Territory Stories

Sunday Territorian 24 Aug 2014



Sunday Territorian 24 Aug 2014


Sunday Territorian; NewspaperNT




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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.

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Nationwide News Pty. Limited

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Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

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Nationwide News Pty. Limited



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SUNDAY AUGUST 24 2014 LIFESTYLE 19 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA Rachael Payne with her children Nathaniel McClory, Jaylah Payne, Marteeka Payne and Calecia Thorneycroft Picture: PATRINA MALONE IN theory, asking for helpis a simple act.Recognising a prob-lem, acknowledging it may take more than your own ability to solve it, and taking steps to seek assistance seem like the logical things to do. But for families struggling with parenting, asking for help can seem like a weakness, a suggestion they arent fit to be parents. That is not the case, and in the NT help is readily available for those finding the stresses of parenthood too much. A HELPING HAND CATHOLICCARE NT, a social services agency of the Catholic Diocese of Darwin, is one provider of such help. The not-for-profit organisation provides counselling services and programs to individuals, couples, families, childrens groups, schools and agencies across the Territory. One recipient of CatholicCare NTs services is Rachael Payne, a 28-year-old mother of five whose ask for help was the best thing I couldve done. It was the best move to try and do this on your own can be really difficult, she said. Moving to Darwin from Queensland in 2010, Mrs Payne struggled to deal with problems faced by her son Nathaniel, 8. He suffers from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). It was challenging then I moved here where I didnt have help, Mrs Payne said. Nathaniel was accident prone and we had issues there. If you knew the family before I got help, you wouldve seen yelling, screaming parents. Nate (Nathaniel) would say I was yelling, but I wouldnt see it. Mrs Payne approached CatholicCare NT not knowing how they could help, but soon found their services invaluable. She was placed in the Family Strengths program, which allows her to build parenting skills as well as receive help with day-to-day tasks. I have always struggled with parenting ... I was never confident and sometimes thought I shouldnt be a mum, Mrs Payne said. You have one child where things work, but then trying to do the same with another doesnt work. Mrs Payne had experienced depression, which has since lifted thanks, at least in part, to her new-found help. REAL SUPPORT The Family Strengths program allows a support worker to visit the family once a week, helping set parenting goals as part of building new skills. It has helped facilitate a complete turnaround in how Mrs Payne interacts with her children. We look at ways I can discipline them instead of just the smack using time-out methods and taking things off them, she said. The way I talk is also important. Im learning to keep my tone down and talk with them on their level. If we have a goal down then (after talking with the support worker) we move on to the next one. Mrs Payne said having that support since February has opened her up to new experi ences she never thought possible. She has taken a voluntary parenting course, and has made little changes that make all the difference, such as making it a priority to take the children out every Sunday for family time. GOOD GROUNDWORK Family Strengths is just one of the many programs CatholicCare NT provides, ranging from parental assistance to dealing with drug and alcohol issues in the family. While counselling is its biggest duty, the organisation is committed to giving help in various forms to those who need it. NT Director Jayne Lloyd said there are universal programs, while others focus on specific groups. Research shows that those who need the most help find it the hardest to access and then implement suggestions given to them, she said. It can be a situation like when parents separate people think kids are resilient, but its a traumatic time for everyone. These situations happen to everyday people with work stress, and also in households where drugs and alcohol can be an issue. A key element of CatholicCare NTs services is making sure any potential issues are eliminated as early as possible. Ms Lloyd said the programs help parents get the best out of their children. Our focus is to try and make sure parents are supported in the early years because of formation, she said. Parents need to know about child development all kids are different, and what will work with one child wont work for another. Children doing well all comes from the parents in control and being told theyre doing a good job. There is plenty on the line for CatholicCare NT as many at-risk families face insurmountable challenges. But Ms Lloyd said Mrs Paynes story is one of success. CatholicCare NT provides support to families in Darwin, Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Katherine, Wadeye and on the Tiwi Islands. If you need help or information call CatholicCare NT on 8944 2000. Practical parenting Being a parent is one of the hardest jobs on earth, but a little help can go a long way to easing the pain and helping you create a happy, harmonious family life Catholic Care NT director Jayne Lloyd By KATINA VANGOPOULOS

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