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Lived Experience Parenting Recordings

Parenting children with complex needs requires great patience, extra time and a good sense of humour as you juggle your family, extended families, work and the educational and financial needs of your families.

Lived Experience Parenting ChannelThe Lived Experience Parenting Channel is a free virtual community to support kinship, permanent care and adoptive parents, carers and families.

Learn from other parents or carers how to successfully parent your child and overcome some of the challenges of working from home, home schooling, financial hardship and accessing professional support. 

Theories may not work in practice or we may not understand how they should or could be adapted for specific circumstances. Ideas and tips from others with lived experience gives us the confidence to become better parents or carers.

Whether its learning that ‘relaxer’ is the secret ingredient to managing extremely curly, kinky or frizzy textured hair, or finding out how to set up sensory play activities to build children’s confidence, learn from those that have gone before!

The channel features content in the form of audio or videos, or podcasts and webinars. 

Visit our YouTube channel to subscribe and be notified when we post new content.

Updates and new audio or video will also be communicated in our regular Communications Update by email.  Please share with other carers or parents and let us know if you have an idea for a topic!

Disclaimer: The resources presented on this website are not intended to override yourself as experts of your families and lives.  They are also not intended to replace therapy – they are there for reference and educational purposes only to support you on your parenting journey.

What are the lifelong impacts of adoption on adult adoptees, particularly as they become parents themselves?

Dr Jenny Conrick is a Social Worker and Doctor of Philosophy, Melbourne University associate and educator, with a background in government and health sectors, adoption, out of home care and trauma.

Dr Conrick has been exploring the lifelong impacts of adoption on adult adoptees. In particular, adoptees as parents, and the impacts of trauma, post natal depression, attachment and life transitions.

Dr Conrick has uncovered some important areas that matter to adoptees, such as preserving the family they create and avoiding any secrecy, and the need to support adoptees in unravelling their experience and having specialised antenatal support.

And if you are a grandparent to your adoptees children, her research highlights the importance of stepping up and being interested and attuned. It matters more than you may think so get involved and show your interest!

Watch the video and access the transcript and resources

Zahra Shire demonstrates how to create or reset a password to access the PCA Families portal, which is our gateway to flexible funding and other forms and information at PCA Families.

 

Watch the video and access the transcript and resources

Dani Lucas completed her family through adoption and is a skilled trauma informed specialist. Dani shares with us her insights into finding and arranging therapy for children and in supporting others with complex trauma history, family violence and more.

Watch the video and access the transcript and resources
Prenatal substance abuse may impact on attachment, resulting in behavioural issues that might be addressed with a few smaller efforts when babies are younger.

The topic of wellbeing in the caregiving space (kinship, permanent, foster or adoptive parenting) is important. Dr Stacy Blythe offers us advice, from research, that identifies how we might better impact attachment, minimise behavioural issues and improve outcomes when there has been prenatal exposure to harmful drugs, poor oral hygiene or other impacts on executive functioning.

Dr Stacy Blythe is well qualified to advise us on these topics. She is a a parent of 8, with 4 biological and 4 non-biological children, and also a registered nurse, associate professor in the school of nursing and midwifery and deputy director of the translational research and social innovation group at Ingham Institute (health and wellbeing that make sense practically).

Watch the video and access the transcript and resources

Leanne Winter is a clinical psychologist who specialises in animal and equine therapy and working with childhood behavioural, sensory and other issues. After 14 years in room based clinics Leanne ventured into animal and equine therapy in her paddock! Animal therapy offers a calmness to therapy: stroking and being with an animal reduces stress and the heart rate. Combine that with being in nature and magic happens!

While its not as simple as just walking around a paddock, often that is how it starts and something comes up in the conversation. Perhaps the children see one pony being bossy and they say that's just like this guy at school. Or perhaps its just the experience of doing things they may not do elsewhere, like jumping in puddles. Children learn about attachment and regulation and self awareness in a meaningful way. 

Watch the video and access the transcript and resources
Zahra Shire demonstrates live how to create an account and setup a flexi funding application for your child on the PCA Families portal online.

Zahra Shire demonstrates live how to create an account and setup a flexi funding application for your child on the PCA Families portal online.

 

Watch the video and access the transcript and resources
Layne Beachley is one of the most successful surfers, male or female, in history with 7 world titles and 29 tour victories. Layne has an experience of a traumatic childhood and wants other adoptees to know they were accepted into a heart relationship

Layne Beachley is one of the most successful surfers, male or female, in history with 7 world titles and 29 tour victories. Layne is also one of the most genuinely unapologetically honest people around with an experience of a traumatic childhood in losing her mother at 6 and finding out she was adopted at 8.

Watch the video and access the transcript and resources
Zahra Shire Culture and Grief

Zahra is PCA Families Client Services officer, is Australian born but of African heritage, and is passionate about outcomes for culturally and linguistically diverse communities, completing her studies in cross-cultural counselling this year.

They can also face prejudice within more than one cultural group. Zahra shares with us some of the norms, traditions or ideas that are part of the African culture, that may be relevant to consider in cross-cultural families to help with identity and cultural connection.

Zahra highlights some of the practices in the African culture may include:

  • men and women can have set roles: men work and protect and are strong. 
  • fathers firstly, and religious leaders secondly, decide who can marry
  • pain and vulnerability is hidden (trauma, PTSD or post natal depression) which leads to reliance on substance abuse and resulting overdoses
  • menstruation, pregnancy and pre-marital sex are not discussed
  • animals, particularly dogs, are to be feared as they carry disease and may bite
  • if a child leaves the home, no one looks at why the child left. They are simply exiled from the community
  • hair goes to the core of ones identity, to felt safety and connection, so spend time on it
  • skin colour can be a target for shame and bullying, so build their self esteem and join in with African communities to normalise.
Watch the video and access the transcript and resources
Helen Barrett is a registered play therapist, clinical social worker, counsellor and filial therapist with a trauma history. Helen explains how play therapy works and offers real life examples of eating disorders & the need for reassurance.

Helen Barrett is a registered play therapist, clinical social worker, counsellor and certified filial therapist with a trauma history of her own.

Helen explains how play therapy works and offers some real life examples where trauma and abandonment result in eating disorders and the constant need for reassurance.

She explains the importance of the relationship where the therapist coregulates with the child to metabolise the trauma and widen the window of tolerance. An example of a child who has autism shows us the importance of mirroring and testing things in the playroom training ground before taking that to the everyday environment, ultimately reducing the intensity of meltdowns and transition times.

The importance of being congruent is discussed. If you are feeling anxious or angry, but pretending not to be, your child will see that and feel that something is not right, creating even more threat for the child, exacerbating even bigger emotions.

Helen wants parents to be more conscious of their own narrative and how that impacts the parent-child relationship.

Watch the video and access the transcript and resources
Bobbi Cook Behaviour Management Therapist and Kinship Carer

Bobbi understands the demands of caring for those with additional needs from a trauma background as a devoted kinship carer to her 13yo grandson, and she suggests:

  • those from trauma and ADHD/ASD and others may have an impaired theory of mind, meaning you need to match them on intensity for them to understand and learn empathy
  • neurotypical triggers occur in Y2-3, Y6-7 and as puberty hits, but for children from trauma their chronological and developmental ages are what matters
  • children from trauma often have expressive language that is more advanced than receptive or intrinsic language, so get yourself a speech therapist
  • children from trauma will have sensory processing issues so get an Occupational Therapist to do an assessment to get NDIS support
  • for school refusal, ask your school teachers for 5 minute zooms 3 times a week, as only strong relationships will get them back to school.
Watch the video and access the transcript and resources
Chrissie Davies Emotional Literacy in Children from Trauma

This week we learnt from Chrissie Davies, an adoptive and permanent carer, who has worked as a teacher and consultant (Calm the Chaos) to families impacted by extreme behaviours and trauma.

Chrissie explains the importance of kids from trauma in finding identity and self worth which comes from intrinsic motivation, nature, creativity, connecting and therapeutic parenting without punishment or rewards (PACE). It also comes from removing complacency and being flexible. 

Chrissie highlights how our nervous systems get replicated in our children, which means role modelling appropriate responses and consciously labelling emotions and actions are important, to raise children's consciousness. Choosing optimal learning times is important too.

Chrissie explains the 3 components to emotional literacy, including naming the emotion (do some mirror work), the physical response (such as red cheeks) and knowing what to do with the emotion (such as getting something to eat).

Be the family that talks about emotions and where it triggers your own trauma just sit with your child and breathe. 

Watch the video and access the transcript and resources
Bobbi Cook Behaviour Management Therapist and Kinship Carer

Bobbi Cook is a behaviour therapist with 30+ years experience and a very devoted kinship carer to her 13yo grandson.

Bobbi teaches us a few things that she learnt the hard way as a kinship carer! They include:

  • dont be anti-lables, the labels can help be a coathanger, a way for others to understand what your child needs
  • try medication if you are advised to, and look at how it affects their play, not their school work. Play is how they learn. School involves layers of trauma
  • take an advocate with you to meetings about your child, as others behave differently when you have company
  • disclose everything and communicate openly with schools
  • with behaviour management, use rules like when/then, don't ask questions/give instructions, avoid compensatory parenting or if you do compensate, name the process and feelings
  • take breaks and make sure you arrange respite, its not a failure.
Watch the video and access the transcript and resources
In TLSW children are offered support to dig deeper into their past with safety and support.

Anna Beeson and Elise Saunders are Therapeutic Life Story Work (TLSW) practitioners who have worked with permanent and kinship carers and adoptive parents in completing life story work.

They highlight the value of the work which comes from being curious and wondering together, a shared journey between caregivers and the child, uncovering more than one person's perspective and capturing the child's voice, their narrative once they make meaning of their history.

In TLSW children are offered support to dig deeper into their past with safety and support.

Watch the video and access the transcript and resources
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