support group, more of just a friendly chat among new moms.

Feel free to email me at:  Lisa@BratBusters.com

Lisa Bunnage, Parenting Coach

If your child is a Rotten Brat, it’s all your Fault

finger in faceBad News:   If your child is a Rotten Brat, it’s all your Fault

Good News:   If your Child is a Rotten Brat, it’s all your Fault

How your children act is a direct result of your parenting. That’s great news as it means that if they are rotten brats today you have the power to turn that around.

When coaching I often tell parents that the only other relationship that’s even close to parenting is a sports coach. A great coach explains the rules of the game, enforces the rules, and bonds with and encourages the kids.

Could you imagine a child arguing the rules of baseball?!:

I don’t wanna run around all the bases, I just

wanna run to 1st base then back home for a home run!!!!

Waaaaaaaa … !!!!”

Would a coach allow that? Of course not. Yet why on earth would you allow your children to argue bedtime, mealtime, manners?!

Kids who don’t respect their parents often respect other adults. Most of my clients say their children are great with the teacher and other adults, just horrible with them. That’s great news as it means they’re not really rotten, they just need leadership.

Children who don’t respect their parents don’t have self-respect. 

I don’t really believe that children are capable of being rotten brats. They’re just reacting to the lack of leadership in their lives. The reason I know this is that I was never asked to work with angels, I specialized in troubled kids/teens and never had a problem with any one of them. Sure, some took longer to come around, but they all did eventually.

All kids respond beautifully to strong leadership, love and boundaries.

So if you’re struggling with parenting now, please don’t put up with it any longer. I don’t want that for you OR your kids.  I have a free “3 Step Parenting Plan” included in my newsletters which outlines how to get started with discipline.  Just sign up at the top right of this page.  It’s simple and easy to use.  

Sign up to my Newsletter (above right) to get your FREE “3 Step Parenting Plan”.  I use this with all of my clients as a visual tool to get organized with discipline, rules, etc.

Lisa Bunnage, Parenting Coach

Liar Liar Pants on Fire | How to get the Truth out of Kids

A client had 2 sons fighting. No blood spurting from arteries, just shoving, arguing, crying, blaming, etc.

She didn’t know who to punish as they, of course, were each blaming the other.

I said, “Here’s what you do.  You sit them both down individually, then together.  Slowly (the slower the better) ask them to explain exactly what happened in great detail.  Then ask them to do this as many times as it takes before one or both of them sing like canaries.  They’ll see any punishment as better than be bored to death!”

I’ve even heard of kids taking the blame when it wasn’t their fault just to stop the interrogation.

Give it a try and let me know how it works.

Lisa Bunnage, Parenting Coach

Don’t forget to hit the green “Sign Up” button for your FREE “3 Step Parenting Plan”.

 

 

The Quickest, most Effective way to increase your Child’s Self-Esteem

The quickest, most effective way to increase your child’s self-esteem?

P R I D E

 

If you find what your child is proud of and encourage that, it will help them navigate through life with higher self-esteem and self-confidence.  Those qualities will make them bully proof and also make them strive for greater things in life.

Children are not necessarily proud of things they’re good at.  You may have a son who’s brilliant at math but what he’s really proud of is his ability to make people laugh (that was my son).

I worked with teens who had very little to be proud of yet when I found something that I could see they were proud of, that instantly become my #1.  Once they were given permission to not be good in academics, but to be great at drawing or whatever, everything else fell into place.  Their grades improved right along with their self-esteem.

Pride is a funny thing.  Sometimes you have to work to encourage and nurture it in your children.  Don’t focus on what’s important to you, but rather what’s important to them.  It may be the same thing, but maybe not.

All the other stuff like school, chores, etc. are important too, but they’re not everything.

Think about this, what is your child proud of, and are you complimenting and encouraging them with this?

Lisa Bunnage, Parenting Coach

Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter to get your FREE “3 Step Parenting Plan”.

 

What are Monster Tantrums & How do you Handle Them?

tantrumMonster Tantrums are the ones that can last for hours and the whole house is torn up in the process.  They can start at around 2 years of age and go right through the teen years.  Best to get a handle on them at 2.

IGNORE IGNORE IGNORE!!!  Attention is tantrum food.  Stay calm and restrain them from hurting themselves or others.  No eye contact, no dialogue, no anger.  Walk around the house going about your business as per usual.  Peel them off your legs if necessary but look away as you do so.

Don’t punish a tantrum as it’s just an expression of feelings.  Haha … what a nice way to put it.  You can punish a naughty behaviour that happened before or during the tantrum, e.g., they throw the remote at the TV and broke it while having the tantrum.

All consequences are handed out AFTER the tantrum.  How to punish is another blog, but the most important thing is remember to not react to the outburst while it’s happened.  In other words, when they jump off the cliff don’t go after them.  Wait at the top with a rope to pull them back up.

My son threw a tantrum in a mall and I stood off to the side filing my nails.  People kept going up to him asking if he was okay.  He eventually got embarrassed and came over to me and hugged my legs with his face pressed into my butt.  I’m not sure which was more awkward:  his tantrum or his face in my butt.  But (no pun intended) my point is that his fit didn’t work and he never did it again.  Had I given in or talked to him maybe he’d be a less self-disciplined adult now, who knows?

Book on how to handle Tantrums:  The whole process step-by-step.

Lisa Bunnage, Parenting Coach

Don’t miss your FREE “3 Step Parenting Plan” to help you get started on Leadership Parenting.  Just sign up for my Newsletter at the top of this website.