Category Archives: Relationship
It’s been a long, hard day at work. You want to come home and just relax and have fun with your kids. You don’t want to deal with discipline. But Mom has had the children for most of the day and she’s tired of the fighting and bickering. So she starts to discipline and wants you to help. This is not your idea of unwinding.
So what do you do? Support her. Absolutely. Children need a unified front from parents, and when Dad is viewed as the Softie, it makes Mom look like the Bad Guy and makes her job so much more difficult. And marital tension increases dramatically. If you have an issue with the way Mom is disciplining, wait to talk to her about it after the children go to bed. Short term, backing up your wife will be extra work. But long term it will be well worth it as your children will be unable to pit Mom and Dad against each other. The softer you are on discipline now, the harder it will be for your family.
I have just watched a must see for all expecting and new fathers.
“Seven Steps to Baby Bliss” from www.dadstheword.com is not only very practical for expectant and new fathers it is also pretty funny too.
I felt it was totally aimed at fathers as the target audience, but I also believe it would have great benefit watching this DVD with your partner.
The role of the dad is highlighted says the back cover, and I completely agree.
In 28 minutes the “Seven Steps to Baby Bliss” DVD shows you how to:
- Settle a crying baby
- Bathing a baby
- Step by step guide and tips on nappy changing for both baby girls and baby boys
- Feeding a baby
- Baby massage
- Dressing your baby
- And SIDS prevention
- Relationship after baby
Description from dadstheword:
In this humorous guide for New Dads and Moms – a male midwife guides a new Dad through the seven steps of caring for his newborn baby – making it fun and easy – so that those first weeks home are as stress free as possible !! “As a Midwife, I have always been passionate about newborn babies, knowing that what happens to them as babies, influences how they turn out later. I dedicated my life to them, hoping to make a difference in their lives, but I could only nurse so many … and mostly, I only had them for such a short time. So … I became passionate about Mothers and babies, because the Mom was going to be the one doing most of the caring, so I needed to help the Mom, so that the baby would have the best possible outcome. And for years, I wanted to make a fun educational video for new parents, so that parents could start out right, and if you get a good start and good foundation, the baby has a better chance. It took me 4 years to make the video, and I decided to focus on the Dad. The research was overwhelming about how the father will affect the long term outcome of his child……so I became passionate about the Dad … and the Mom … and the baby!!”
- Ros Vroom
This DVD really is like having a mid-wife around when you need them most. Thank you to Ros for producing a such a great tool to empower men to become competent fathers.
Resources for men coming to terms with a recent abortion:
- There’s a Milwaukee-based National Office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation and Healing and sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and the Archdiocese of San Francisco
- Papers / research
- “Men and Abortion: A Review of the Research”
- “Trauma and Abortion”
- “Sociology of Fatherhood and Abortion”
- “Medicating the Pain of Lost Fatherhood”
- “Looking for Their Pain In all the Wrong Places”
- “Forgiveness Therapy with Post- Abortion Men.”
- Dr Vincent Rue – “Post abortion Syndrome,” or “Post-abortion Trauma” (published in 1984 on the impact of abortion on men)
There is a great deal of evidence that women suffer from the aftermath of abortion, but post-abortion syndrome is not as well documented in men, who may suffer even more anger and grief because they aren’t given a choice in what happens to their child.
“Divorced Man” is a genuine up-to-date website and blog that supports divorced fathers in their parenting. The site includes personal stories, tips, ideas how to manage child support, how to survive family court, examples of submissions to court and many other DIY divorced father articles.
With statistics of more than 30% marriages ending in divorce, millions of fathers have a new challenge: how do you continue your passion and good parenting while going through the divorce process and beyond. Divorced dads might find the system hard to handle which ultimately affects their parenting and relationship with the kids. Children are highly influenced by the divorce process which results in new challenges for dads – new questions, new demands, and new ways of behaviour. After the divorce, the family has a different structure and it takes time for dads and kids to adjust.
Here are some practical tips for divorcing dads:
1. Never give-up parenting: your kids will always be your kids and not only the mother’s kids. Even though it may be harder for a man to be a sole parent, never abandon your kids or leave them to the full custody of your Ex wife. Children need their father as the male figure in their life, and even if it is hard or they ask to live with their mum – work hard to be a father – for their future well being and healthy development.
2. Your ex is your ex – and nothing more: Don’t try to make your ex “the enemy” or your best friend for that matter. Move on with your life and take care of yourself and your kids – your Ex is just your Ex and will take care of her own life.
3. Don’t overcompensate for the divorce by trying to be “a friend” to your kids: your children have friends and they don’t need another friend, they need a father. Children need a role model, values and confidence. You provide that as a dad. E.g. set your own values and “walk the talk” – demonstrate how you live these values every day. Pass on skills and hobbies – do your own things and let your kids join in so they can learn from you.
- A divorced dad
It’s a sad fact, but without a little TLC, relationships can go stale. After all, there’s nothing particularly romantic about negotiating which one of you takes the kids to school or worrying about how you’re going to pay your bills. Finding love is easy – holding on to it is the hard part, eh? Having a (newborn) baby can make it even harder to find time to keep your relationship in tact. So here are three simple tips on what you can do (and really, don’t just dismiss these as nice ideas … you might regret not taking action when you had a chance to do it):
1. Take a mini holiday from the baby and go out
Find a way to have someone you trust look after your baby for a few hours and spend smoe time together (ideally out of the house). Most important rule: do NOT talk about the baby or anything related to the baby. Where you go doesn’t actually matter – it doesn’t need to be an expensive or extravagant night out. Just somewhere you both enjoy to take your mind off things for a few hours.
2. Surprise the Mrs
While it might feel like a cheesy or outdated tip to take home a little gift for your partner, it doesn’t hurt to surprise your loved one every now and then. It’s unlikely that your partner will get upset over a gift (OK, maybe a porn DVD to watch together might be tricky) but let’s face it a nice little bouquet of flowers hasn’t offended anyone yet. In fact I’m pretty sure that a bunch of flowers has saved my bacon on more than one occasion!
Yes, it’s hard … and yes, it may not be relevant and there may be other things you’d rather do. But it is important. Don’t underestimate the importance of taking an interest in your other half’s life. Especially just listening is the key – no need to offer solutions or come up with some life-saving advice. Just genuine listening and paying attention is a great way to demonstrate some TLC in action.
So get active and keep it together!
By Andy Gilfillan
It can be hard enough just seeing your ex with a new partner, before even thinking about what this means for your kids. It’s natural to feel suspicious about the “new guy” but you also have to somehow be reasonable as you may have a new partner too (at some point). Trust works both ways.
Your ex partner will decide if her new man is suitable as far as your child’s safety is concerned, but you can find out more about this man too. Spend some time with him if possible, and you never know – the guy might actually turn out to be okay!
Keeping communications open with your ex about her new man is always likely to help the situation. Over time you may eventually trust your ex’s new partner with your kids and, as a result, the whole family is better off – especially your kids.
However, if you are concerned about your ex’s new partner then remember that the first step should always be talking to your ex. Explain that you just care for your kids and discuss with her what she/you can do to address your concerns.
Key take aways:
- If you have concern about your ex’s new man then talk to your ex before you do anything else.
- Bear in mind that moving on to new partners will probably happen to both of you sooner or later. So avoid extreme measures as a result of your natural suspicion – you may be in the same boat with your new partner at some point.
Important links and more information:
- Counselling and Relationship Services. Phone: 0800 R E L A T E (0800 735 283)
Your ex partner is allowed to take your kids out of the country for up to a month without asking your permission (and so are you). If you are worried that she’s thinking of something more permanent, and perhaps breaching a parenting order, then there are things you can do about it.
You can ask the High Court, Family Court or District Court for an Order Preventing Removal, even if you have only just applied for a parenting order. Courts can ask Police or social workers to place children with a suitable person until the Court can deal with the case. Apply to the Court quickly, as when children leave New Zealand they become subject to either the foreign country’s laws, or international laws, or both.
An urgent application to the Court can sometimes take a few hours. Courts can order passports and travel tickets to be handed over to them. You can even apply without informing your ex partner. In non-urgent cases, your ex would be given a copy of your court application before an order is made. Your ex partner would then have time to tell a Judge why she might not want an Order made.
If the Court issues a warrant, it can state a child not to be removed from NZ, either for a limited time or until the Court makes another Order.
When Orders go through, neither of the parents is allowed to take the children abroad, and if you try it’s a criminal offence. If a parent tries to take children abroad in the middle of getting a court order, it’s also an offence. If you are convicted, or try to stop Police Officers or social workers from taking kids, you can face up to three months in jail and fines of up to $2,500.
If your children are already in another country there are still things you can do. Under an international law called the Hague Convention, you may be able to ask that country’s help to return your children to NZ. This law states that children are of primary concern and that custody of the child should be determined where the child usually lives.
You may be entitled to legal aid too. The Government can help with lawyer’s costs, but sometimes you may have to pay this back.
Key take aways:
- If you are worried your kids might be taken abroad permanently, then get to Court quickly and ask for help.
- Remember that once an Order is placed kids cannot travel abroad with a parent – that applies to both parents.
Important links and more information:
If things get out of hand and the police get involved, it is likely that a Police Safety Order (PSO) will be issued. This happens in circumstances where the Police have reasonable grounds to believe that family violence has occurred or may occur. An order usually lasts for 2 days, but in some cases can last up to 5 days.
IMPORTANT: If you find yourself in this situation you need to CALM DOWN and leave the situation. Having a PSO issued is a very serious situation and you need to be careful not to make things worse for yourself – so keep calm, walk away, and deal with whatever happened in a rational way.
Whether or not you will ever be in this situation, it’s helpful to understand why PSOs exist in the first place. The purpose of a PSO is to protect people at risk from violence, harassment or intimidation. The order stays in force until the expiry time listed on the order (i.e. 2-5 days). The Police do not need the consent of the person at risk to issue the order.
When a PSO is made, the person bound by the order must leave the address while the PSO is in force, even if they normally live there or own the place.
The person bound by the order:
1) must not assault, threaten, intimidate or harass the person at risk or encourage anyone else to do the same.
2) must not follow, stop or contact in any way the person at risk in any place such as home, work, or place the person at risk.
3) must surrender any firearms and their firearms license to the Police for the period of the PSO.
The Police may detain the bound person for up to two hours to issue and serve the PSO. There is no right of appeal. No criminal convictions result from the issue of a PSO.
The PSO also protects any children living with the person at risk and any conditions of parenting orders or agreements permitting contact or care of the children by the person bound by the PSO are suspended while the PSO is in effect.
If the bound person does anything that is not permitted by the PSO, the Police can take the person into custody and put them before the Court. The Court may issue a warrant to arrest the bound person and, if required, bring them before the Court. The Court is capable of releasing the bound person without any further order, direct the Police to issue another PSO, or issue a Temporary Protection Order (if the person at risk does not object). The Court does not need an application from anyone to issue a Temporary Protection Order.
Other offences, such as assaults or property damage will be investigated separately and charges will be laid where sufficient evidence exists.
Key take aways:
- If you find yourself in a situation where you’re issued a PSO – calm down and immediately walk away from the situation.
- Make sure you understand the conditions and implications of a PSO – if you have any questions contact the Police or your lawyer.
- Remember your children’s wellbeing is your responsibility and it is important that your children feel safe and secure. Avoid any situation where your children are at risk.
Important links and more information about police safety orders:
Dads and separation – dealing with family court orders and how protection orders affect access to children
Protection Orders are made by a Judge to protect the adult and children who live with someone who has been or may be violent. In urgent situations The Family Court can make a Protection Order on the same day. If not, the Court will hear details of what happened and issue a final Protection Order.
Understand the legal lingo
The person applying for an order and needing protection is called an ‘Applicant’. The person the Applicant is requesting the order against is called the ‘Respondent’. If an order is granted its purpose is to protect the “Applicant” and any of the children living with them.
What happens when a Protection Order is in place?
Once a Protection Order is made there are rules. A breach of these rules can result in a criminal offence and arrest (spending up to 2 years in prison). If a Temporary Protection Order is made, then any firearms licenses and weapons of the Respondent’s must be given to the Police.
The person bound by the Protection Order (i.e. “the respondent”):
1) should not go to the protected person’s home, workplace, school and other places where they might be
2) must not follow the protected person, stop them from going about their business, or contact them by phone, text-message, e-mail, letters etc.
These contact conditions do not apply if “the respondent” still lives with the protected person, but only if the protected person says they do not want the respondent living with them any more. Exceptions to the above conditions exist in some circumstances – e.g. for emergencies or when there is family conference under the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act.
When Protection Orders are made against someone, they are also given information about support programmes which they usually have to attend. The ‘stopping violence programme’ is one such programme and is about living without violence, and dealing with conflict in safe ways. The programme explains how the Domestic Violence Act works and helps develop skills to live violence free. The programme is free and can be for an individual or a group. If the “stopping violence programme” is part of the Protection Order it is a criminal offence not to attend the programme.
Protection Orders can last up to three months unless contested successfully. After this period the Protection Order becomes a Final Protection Order, which can remain permanently, unless someone asks the Family Court to discharge it, and they agree.
Key take aways:
- In urgent situations The Family Court can make a Protection Order on the same day.
- Not following the conditions of a Protection Orders and not attending the “Stopping Violence” programme can be a criminal offence.
- Protection Orders can last up to three months and after that can become permanent.
Important links and more information about protection orders:
As a dad you will want to know as much as you can about your kids early education and how you support them financially. Child support payments and other benefits can be a bit of a minefield; so knowing some basic information could help you on your way.
Your kids are entitled to free Early Childhood Education (ECE) up to six hours a day, with a maximum of 20 hours each week. Most childcare facilities will have details of how much of their cost is recovered from the Early Childhood Education government subsidy. It’s a good idea to visit several childcare facilities to compare cost and subsidy levels. Check out the Early Learning Payment too, as you may be able to get help with costs if the kids are aged 18 months to 3 years old.
Working out your child support payments may sound tricky but there is a basic formula that IRD uses to calculate how much you should pay. This formula looks at how much you earn, whether or not you have a partner and children living with you, and how many children you need to pay for. They also look at whether or not the children you pay for are in shared care.
The amount you are assessed to pay is split into 12 monthly payments and is paid by the 20th of each month. Your Child Support Payments continue until the child reaches 19 years of age. It only stops before this time if they leave the custodian’s care, work an average of 30 hours per week, receive benefits or a student allowance, or they are living in a relationship in the nature of marriage. There is a minimum amount you have to pay, even if you have no income.
Lastly there are other special benefits. Domestic Purposes Benefit and Family Tax Credit can provide extra help. There is also Emergency Maintenance Allowance for sole parents with dependant children and who cannot receive other benefits. Emergency Benefit is also there to assist people who are in hardship and unable to earn enough just for themselves, and there may even be other forms of help open to you.
Key take aways:
- If you think the amount you pay is unfair ask to be reassessed. You can try and estimate your income, or apply for an Administrative Review or reach a voluntary agreement with your ex partner.
- The Working for Families package can help most families earning less than $70,000 a year and even some families earning more. They can help make housing more affordable with the Accommodation Supplement.
- If your income has fallen by 15% or more you can ask to estimate things based on your current income. It’s important to tell IRD about your living circumstances so that the “living allowance” (which is part of the formula used to work out payments) is factored in correctly.
Important links and more information about child support payments: