Q My father has begun to display early stage dementia and his doctor has confirmed this. My children are aged 5 and 7, and as Dad’s dementia progresses, I want them to develop age-appropriate understanding. At the same time, I don’t want them to think that dementia and the forgetfulness that goes with it is automatically part of growing older. Please give me some tips to encourage them to be patient and thoughtful.
Q My son Jack has completed his first term of Year 12 and his anxiety levels are climbing. He has set himself high standards and wants to proceed to university. I want to support him and would appreciate some strategies, including how best to prepare him for the HSC exams.
Q Over the past few months, I have been seriously considering leaving my husband. We have been married for 14 years and we have three children but somewhere along the way, we have grown apart. I am torn between doing what’s “right” by the children and what is “right” for me. I don’t know how I feel anymore and don’t want to open up too much to my friends, especially if I decide to stay. How do I start unpacking this more in my head before making my decision?
Q As a parent of three children I feel I have lost who I am. I have put so much effort into what I perceived as being a great parent. I have always put my kids first and now they rule our house. I have done this out of love but now feel stuck and don’t know how to change this. My relationship with my husband is strained because I have given everything, including all my time and attention, to my children, believing I had to do this to meet their needs. But I have done this at the expense of my relationship and now have nothing left in my tank to give him. How do I reclaim ‘me’? I feel like I am just ‘surviving’ − trying to cope as a mother of three, work and run a household. I am in a rut and don’t know how to get out.
Psychology Week is an annual initiative established by the Australian Psychological Society (APS) aimed at increasing awareness of how psychology can help people and communities lead healthier, happier and more meaningful lives.
Q I have been looking forward to retirement at the end of this year for so long. I have worked as a school teacher for many years and suddenly I feel lost and fearful. I don’t know who I will be or what I will do if I am not teaching. Can you suggest how to deal with my fears and forge into the unknown with positivity rather than fear?