Monday, 31 July 2017

Bayside Collaborative and Heartlinks

Bayside Collaborative Family Lawyers are always keen to support and collaborate with charities and organisations to enhance our local community.

For several years, we have worked alongside Family Life in Sandringham often referring our clients to the services offered. For those that haven’t heard of Family life they are an independent, innovative community organisation who are dedicated to working with vulnerable families and communities. 

Their mission is to enable children, young people and families to thrive in caring communities with a belief that every child has the right to grow up safely in the care of their families with the support of a caring community. Who wouldn’t want to support such a mission and belief?

Heartlinks is a social enterprise business of Family Life providing relationship education and counselling services in our Bayside area. Their focus is on supporting individuals and families to build healthier relationships by offering professional support and learning through relationship and communication seminars, workshops and individual or family focused support.

Heartlinks are planning to run the following workshops during August and September on either a Monday or Wednesday evening:

  • Communicating with your Adolescent
  • Post Separation Parenting
  • Better Relationships for couples
  • Successful Step Parenting and Blended families

In addition to the workshops, Heartlinks can also support you through challenging times in your relationship by providing counselling either individual or family focused support.

All workshops and Counselling sessions take place at the Family Life offices in Sandringham.

For more information please read the information sheets in the links below or contact Heartlinks (03) 8599 5488

Heartlinks Adolescent Workshop Flyer August 2017

Heartlinks Positive Parenting after Separation Flyer August 2017

Monday, 24 July 2017

When to introduce your children to a new partner?

Is there ever a ‘right’ time to introduce your children to your new partner? Each family is different and there are many factors to be taken into account particularly how the children will react.

Children may still be holding onto the hope that their parents will reconcile and to hear that one or both of their parents has a new partner can be an emotionally challenging and confusing time for them. Of course the age of your child will affect how and when you break the news to them.

As a rule of thumb it is important any new relationship is at a stage whereby it has a future, is a happy relationship and is stable. Some say this is anything from 6 months onwards. It can cause far more harm to your children to continually introduce them to a new partner only weeks later to be introducing them to another new partner.

And what about your new partner – how will they feel about being introduced to your children? They may not have children of their own and may themselves be nervous and unsure as to the road ahead. They themselves may have children and consideration not only needs to be given to the children meetings your new partner but also both sets of children meeting each other.

Here are some helpful tips to consider when introducing your children to your partner:
  • Talk to your children - explain you have a new partner and would like at some point to introduce them to him or her.
  • Keep the first meeting short – it helps to go somewhere neutral such as a cafĂ© or park.
  • Don’t arrange an overnight stay straight away.
  • Give your children lots of reassurances – your new partner isn’t going to replace their mum or dad.
  • Consider how their mum or dad will feel about you introducing your new partner to your children.
It is likely to take your children some time to accept a new person in your life but with careful planning and support for your children you will be able to sensibly navigate you way through. 

Remember to consider the time since separation, the age of your children and the level of commitment to your new partner.

It is helpful to talk to your former partner and discuss how in the future you intend to both introduce new partners to your children. This can form part of the discussions within the collaborative process to ensure a smooth transition for your children with the support of both of their parents.

Contact Bayside Collaborative for more information

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Is the time ever right?

Following the end of a relationship the prospect of moving on and meeting someone else may seem daunting or even impossible. For many it’s the end of a dream, a happily ever after, a growing old together. The journey towards a fresh start and a new beginning for some can take years to achieve and it is all part of the healing process.

A fresh start may involve a new partner. You may have forgotten how to flirt and nor do you want to risk rejection so where do you start? The world of dating has advanced and your trusted one line catchphrases may not appeal to the opposite sex any more. It’s now common for people to meet through online dating agencies, by scrolling through profile pictures and narrowing the search criteria to the characteristics you are seeking. This in itself can pose a hurdle for those who are not internet savvy.

It is important to have closed the door on a previous relationship and for you to be emotionally ready for a new one. Being able to move on necessitates a period of healing similar to grieving the loss of a loved one. The healing process can be both mental and physical. It’s important to be able to identify who you are, the end of a relationship affects how you perceive yourself and your level of self-esteem. Reigniting and surrounding yourself with friends will help to boost your self-esteem and distract you from the pain you may be experiencing. You may need further help from a professional such as a Psychologist or your GP.

Learning from a breakup will undoubtedly help future relationships to succeed. Look back and question where did the relationship go wrong? Did you take each other for granted? Did you spend enough time together and how can you improve upon that in future relationships?

At Bayside Collaborative whether your relationship is coming to an end or you are starting a new one we can help you start your new life with dignity and respect.  Contact us at