Category Archives: Family and child Psychology

The Australian bushfire crisis: How your kids can help

Australia’s bushfires have brought unprecedented loss, fear and sadness to our nation and as ‘city slickers’ it’s hard not to feel guilty as our country cousins struggle with drought, fire and untold tragedy.

All is not lost, however, because the spirit of Aussie mateship is alive and well – and it is something we can teach our children right now.

Mother and daughter fight bush fires

Authorities have advised that donations of cash are one of the best ways to help right now. Not only will money provide emergency services with the resources they need to do what needs to be done, but it will also provide individuals and communities with the dignity they deserve as they make their own choices and spend their money with hard hit local businesses that have also been decimated.

So these school holidays, could your kids be doing something to raise some dollars to help the recovery cause?

Here’s some ideas to get you started!

A sausage sizzle is a great way for kids to raise money for Australian bush fire victims

Sausage sizzle or cake stall

Could you kids get together with others in the neighbourhood and organise a food focussed fund raiser?

Perhaps there’s a front yard in your neighbourhood that would make a perfect gathering spot for locals and your kids could spend their school holiday time making signs, working out the budget and arranging a letterbox drop to households that are nearby.

Not only would this exercise help your children to do something practical for victims of the bush fires, but it’s a cheeky way to keep them learning and thinking during the school holidays!

A charity car wash is a great way for kids to raise money to support Australian bushfire victims

Car wash for a cause

In Sydney we have water restrictions in place that make washing cars a but tricky at the moment, but if you are located in an area where your kids have access to a hose, bucket and a bit of elbow grease, might they be able to wash cars to support the bushfire relief?

Again, with a bit of thought and some local contacts, your kids might be able to contribute a buck or two and feel good about the difference they have made.

A teddy bears' picnic is a great way for kids to raise money for Australian bush fire victims

Teddy bears’ picnic

If you are the parent or teacher of younger children, might a teddy bears’ picnic be possible at daycare, playgroup or vacation care in the coming weeks?

These kinds of events are quite easy to organise, and there’s plenty of ideas to be found online for themed games and songs. If every ‘bear’ were to bring a donation, a generous sum could be quickly gathered to give to bush fire ravaged communities in need.

Kids support bushfire victims with birthday money

Bushfires instead of birthday presents

Is your child having a birthday soon? Is a party planned with family and friends who would usually spend money on a gift?

If your child is old enough to have a conversation like this, would it be worth raising the idea of replacing this year’s gifts with a donation to your child’s preferred charity?

Some of the services doing amazing things include:

Kids can make possum pouches to help animals injured in Australian bush fires

Make some possum pouches

With the devastating loss of more than 500 million animals, wildlife warriors like WIRES and the RSPCA are doing all they can to relieve the pain and suffering of animals that are injured or have lost their habitats.

Could your kids help these holidays by sewing simple ‘pouches’ to keep these vulnerable animals safe?

When young wombats, wallabies, kangaroos, bandicoots, gliders or possums come into care they need to be kept warm and quiet. Wildlife carers are currently in need of suitable pouches that can be used for many different animals, some for two or three at once. 

Click here to view a guide from GreenHeroes (an organisation dedicated to encouraging children to care for animals and their environment) that will show you and your child how to make a possum pouch (there’s lots of ideas online and videos on YouTube too)

Below are agencies who will welcome your child’s donations and support.

Written by Sonja Walker
© 2020 Kids First Children’s Services

Sibling Rivalry: Psychologist shares school holiday survival tips

A psychologists who works with children in Sydney’s northern beaches says that while it is normal for children to occasionally become bored with one another, time spent with siblings is an important part of building family relationships and teaching kids to co-operate, respect and compromise with others. Brothers and sisters can be great friends and… Continue Reading

Health funds: Use it or lose it

If you have extras health insurance, getting value out of your membership is probably a high priority for you and your family. Many families invest in ‘extras’ cover to protect themselves against the costs of health services that can unexpectedly blow the family budget. However, it’s important to know that most health insurance funds reset… Continue Reading

Parent resources: How Manage Mean Kids and Playground Politics

It can be difficult to help your child to develop the social skills and resilience they need to cope with playground politics. As an adult, understanding how these skills develop in children may be helpful start as you parent your child. Equally, resources that you can use with your child to build their understanding of… Continue Reading

Free parent event: How to manage mean kids and playground politics 

Is making and keeping friends a minefield for your child? Does your child struggle because of: Conflict with other kids? ‘Best friend’ issues? Social isolation? Difficulties with joining a game or fitting in? Exclusion from groups? Don’t miss this valuable free presentation by experienced Psychologist Louella Covich. At this important parent seminar, Louella will explain… Continue Reading

How to beat bullying: 10 clever comeback lines for kids

Managing mean kids in the playground can be easier when your child knows what to say. Teacher and Kids First Children’s Services founder, Sonja Walker, shares 10 easy responses to teach your child to make handling the politics of the playground easier. When a child is being bullied, it’s easy for adults to tell them to… Continue Reading

Parent & teacher resources: Online tools to measure your risk of burnout

Being a parent in today’s world can be tough, and while we are often very focussed on raising our children’s resilience, we also need to ensure that we have adequate resources in our own emotional reserves to meet the challenges of family life. These tools, recommended by members of the Kids First Children’s Services team,… Continue Reading

Happy Kids Happy Families: Helpful books for parents and teachers

The environment in which you raise your children will be the foundation of their lives. While no family is perfect, the values you have, models you set and strategies you use at home will be key factors in setting your children up for happy, healthy and resilient futures. We hope that these resources, compiled by… Continue Reading

Happy Kids Happy Families: Tools to keep your kids safe online

Today’s children, whether we like it or not, are digital natives. Right now, and in the years to come, your children will be learning, interacting, and communicating in an online world.   As adults, we know that digital technology offers lots of positives to kids, however, just like in the face-to-face world, children need to… Continue Reading

Happy Kids, Happy Families: How to raise resilient kids in today’s world

This event is now BOOKED OUT See below for wait-list opportunities Has the fun has gone out of your family? Is being a parent harder than you thought it would be? Do you spend more time worrying about your children’s struggles than celebrating their strengths? Are you concerned about: Frequently raised voices? Problem behaviours that… Continue Reading