Ask Danielle

This week, The Weekly's Danielle Colley tackles your questions about leaving a horrible work place, and approaching parents who smack.

By Danielle Colley
Dear Danielle,
My daughter recently wanted to talk to me about something and the something she brings up is that when she and her brother were playing mums and babies with two friends (different parents) - Friend One and Friend Two kept smacking the ‘siblings’ on the bum and saying 'naughty children' and sending them to their rooms.
That was their version of mums and babies.
My daughter said she and her brother didn't like the game because of the hitting but when she tried to stop playing Friend One threw a tantrum and everybody got into trouble for fighting.
I'm anti-smacking and was wondering how or if to bring it up with the parents who are smackers that their children are role playing it on other children?
From, AntiSmackDown
Dear AntiSmackDown,
The smacking thing is a very personal thing.
Although smacking with a hand without using “excessive force” is still legal, it has become an increasingly outdated method of parenting, however many parents still give a bum stinger as a last resort when they completely lose their cool and then regret it for the rest of the day.
Because we know that smacking is not a great parenting tool, and that corporal punishment is not generally acceptable, people tend not to talk about it if they do do it.
I would bring it up with the parents of your kid’s playmates, however, I would do it in a very non-judgemental way because unless you are concerned for the children’s welfare, you really only want to bring up that the behaviour is occurring.
Mention that your children were upset by the game because playing “smacks” is not very fun, and that perhaps everyone would benefit from a conversation about why the game is not acceptable.
Or teach your kids martial arts so next time they can take them down good and proper.
Dear Danielle,
I’m in a terrible situation at work and don’t know what to do. I have been at my company for 10 years but ever since I had my first baby two years ago, my boss’ attitude towards me has completely changed.
She is like a dark cloud hanging over my life.
She talks about me negatively to my colleagues, conspired to avoid paying me my annual bonus and criticises everything I do. I can usually handle it but now I am pregnant again and I’ve found her behaviour is really affecting my mental health.I’m struggling to get through every day but can’t afford to quit, especially not when I’m so close to getting long service leave and facing another long period of unpaid maternity leave. My baby is due is four months.
What should I do?
From, Over It
Dear Over It,
There are two answers to this issue. One is emotional, and the other is practical.
I want to tell you to leave. I want to tell you that you are pregnant and growing a human inside your body is quite enough stress without having to deal with added pressure from your work but in order to do this you need to ensure that you are financially stable going into this next phase of child rearing.What I’m actually going to tell you is to do your best to stick it out because the long service leave will give you breathing space to enjoy your baby and hopefully find another job while you’re on maternity leave.
In the meantime, is there any way you can work one day a week from home?
Ensure you take lunch breaks, and go outside and get some fresh air to reset yourself for the rest of the day. You need to dig deep to rise above it to get through the next couple of months.
Perhaps see your doctor and tell them you are stressed and have your maternity leave brought forward?
If your mental health is truly at risk, there is no amount of long service leave in the world that is worth jeopardising your health, but only you can truly know if you can bear this or not.
Danielle is not a qualified counsellor and all advice is opinion based only, to be followed at the responsibility of the recipient.
Do you have a dilemma or conundrum you would like to ask Danielle?
Drop her a line at askdanielle@bauer-media.com.au and she will endeavour to help you sort your life out.

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