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Why Weaverbirds? I am often asked why we chose weaver birds, and Tippy, our weaver bird, to lead our brand.
Weaver birds live in communities. They build intricate nests in colonies, share resources and create a safe environment for all. They provide support to their community.
At Weaverbird Stories we aim to create a community where you can find the support you need to share your stories and help your child over life’s bumps.
Like weaver birds having a support network, whether it be your family, friends, professionals or parenting groups, is beneficial for both parents and their chicks. While that is easy for some people, it isn’t for others, who need to work at participating in a community. Tippy says, 'It’s worth the effort.'
Go on, share your Weaverbirds stories
At Weaverbirds we encourage children to share their weaverbirds stories. Reading them with a teacher, trusted adult or a friend, so that they are aware of the bump the child is going over, and can provide support and understanding.
Use Tippy’s Who Is In Your House activity, to work through with your child who the trusted people in your lives might be.
It can be easier for a child to share their feelings with a trusted person, who isn’t their main caregiver, they may worry about hurting their caregivers with their feelings, particularly in cases of separation and divorce.
It may also be healthy for a child to get a different perspective on the situation and listen to a view that is less emotional. When dealing with grief hearing and sharing stories with others about the lost loved one, may help them to continue feeling connected.
Let people help
In my experience people like to help, we all know it makes them feel good. So don’t be afraid to ask for help. People are often keen to help a friend or family member but aren’t always sure how. They may worried about seeming to interfere, unsure how to approach you or not quite sure what they can do.
If someone does reach out, be like the weaver bird, don’t be too proud and let them help.
Think about who in your community can help, for example keeping the a teacher across a change in the family and checking in with them to see how a child is managing socially, emotionally and academically, may alert you to any issues.
A word to the wise… from experience make sure the trusted adult is given forewarning so that they are ready to help your child and not taken by surprise.
A problem shared is a problem halved
I confess, I am an over sharer, waxing lyrical about what is going on in my life or something that is grating on me, often saying things out of frustration that I really only mean in that moment. I love that my friends listen and empathise, sometimes offering advice, sometimes pointing out that I am being unreasonable. It is healthy to vent, sharing and expressing your emotions. Although I am certain, nine times out of ten, that I wouldn’t want any child listening to how I am expressing myself in some of those moments.
Sharing those big emotions with children may stop them sharing their own feelings. They may worry that you are not able to cope with their concerns too. Feel better about your problem by sharing those big emotions with friends, a professional or trusted adult.
Community, personal growth and a good nights sleep
My mum encouraged my sister and I to spend time with our extended family, when we were growing up. We spent weekends and holidays with my grandmother and, mum's little sister and her husband. I believe that my own personal experience of growing up within my community, led me to being a stronger, independent person, with a broader base of knowledge and experience.
This wasn’t easy for mum. There were different rules, we got to try new things and were exposed to new ideas. We would happily wave goodbye to our parents as we speed off for another weekend of fun with our ‘cool’ aunt and uncle. We would whinge about how strict and old-fashioned mum was when we gtot home.
As an adult it has become evident to me how healthy this was for my mum’s mental health and wellbeing, as well my sister and my own personal growth. I was an energetic child, who only needed a few hours sleep, mum was exhausted!
In time, I was able to play a similar role to my aunt's 3 kids, providing them with support and an alternative perspective on life.
We were lucky to have our extended family close by (as a direct result of how difficult I was as child).
Where to look for more support
Make the most of existing social supports and family members.
If you have concerns or are noticing any of the following behaviours, speak with your GP about a referral to a Child Psychologist:
- Ongoing social isolation or withdrawal
- Aggressive or acting out behaviour
- Regression (not being able to do skills previously mastered)
- Significant distress on separation
- Crying more than usual
- Or if your instincts are telling you that your child is struggling