St Edward's Primary School, Tamworth

27 February 2020
Term 1 Week 5

"The standard you walk past, is the standard you accept"  Lieutenant General David Morrison AO

Upcoming Dates
Principals' Message
Focus on Learning
RE News
General News
Library News
Parent Association
Canteen News
Sherpa Kids Before/After School Care
Parenting Ideas
Community News
St Edward's Primary School, Tamworth
(02) 6765 7847
Hillvue Rd
South Tamworth, NSW, 2340

Upcoming Dates

February 2020

Friday 28th February

-  Diocesan Swimming Carnival, Moree

-  Payment due for Sport and School Activity Levy (Primary $70, Infants $50)

March 2020

Sunday 1st March

-  Kindergarten, Yr 3 & Yr 6 Family Mass, 9.00am MHOC Church - everyone welcome

Monday 2nd March - Friday 6th March

-  Parent / Teacher Interviews (Kindergarten only)

Monday 2nd March

-  10.15am  Northern Daily Leader taking Kindergarten Class Photos (to be published in NDL 19th March)

-  National Young Leaders' Day, Sydney

Tuesday 3rd March

-  Kindergarten NRMA Bus Safety Program, 9.00am - 11.00am

-  Parent Association Meeting, 6.30pm Primary Staffroom - everyone welcome

Monday 9th March

-  School Advisory Council Meeting, 5.00pm Primary Staffroom

Friday 13th March

-  Year 5 Lake Keepit Day Excursion, 9.00am - 5.00pm 

-  School Fees due for payment

Tuesday 17th March

- St Patrick's Day - students are asked to come out of school uniform dressed in 'green' mufti clothing & closed in shoes & are to bring a gold coin donation for Caritas

Thursday 19th March

-  Parent Information Evening for Compass Parent Portal Launch (time and venue to be advised)

Wednesday 25th March

-  Year 2 First Confession, 4.00pm MHOC Church

April 2020

Wednesday 1st April

-  Real Talk PARENT Evening, 6.00pm - 7.00pm 

Sunday 5th April

-  Year 5 & Year 2 Family Mass, 9.00am MHOC Church - everyone welcome

Monday 6th April

-  St Ed's School Cross Country, Plain St Complex, 11.00am - 2.00pm 

Thursday 9th April

- Holy Thursday

-  Applications for Kindergarten 2021 close

-  Last day of Term 1

Friday 10th April

-  Good Friday (Public Holiday)

Saturday 11th April

-  Easter Saturday

Sunday 12th April

-  Easter Sunday

Monday 13th April

-  Easter Monday (Public Holiday)

Saturday 25th April

-  ANZAC Day

Monday 27th April

-  Staff Development / Pupil Free Day

Tuesday 28th April

-  Term 2 commences for K - 6 students

Pupil Free Days 2020

Term 2, Week 1:    Monday 27th April (Staff Development - RE Focus Formation)

Term 3, Week 1:    Monday 20th July (Staff Development - Science & Technology)

Term 4, Week 10:  Thursday 17th & Friday 18th December

School Terms 2020

Term 1  Thursday 30th January (Yrs 1 - 6) - Thursday 9th April

                 Wednesday 5th February (Kindergarten) - Thursday 9th April        

Term 2  Monday 27th April - Friday 3rd July

Term 3  Monday 20th July - Friday 25th September 

Term 4  Monday 12th October - Friday 18th December

Sporting Dates 2020  

Term 1 Week 5:  Friday 28th February - Armidale Diocesan Swimming Carnival, Moree

Term 1 Week 11:  Monday 6th April - School Cross Country

Term 2 Week 4:  Friday 22nd May - Armidale Diocesan Cross Country, Barraba

Term 2 Week 8:  Friday 19th June -  School Athletics Carnival 

Term 3 Week 5:  Friday 21st August - Armidale Diocesan Athletics Carnival - Tamworth 

Principals' Message

From the Principals - Alison & Lisa

This week our St Edward's Leadership Team has been working with Jane Bezzina on team effectiveness. Jane is a Sydney based consultant whose expertise is working with leaders in organisations to help them become effective in their leadership through co-constructing a shared vision and purpose for leading. We are confident that we have begun a very positive process with Jane and look forward to working together to drive improvement in culture and student learning.

The St Edward's Primary School Leadership Team in 2020 consists of:

Co Principals - Alison Hatton & Lisa McSweeney

Assistant Principal - Greg O'Toole

Religious Education Coordinators - Sally Clarke & Amy Willis

Leader of Pedagogy - Claire Ryan

Student Support/Coordinator - Amanda Sheridan

MaST Coordinator - Andrew Millman

Sport/Health Coordinator - Natasha Gippel


Student Representative Council

At our Monday morning assembly our Student Representative Council for Term 1 was announced. These students have been elected by their peers to represent their class at meetings facilitated by Mr O'Toole to give our students a "voice" in the direction of our school and to have more students given the opportunity to demonstrate leadership. Congratulations to:

3R Wilson Maloney

3P Henry Whale

3S Martha Ferris

4Q Isabella Brydon

4S Jasmine Ryan

4A Millie Furneaux-Gay

5K Halle Swan

5L Lara Cartan

5C Alyssa Sleiman

6C Emma Newlan

6G Caitlin Dunstan

6T Adrian Lu


Ash Wednesday

Yesterday our primary students and staff joined with Deacon Paul, Fr Ross O'Brien and parishioners for our Ash Wednesday Mass. Ash Wednesday signals the start of Lent. For forty days we are asked to reflect on ourselves and how we can be better and do better. The three elements for a change of heart include prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Our Infant students also had the opportunity to take part in a special liturgy and receive the ashes. Thank you to Fr O'Brien for celebrating this Mass with us and to Mrs Sally Clarke and Mrs Amy Willis for organising both of these special events. 




Please read this important information by the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment regarding the collection of Student Residential Addresses and Other Information. 


Our first Parent Association Meeting will be held in the Primary Campus Staffroom on Tuesday 3rd March at 6.30pm. Once again, we warmly welcome all parents and carers to come along and become involved in this important facet of school life, especially our new Kindy parents! We look forward to seeing you there.



Please note our first School Advisory Council meeting for 2020 will be held on Monday 9th March at 5.00pm in the Primary Campus Staffroom. Diocesan Support Officer Catherine Ible will be present at this meeting to clarify the role of the Advisory Council in schools.



Please mark Thursday 19th March in your diary as this is the night we will be inviting parents and carers to come along and become informed on how to access the Parent Portal of Compass. More details to come! We appreciate that some parents may already be using the Compass Parent Portal if you have a child at McCarthy Catholic College, however we would appreciate if you wait for the correct processes to be put in place before attempting to use it with our St Edward's site.



Our Staff Development Days (Pupil Free Days) have been confirmed and are outlined in the 'Upcoming Dates' of our newsletter.   



As you would be well aware, the Coronavirus is still a very prominent topic in the media and we continue to receive updates from Catholic Schools NSW.


NSW Health has information available on its website.




Have a wonderful week everyone!

Alison Hatton & Lisa McSweeney



Focus on Learning

Campfire, Watering Hole and Cave

St Edward's continues to embrace contemporary learning and is working towards adopting this approach from Kindergarten to Year 6. Learning spaces within our classrooms are divided into smaller task focused spaces that relate directly to the learning behaviours students should display when working in each area.  At St Edward's we label each of the areas as outlined by Thornburg and Hewes (2013):
The Campfire: The campfire is a space where learners meet to receive explicit instructions. There is only one person speaking at a time in this space. This person is called the expert. 
The Watering Hole: The watering hole is a space where students work in small groups to complete tasks. They are encouraged to discuss, collaborate and share ideas.
The Cave: The cave is a space where students work independently to complete tasks.
The staff members at St Edward's are very excited about continuing to improve student learning outcomes through embracing the many benefits of flexible learning spaces.



RE News

Family Mass

This Sunday 1st March we invite all families to attend our first Family Mass for 2020. It is at 9.00am at Mary Help of Christians Church, Hillvue Road. Some Kindergarten, Year 3 and Year 6 students will be asked to do a special job. Everyone is then invited to stay and share Morning Tea provided by families from Kindergarten, Year 3 and Year 6.  It is a wonderful parish morning and we hope that you are able to join us. 

Caritas - Project Compassion

During Lent, we try to think of others, especially those less fortunate. Project Compassion is a wonderful program run by Caritas Australia to raise funds for communities in need. On Ash Wednesday (26th February), each student brought home a money box for families to make donations throughout Lent. These will be collected at the end of the term. Each classroom will have a donation box to encourage students to help those in need.

St Patrick's Day

On Tuesday 17th March we celebrate St Patrick’s Day. We ask all children to come dressed in green mufti clothes and bring a gold coin donation to raise money for CARITAS.


St Patrick was a Bishop and missionary in Ireland and is the Patron Saint of Ireland. He followed his faith, trusted God and spread God’s message of love to all. He often used shamrocks to explain the Holy Trinity; God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. After years of living in poverty, travelling and enduring much suffering because of his faith, he died on March 17, 461.

First Confession

We ask that you keep the students and families who are preparing to receive the Sacrament of Confession for the first time in your prayers and thoughts. 


Thank you to the students and families who attended the Enrolment Masses last weekend. It is wonderful to see that our students are growing in their understanding of the commitment they are making when they receive the Sacrament of Confession for the first time. 


A reminder that the date for the Sacrament of First Confession is Wednesday 25th March at 4.00pm. The Church Piety Stall will be open before the sacrament on this day. The Piety Stall sells Catholic religious gifts such as Rosary Beads, Prayer Cards, Statues and mementos for special occasions. 


If you have any questions relating to the Sacrament of Confession, please don’t hesitate to email Amy Willis at 

Forgiveness Reflection

Year 2 have been learning about the importance of forgiveness as we prepare for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We participated in a prayer celebration in our classrooms where we decorated the prayer focus with hearts that we had designed. The hearts showed how it makes us feel to know that God always loves and forgives us.






General News

Family Packages

Family packages were recently sent home with the eldest child in each family in Week 3. This envelope contained very important information, some of which needs to be returned to school by tomorrow, Friday 28th February.  We ask that you take time to go through the contents carefully and update information as required and complete and return forms/notes promptly. It will be appreciated if teachers and administration staff are not required to spend time chasing up notes etc. past the due date.  Thank you for your assistance and special thanks to those families who have already returned their forms. 

Kindergarten Photos - Monday 2nd March

Each year The Northern Daily Leader visits and takes Class Photos of our new Kindergarten students as part of a 12 page pictorial.  The Leader will be taking these photos this Monday 2nd March at 10.15am.  We ask that all Kindergarten students wear their full summer uniform on this day.  It is also important that we obtain authorisation from parents for children to be photographed. A Media and Communications Consent Form was included in the Family Packages sent home last Friday to all families. Please complete the form and return to your child's class teacher ASAP.  The Kindergarten pictorial will be featured in the Northern Daily Leader on Thursday 19th March.  

NRMA Bus Safety Program – Kinder Students only

On Tuesday 3rd March, all Kindergarten students will be participating in our annual NRMA Bus Safety Program from 9.00-11.00am. There will be an information and discussion session conducted by representatives of the NRMA, Police and Tamworth Bus Companies.  Please don’t forget to sign and return your child’s permission note if you haven’t already done so.  

Sport and School Activity Levy - due now

 A huge thank you to the families who have now paid the Levy. A reminder that this Levy covers the cost of sport and extracurricular activities that ALL students participate in (ie. School Cross Country, Gymnastics, Tennis, Eisteddfod, Swimming & Athletics Carnival, buses between Campuses). This Levy saves parents having to find small amounts of cash throughout the year and is a great time saver for our teaching staff by not having to count and record cash. 

The Primary Levy is $70 per child and the Infants Levy is $50 per child, with payment due by tomorrow Friday 28th February.  The levy can be paid direct to either school office by Cash, Cheque, EFTPOS or via the Qkr App .  

2020 Medical Action Plans

In December 2019 all parents who had children with a medical condition such as Asthma, Anaphylaxis, Seizures & Epilepsy, Diabetes were sent a Medical Action Plan from the school.  It is very important that these Action Plans are signed by the Parent/Carer and your GP and returned to school as soon as possible.  In most cases an appointment will need to be made with your GP to have the Plan completed. If you have misplaced your child's Action Plan, please contact Sue Kellett at the Primary Campus on 6765 7847 or by email ( and another Action Plan will be sent home.  Special thanks to the families who have already returned their child's Plan.

Student Health - Ringworm

Please note there has been a reported case of Ringworm at the Primary Campus.  Below is a fact sheet from NSW Health.

Ringworm is the name for a tinea fungal infection when it occurs on the scalp or body. It is called ‘athlete’s foot’ if it is between the toes or on the feet, and ‘jock itch’ if it is in the groin. Despite the name, no worms are involved.

Fungal infections on most areas of skin appear as a flat, spreading, ring-shaped scaly patch. The outer edge is usually reddish. The area often contains fluid, including pus, but may be dry and scaly, or moist and crusted.

The germ spreads by direct skin contact or by touching contaminated clothing or other articles, infected animals or contaminated soil. Children are infectious as long as the condition persists or until treatment has started. Good hand hygiene reduces the risk of spread.

Keep at home?

Yes. Children should be excluded until the day after anti-fungal treatment has started.

Clothing Pool

Did you have a sort through your children’s school uniforms during the holidays and have unwanted items? If so, both the Infants and Primary Clothing Pools are in need of good quality second hand items, particularly girls summer tunics.  Items can be donated or sold on consignment with 20% commission taken by the school.

Child Protection

As part of our school policy in keeping our children safe, we need to ensure that any person who takes care of the students of St Edward’s School has their Working with Children Clearance. This includes volunteers on an excursion, reading groups in the classroom or coaching a sporting team. If you don’t have this clearance, this is what you need to do: Go to the RMS (Roads and Maritime Services), and simply ask for the working with children clearance. More information can also be found by clicking here. Make sure you say that you are volunteering at the school for whatever the reason; otherwise there will be a charge of $80. If you volunteer it is free! The school will need a copy of this information which will be given to you by the RMS.  Please then send a copy into the school or email it to so we can keep it on file.


First Name: 

Date of Birth:

WWC number: 

Type of clearance:  Valid for unpaid work only 


2021 Kindergarten Enrolments - ENROL NOW

Applications for Kindergarten 2021 are NOW OPEN and close on Thursday 9th April 2020.  Please contact either school office for an enrolment pack.  Enrolment Forms will not be processed until all supporting documents are received: Birth Certificate; Immunisation Certificate; Baptismal Certificate (only required if your child is baptised Catholic) and proof of student’s residential address. Please spread the word if you know of anyone with a child wishing to start at St Edward's School in Kindergarten in 2021.


We would like to remind our families that St Ed’s has Qkr! This mobile App allows fast and easy payments with the flexibility to pay your School Fees, Activity Levy, Lunch Orders, School Clothing orders and Excursion money wherever and whenever you like. Simply download the Qkr! App from the app store (iPhone) or Google Play (Android). Register your child’s details on the App and away you go!!  It’s so simple and saves you, your child’s teacher and admin staff so much time counting and sorting money for those various miscellaneous payments. 



If you live a long way from public transport and need to drive a student to a public transport pick up point or to school, you may be able to get financial assistance.
The School Drive Subsidy provides eligible parents and guardians twice-yearly payments to help cover some of the expenses of getting children to school.
To find out if you’re eligible, and to apply online, visit or call 131 500.


2020 Diocesan Swimming Carnival

The following swimmers will represent St Edward’s at the Armidale Diocesan Carnival in Moree tomorrow, Friday 28th February:  Grace Goodfellow, Lily Androutsos, Olivia Murray, Lara Cartan, Millah Smith, Sienna Pepperell, Jessica Shiels, Mia Goodfellow, Maye Hatton, Ava Mazarto, Lachlan Murray, Henry Rumsby, Sam Studte, Fergus McGilchrist, Jack Whale, Harry Hudson, Rory MacRae, Cooper Jones, Henry Whale, Riley Jones,  Darcy Madgwick and Mitchell Williams. 


We wish all these swimmers the best of luck!


Basketball continues this afternoon with another week of trials and the competition officially commencing on the 4th March. 

This year St Edward's basketball teams are able to train after school in the Primary School Hall with additional skill sessions being offered by Scott Ward, a member of the St Edward's Basketball Committee. 

Below are the skills session times to run throughout March. 

* Sunday 1st March – beginners 10.30am to 11.15am, advanced 11.30am to 12.15pm - Score bench course to be run at the same time, more info below.

* Tuesday 3rd March – beginners 4.00pm to 4.45pm, advanced 5.00pm to 5.45pm

* Tuesday 10th March – beginners 4.00pm to 4.45pm, advanced 5.00pm to 5.45pm

*Sunday 29th March – beginners 10.30am to 11.15am, advanced 11.30am to 12.15pm

Sessions are voluntary, open to any player that is interested and will be run in the St Edward's Primary School Hall.

Players can attend either or both sessions if they wish. Both sessions will focus on fundamental skills, the second session will be a little more challenging, but not a rep level training session.


Score bench course will also be run as part of the session on Sunday 1st March. Bonnie Lane will be running this whilst the skills sessions are happening. For each game, each team is required to provide at least 1 score bench person. We would like all parents to be able to help out with the score bench activities rather than it falling on the same people to do it every week. We will look at running another session if people are unable to attend this Sunday.

If you have questions please do not hesitate to contact Scott Ward by email: 

St Ed's Netball 2020

Registration for St Edward’s Netball Saturday competition is now open.

Netball starts this Saturday 2nd May 2020.

Registrations have to be fully completed and paid for online by Friday 13th March 2020.

Active Kids Vouchers are accepted!

For all registrations, it is the age you are turning/ have turned in 2020.

Junior Registration, 11 years and over

NetSetGo Registration 10 and Under in 2020.


If you need any help, please contact Clare Dubois or Nikki Bridge at the Primary Canteen


A little about how netball runs.......

Net, Set, Go! (NSG) is three tiered. Players will receive a Net, Set, Go pack which usually arrives before the end of the netball season.

Saturday - Net - Activity/Skills Activity Dates:  02-May to 29-August.  Start Time: 12:00PM. Net (Skills Only) - 5-6 year olds - teaches fundamental motor skills through dance, music and games

Saturday - Set - Skills/Competition Activity Dates: 02-May to 29-August. Start Time: 12:00PM. Set (Skills and Modified Competition) - 7-8 year olds - focuses on refining fundamental motor skills and introducing modified netball matches

Saturday - GO – Competition Activity Dates: 02-May to 29-August.  Start Time: 12:00PM. Go (Modified Competition) - 9-10 year olds - focuses on developing netball specific skills through modified netball matches

Juniors  - 11-17 Yrs. Activity Dates: 02-May – Grand Finals 19-September. Start Time: 1:00PM They play by the ‘normal’ netball rules with the correct netball ring height. This is a competitive competition with finals netball being played and trophies awarded.

Uniform: Players wear the St Edward’s netball uniform, which can be purchased from the Primary School canteen or on the QKR! app for a cost of $75.00. St Ed’s netball visors are also available.

This year, all registrations need to be completed and paid for online.



Juniors Link:

Both links can be found in the school newsletter. If you have any issues with these links, please email Nikki Bridge -


All students who returned their notes should now have received an email prompting them to register their child online. Teams will be continually updated  as permission notes are received via this online note

The teams are listed below


Mr Sam Casson and Miss Arnie Purdy will be the teacher representatives for the Oztag Summer competition. 

Touch Football

Teams will be continually updated  as permission notes are received via this online note. 

Mr Sam Casson and Mrs Tatum Johns will be the teacher representatives for the Touch Football Summer Competition.

All players are asked to register on-line and payments can also be made from there.




Library News

Library News

Week 6 will run on Cycle A


Infants Librarian: Marisa Cartan


Primary Librarian: Tash Gippel   


Premier’s Reading Challenge

The Premier’s Reading Challenge is on again this year. All students K-3 will be registered by the end of next week (Week 6). An expression of interest note went home Monday of Week 4 with students in Years 4-6. All students are most welcome to be a part of the Challenge. 


**A Few Things to remember**


*The Challenge opens on 2 March 2020. You must complete your online Student Reading Record by 28 August 2020 (11:59 pm) to complete the Challenge.


*Books you read after the Challenge closes can count towards the next year's Challenge.


*In an approved series on the PRC booklist, you can read any three books as PRC books. You can read up to five other books from the same series as Personal Choice books.


*K-2 Challenge: you can read books or have them read to you in your home language.


*3-4, 5-6 and 7-9 Challenges: you must read all PRC books in English. You may read Personal Choice books in your home language.


* If you complete your online Student Reading Record by 28 August 2020, and it is validated by your school by 11 September (11:59 pm), you will be eligible for a PRC certificate in Term 4.


*K-2 students only - If you can read simple chapter books on your own, you can attempt the 3-4 Challenge. You need to get your Student Reading Record changed to Challenge level 3-4. See your PRC coordinator for help with this. 

*You must read a certain number of books to complete the Challenge:


Number of books you must read

Minimum number of PRC books

Maximum number of Personal Choice books

PRC booklists you can read from





K-2, 3-4, 5-6





3-4, 5-6, 7-9





5-6, 7-9


*For any other information or if you have any questions, please feel free to ask Mrs Cartan or Mrs Gippel. Alternatively visit the website



Each class will be borrowing every fortnight due to the nature of our new timetable. They will be choosing books to take home and also to keep in class for DEAR (Drop Everything And Read). During borrowing time the students will have both their classroom teacher and the teacher librarian to assist in choosing their books to ensure that the books are at an appropriate reading level and in line with their interests.


Borrowing Days:

Cycle A

Tuesday - Year 2, 4A  & Year 6

Wednesday - Year 3 & 4S


Cycle B

Monday - Kinder

Wednesday - Year 1 & Year 5


Extra Borrowing Time:

If your child happens to miss their Library borrowing day or would like to borrow in between their borrowing time they are able to borrow during their lunchtime. The Library will be open at lunch on the following days.


Infants: Cycle A - Tuesdays, Wednesdays

Cycle B - Wednesdays


Primary: Cycle A - Tuesday, Wednesdays 

Cycle B - Wednesdays


Book Care

Please ensure that your children take care of their Library Books and keep them in a special place. They will need a library bag to take books home in - even an old pillow case is sufficient. Many books are often lost, misplaced or damaged. If this happens please email your child’s Librarian.


Book Covering

We have many new and beautiful books that need covering. Please send us an email if you are able to assist. Any help at all would be very much appreciated.


Yours In Reading,

Tash and Marisa

Parent Association

Parent Association AGM

This year we will hold our AGM for the Parent Association on Tuesday 3rd March at 6.30pm in the Primary Staffroom. Please come along to meet other parents in our School community. We particularly welcome our new Kindy parents to come along!

Baker's Delight Tamworth

A reminder to our families - Don't forget to mention St Edward's School when purchasing from either Baker's Delight Stores in Tamworth.  At the end of the year they donate back 5% from all purchases to our school.  

Canteen News


A reminder to parents and carers that our school will be observing the Fridays of Lent as special days of prayer and penance. We encourage families to not order meat products from the School Canteen each FRIDAY during Lent, commencing on Friday 28th February. Why not try a toasted cheese sandwich, macaroni and cheese or a fish burger as an alternative??

Thank you for your assistance in regards to this request.

Canteen Roster

Friday 28th February HELP NEEDED Lauren McMahon
Monday 2nd March Michelle Hatch Keisha Frazer & Emma O'Connor
Tuesday 3rd March HELP NEEDED

Tamara Cohen & Reya Erich

Wednesday 4th March HELP NEEDED Rebecca Hungerford & Angela Campbell
Thursday 5th March Toni Lawrence                      Liss McCulloch & Amanda Young             


Uniform Shop

School Hat           $30

School Tie            $25

School Jumper  $35

School Jacket    $70

Sports Polo         $35

Sports Shorts     $30

Sports Socks      $10

Girls Navy Winter Socks  $10 

Girls Navy Winter Tights  $10

Boys Grey School Socks  $10

Winter Scarf  $10

Paint Shirt   $20

Library Bag  $10

Backpack   $50

Basketball Uniform  $55

Netball Uniform $75 (please note price increase) NB: there are a few second hand netball uniforms also available for sale, so please enquire with the Primary Canteen. 


The above items are available for purchase from either the Primary Canteen, Infants Office or via the Qkr! App on your mobile phone.   


Sherpa Kids Before/After School Care

New Enrolments

For any enrolment enquiries, please contact William Wong (Director)  Ph:  0410 841 628

Parenting Ideas

Wise Words for Families

"When you love but don’t like your child" by Michael Grose

It goes without saying that we always love our children. That doesn’t mean however, that we always like them or how they are behaving. Rather than beating yourself up, it’s useful to figure out what you don’t like and work from there. Here are some of the common reasons, and some ways to help overcome it.

Common reasons

It’s their behaviour

Generally, it’s a child’s behaviour that you won’t like rather than the child themselves. Whether it’s a surly adolescent who scowls every time you walk into a room, or a toddler who whines when they don’t get their own way, it can be difficult separating the child from the behaviour.

It’s a stage

Some developmental stages are more problematic than others. Both toddlers and teens are programmed to get under their parent’s skin. The respective developmental tasks are independence and identity formation, both involving a degree of parental challenge, making them hard to get close to at times.

It’s their gender

Some people are naturally drawn to a particular gender, and struggle interacting with the other gender. The struggle can be personality driven, or come as a result of family background. For instance, a mother who grew up in an all-girl household may struggle with the boisterousness involved in raising a son.

It’s their personality

Some personalities grate, even in families. If you’re a quiet, task-oriented type and you really struggle relating to loud, life of the party types at work, then this won’t necessarily change when you come home. You will probably struggle to relate to that loud, got-to-be-the-centre-of-attention type of child or teen in your family. If you value sensitivity and a careful choice of words and someone else comes off as flippant with ‘no filter’, equally it can be jarring.

They’re not meeting your expectations

Parents usually have hopes and dreams for their children, which are not always fulfilled. A child who doesn’t follow in your footsteps or meet your academic or lifestyle expectations can be a source of disappointment and frustration.

It’s a lack of common ground

Just as is the case with adult relationships, sometimes people in the same family are just somewhat (or wildly!) different to each other. Neither of you need to work to become a carbon copy of the other, but you do need to work to understand each other. Remembering the preferences, soft spots, no-go zones and other nuances of each other’s personality goes a long way towards reaching a language you can speak fluently with each other. Kids interests can change a lot over time, and you may even find something in common that you never thought possible.

How to move forward constructively

Face your feelings

Resist the temptation to push away or ignore your feelings, as this is the antithesis of emotional intelligence. Unrecognised feelings are a heavy burden to bear. It’s far better to face up to and accept the way you feel about your child. Do you feel anger, disappointment, sadness, frustration or even discouraged? Is it a mixture? Own your feelings and you’ll find that you will have more control over them in time.

Make adjustments accordingly

Work out what’s behind these feelings. If it’s a personality clash or differences in life goals, then you may need to adjust your expectations accordingly or start to manage your own behaviours and reactions better. Accepting your child or young person for who they are can bring you a great deal of relief. If you have a child who you wouldn’t have chosen to be your friend, then it’s up to you to make a change. Accept and appreciate them for who they are you’ll find that your child or teen will be easier to like and your relationship will improve.

Bring some playfulness into your parenting

Do you need to be more playful and less serious when you are in your child’s company? If so, look for ways to build your relationship by spending some enjoyable one-on-one time together.

Follow their interests

Considering following their interests, even if they’re not necessarily your own. If you’re a creative type and your child is a sports buff, then take the time to follow their interests. Understanding why will tell you a lot about your child and what makes them tick. You may also find that he or she also starts following your interests once you take the lead.

Look for the good

When we are struggling to like and connect with a child there is a tendency to focus on the things we don’t like about them. Our attention becomes like a television antenna tuned into the negative rather the positive behaviour or attitudes. Tune your antenna to look for the good rather than the bad in your child.

Bite your tongue

Resist the temptation to criticise your child about minor and annoying behaviours, as nit-picking will only reinforce mutual disregard. Biting your tongue and smiling when your child says or does something that grates on you is the type of emotional labour that makes parenting challenging. But choosing your battles will make your day easier and improve your relationship long term.

Hold them accountable

It’s not always appropriate to hold your tongue. Children need to be held accountable for poor, inconsiderate behaviour. There are some behaviours such as being disrespectful to others, or not following set family rules and values that need to be picked up on. Ensure that you treat all kids in your family fairly and justly.

Keep showing up

There may be times where you may feel there is nothing left to do. Keep showing up anyway. The single, most important thing you can do as a parent is to show up every single day. It will send a powerful message to your child that even if you don’t like how they are behaving, you’re always going to love them. If you can accept your child for who they are, then they are more likely to make subtle changes in their behaviours to meet your needs and expectations. This type of social adjustment is the lynchpin of healthy, respectful relationships.

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