TUFF Tips for Surviving Parenting with a FIFO Partner

TUFF Tips for Surviving Parenting with a FIFO Partner

by Aaron Gerovich on Jun 25, 2024

Parenting with a FIFO (fly-in-fly-out) partner can be challenging, but with the right strategies, you can create a supportive and harmonious home environment.

We spoke to Kirsty O'Callaghan, a professional communication, public speaker and research strategist who provided invaluable insights on how to navigate the unique stresses of a FIFO lifestyle.

Here are her top Tuff Tips for keeping your family as stress-free as possible!

Establish Routines

The Power of Predictability

Routines are an excellent tool for reducing stress and providing everyone with a sense of predictability and security. When children follow consistent routines, such as daily chores, school preparation, homework, and organising their belongings, they learn responsibility and take pride in their actions. A stable routine helps children feel secure in their environment, boosting their confidence and willingness to take risks.

Foster Open Communication

Creating a Team Environment

Encourage a team spirit at home by sharing your feelings and coping strategies in age-appropriate language. Open communication helps everyone talk about their emotions without judgment, allowing for emotional release and reducing the buildup of stress.

Master the Art of Blending

Combining Activities for Quality Time

Blending activities to meet everyone's needs can help you stay connected with your children while managing household tasks or relaxing. This approach provides opportunities to engage with your children, teach them new skills, and be present in their lives. As your children grow, adapt your blending strategies to fit their changing needs and interests.

Recognise Signs of Stress and Anxiety

Be Aware of These Indicators

  1. Tears over minor issues.
  2. Nervous habits like nail-biting or hair-twirling.
  3. Physical complaints such as stomach aches, headaches, and fatigue.
  4. Regression to younger behaviors like bed-wetting or eating with hands. Withdrawal from friends or siblings.
  5. Any unusual behavior not typical of your child

Stress Management Tips for Children

Eight Strategies to Help Your Kids Cope

Remove Pressure: Understand your child's personality and limits. Listen and acknowledge their feelings, giving them time and space to process.

Stick to Routines: Maintain consistency as much as possible.

Find Comfort: Ask your children what helps them relax—whether it's music, reading, or spending time with family or friends.

Promote Healthy Habits: Ensure your children eat nutritious foods, stay hydrated, and get regular exercise.

Provide Tokens of Support: Give your child something small from Mum or Dad that offers comfort while they're away.

Manage Your Own Stress: Your calmness will help your children feel more relaxed.

Get Involved in the Community: Volunteering can alleviate feelings of stress and isolation for both you and your children.

Lighten the Mood: Engage in fun activities like watching comedy movies, spending afternoons at the park, or enjoying cozy chats over hot chocolate or ice cream.

Parenting with a FIFO partner comes with its own set of challenges, but by establishing routines, fostering open communication, and managing stress effectively, you can create a supportive and harmonious environment for your family.

At TUFF Rings Australia, we believe in strengthening family connections and making life a bit easier for FIFO families.

For more tips and insights on handling life as a FIFO family, take a look at Kirsty's book 'Separated By Work' and follow her on social media.

You can also watch her helpful video on managing stress in FIFO families here: YouTube Video.

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