Family Transitions

Stages and events in life often force transitions in families causing dynamics and relationships to change. One of these is becoming a parent. Another is ageing. We are able to help you develop and improve your parenting skills from the early years through to primary years, teenage years and beyond. In addition, we are able to help you navigate the complex web of aged care and optimise your relationship with your ageing loved ones.

Read more about our parenting philosophy The Smart Parent.

Life Institute, Family Transitions

What support we offer

LIFE offers a suite of family transition support services to suit your family needs. These support services include: one-on-one counselling either face-to-face in our rooms, online or on the phone; group seminars at your home, community centre, or workplace; and group webinars. See below for a description of the topics for seminars and webinars.


Click on the title of the seminar to view more.

Seminar Outline
If you are a parent to young children, about to take the plunge into parenthood, or are involved in raising young children, then this workshop is for you. With a focus on the early years, birth to five years of age, this workshop will provide you with a toolbox of knowledge and skills that can be applied easily and readily to help promote healthy growth and development of young children and build strong foundations for happy family relationships.

The workshop will cover the following areas:
Emotional development – Through learning about how children develop from birth to age five, participants will gain an insight into how to manage expectations of their children and create an atmosphere of empathy and love.

Directing behaviour – Explore familiar child-parent interactions in a realistic and honest context and develop an awareness of how rewards, consequences and punishment – if used with poor knowledge and skill – can lead easily to bribery and threats.

Managing family stress – Learn how to be an optimistic parent by being conscious of what you say and do; learn the magic trick of giving instructions in a positive way by understanding the subconscious drivers of behaviour.

Understanding feelings in the family – Gain an understanding of why a vocabulary of feelings is such an important gift for your child; how reading your own feelings can help to work out what’s going on with your child; how temperament can make you smile or drive you crazy; and parenting style – the key to harmony.

Work/Life/Family balance – Participate in an exercise on work/life/family balance, which will demonstrate the importance of striking and maintaining a balance in life.

Participants will receive a workbook with the content of the workshop as well as tip sheets on topics, such as sleeping like a baby, crying to communicate, tackling tantrums, establishing healthy eating habits, the new parent, love, the balancing act, biting, smacking, and aggression.

In addition, a list of children’s books will be included, providing useful tools to help parents teach children about social/emotional issues at their level. A list of useful telephone numbers and websites for parents and carers will also be included.

Download our ‘Parenting Early Years’ seminar brochure [PDF File size: 120KB]

Seminar Outline
If you have a primary school aged child, or a child moving into this stage, or are involved in raising children of this age, then this workshop is for you. You may be struggling with issues such as sibling rivalry, motivation in areas of health, homework and household chores, your child’s friendship squabbles, or are simply interested in ways to raise a child who can make morally informed choices in life, then this workshop will provide you with the practical knowledge and skills to make life easier and more enjoyable for the whole family.

The workshop will cover the following areas:
Emotional development – Through learning about how a primary school aged child develops psychologically, participants will gain an insight into the importance of teaching values and raising children to make morally informed choices in life.

Raising motivated children – Explore ways to motivate children by looking at opposing views based on fear or trust. Learn how to develop a number of personal attributes in children, such as self-confidence, perseverance, resiliency, accountability and adaptability. Apply this to practical issues such as health, homework and housework.

Teaching children to make and keep friends – Participate in some realistic role plays that cover the social and emotional rules of making and keeping friends during specific interactions, such as sharing, playing games and chatting.

Participants will receive a workbook with the content of the workshop as well as tip sheets on topics, such as ADD/ADHD, aggression, back chatting, bullying and teasing, empathy, family meetings, friends, gender rules, homework, lying, motivation, peer pressure, pocket money, sibling rivalry, study habits, swearing and TV/screen time. In addition, a list of children’s books will be included, providing useful tools to help parents teach children about social/emotional issues at their level. A list of helpful telephone numbers and websites for parents and carers will also be included.

Download our ‘Parenting Primary Years’ seminar brochure [PDF File size: 224KB]

Seminar Outline

If you are a parent of a teenager, have a child entering this often tumultuous stage, or are simply interested in why teenagers behave the way they do, then this workshop is for you. Gain an insight into the workings of a teenager’s mind and develop strategies to encourage positive interactions. Learn the importance of balancing the need to let go and the increasing influence of peers whilst at the same time setting boundaries and maintaining the family bond.

The workshop will cover the following areas:

Emotional development – Through learning about how a teenager develops psychologically, participants can gain an insight into how to manage their expectations effectively especially around issues such as independence versus boundaries and peer influence versus parental involvement.

Communicating with your teenager – How you talk and listen to your teenager will affect the way they behave, how you interact as a family, how conflict is dealt with, sibling rivalry, peer influence, school work and much more. Giving and receiving feedback is a practical process that can be learnt to make communication so much easier at this often difficult stage.

Managing family stress – Explore subconscious processes such as perceptions, beliefs, expectations, habits, values, feelings and self-talk. Look at how these interact with a teenager’s developing sense of self, peer influence and core family values.

Participants will receive a workbook with the content of the workshop as well as tip sheets on topics, such as aggression, back-chatting, friends, gender rules, listening, lying, motivation, personality, TV/screen time, and much more.

In addition, good books for teenagers will be recommended, providing useful tools to help teenagers manage the myriad of social/emotional issues at their level. A list of helpful telephone numbers and websites for parents and carers will also be included and cover areas, such as safe use of the internet, schoolies and depression.

Download our ‘Parenting Teenage Years’ seminar brochure [PDF File size: 224KB]

Seminar Outline
In life we don’t always have control over what happens, but we do have control over how we respond. Being resilient is a way of responding that leads to positive outcomes, such as healthy relationships, success and happiness. Knowing that resilience is a response that has such wonderful benefits, how then do we as parents and carers develop and encourage resilience in those we care about?

As people we care for grow, change and develop we find there is a need for a process that supports, guides and challenges them in a way that enhances their resilience to obstacles, transitions and setbacks in life. One way to increase resilience in those we care about is through coaching. Coaching is a process that is driven by the person who wants support. In longer term relationships, such as those between parents and their children, there are normally many interactions, thus providing more opportunities for coaching on resilience.

The seminar will cover the following areas:

Raising a Resilient child

Stress – Teaching children how to manage stress through preparation, personal control and relaxation techniques.

Developing networks and support for children – How to make and keep friends. What is bullying? What to do when your child is bullied. What to do when your child is the bully. How to talk to your child about bullying and other social/emotional issues; such as dealing with transitions and change, lowered self esteem, coping with challenges and obstacles in life, making decisions, coping with loss and grief, building efficacy and belief in themselves, achieving their goals, and much more.

Increasing your child’s emotional intelligence – The primary focus is on how to coach your child on the many and varied social and emotional encounters they experience as part of their day to day interactions with siblings in the family, friends at school, mates on a sports team, and so forth. The main skill gained from this seminar is coaching children, in particular active listening and powerful questioning. This process of coaching helps children learn to be resilient, accountable and be able to make and keep friends and enjoy healthy family relationships.

The seminar is suitable for parents/carers who have primary and teenage children.

If you already find that you are listening and talking to your 3 year old child each day and want to learn more about how to coach them really well, then come along.

If you have adult children who need your support, but you don’t know how to coach them on things like transitions in their career, separation and divorce, etc. then it’s never too late to learn.

Participants will receive a useful contacts list for community resources, a booklist with suggestions for great reads for children and resilience on a range of resilience issues as well as many tip sheets including: Striking a healthy Work/Life/Family Balance, Dealing with bullying at school, Parenting in culturally diverse families, Drugs and your teenager, Helping children cope with nightmares and fears, Making and Keeping Friends, Teaching kids to be considerate and grateful, Coping with grief, Talking about love, Helping a depressed or anxious family member/friend, Moving with children, Making a smooth transition to parenthood, Peer pressure and influence, Pros and Cons of rewarding children, Starting School, Separation, divorce, step families, Stop shouting at the children, Sibling rivalry, Parenting a shy child, Finding other strategies to manage children’s behaviour, Tackling Tantrums, Strategies to cope with a travelling Spouse.

Download the Coaching for Greater Resilience Brochure [PDF File size: 1.9MB]

Seminar Outline
If you are caring for someone who is ageing, or ageing yourself, and are keen to understand what it means to age successfully and care respectfully, then this workshop is for you.

Dispel myths about ageing, navigate the aged care accommodation options, gain an understanding of the psychological factors that enhance successful ageing, such as adaptability, optimism and resilience, and build a toolbox of knowledge and skills that will enhance your relationships, especially the one between the aging person and the carer.

The 2 hour workshop will cover the following areas:

Myths about Ageing – By dispelling myths about ageing, participants will be able to appraise the ageing process with a fresh set of eyes.

Aged care options – Navigate the options for aged care accommodation with ease and gain a thorough understanding of the different options: living at home, a retirement village, a hostel and a nursing home.

Psychological Factors – Research shows that older people who have three personal characteristics, being adaptability, optimism, and resilience, are more likely to age successfully.

Each of these personal characteristics will be explored fully by tapping into relevant research, fictional stories and real experience.

Relationships – For many older people, relationships provide a connectedness to the world, a sense of purpose and a source of happiness, but in some situations, they are also the bane of their existence, rich in anger and angst, devoid of love and are hence, very unhealthy. This module will provide an opportunity to tell your story, resolve old issues, and go away equipped with knowledge and skills to nurture healthy respectful relationships, especially with the carer.

Participants will receive a workbook with the content of the workshop as well as tip sheets on topics, such as caring for the carer, grand parenting, communicating love, driving, dealing with grief, caring from a distance, safety, eating, hygiene, and much more.

A useful list of telephone numbers and websites on ageing and caring will also be included. In addition, a list of books on topics relevant to ageing and caring will also be included.

Mentoring for an ageing workforce

Over 25% of the population in Australia will be over the age of 60 in the next 10 years. An ageing workforce brings unique challenges and opportunities for organisations. One of the opportunities is to establish an Alumni so that employees transitioning to retirement can maintain their connectivity with the organisation through involvement in a mentor program. This has organisational benefits as organisations can retain valued employees on flexible work arrangements who have attained an expert knowledge base and extensive experience from years in the business. It also has unique personal benefits for the individuals who have the opportunity to continue employment flexibly whilst attending to other needs – family time, travel, “the bucket list”, care responsibilities and so forth.

Expected Learning Outcomes:

  • Distinguish mentoring from coaching and training
  • Describe different purposes for mentoring programs
  • Identify the mentoring models
  • Describe effective mentoring
  • Distinguish the qualities of a good mentor
  • Determine what makes a good mentee
  • Identify the stages in a mentoring relationship
  • Identify the code of ethics
  • Understand the process for matching mentors and mentees
  • Identify the pitfalls of mentoring partnerships

The program is a comprehensive tool. It includes:

  • Information about mentoring, and about structured mentoring programs;
  • A process for determining the goals and objectives of mentoring in your organisation;
  • Consulting support for the coordinator of the program to plan, implement and evaluate mentoring;
  • Comprehensive training for both mentors and mentees, to build their skills and understanding to make the most of the mentoring relationship;
  • Assistance in matching of mentoring partners and coordinating and monitoring progress.

Download our ‘Successful Ageing Respectful Caring’ seminar brochure [PDF File size: 1.2MB]


Webinars are seminars over the web. As long as you have access to a computer and the internet, you can participate in a webinar. LIFE offers webinars to families and organisations on a broad range of family transition topics of interest to parents, carers, teachers, students, managers and employees.

Benefits of Webinars:

There are many benefits of webinars. Webinars are:

  • Interactive as participants can ask questions;
  • Flexible as anyone can participate anytime and anywhere as long as they have access to a computer (currently available at workplaces, schools, libraries, councils and in many homes) and the internet;
  • Dynamic as delivery of information is based on current research and events;
  • Cost effective as there are no expenses associated with venue hire, travel, accommodation and printing for both presenters and participants;
  • Diverse as presenters and trainers are sourced from a large pool of talent;
  • Time efficient as participants can access them closer to home saving on travel time.

Webinar Topics

Parenting/Caring for children and ageing loved ones

Click on the title of the seminar to view more.

Dealing with Aggression in children, Tackling Tantrums, Establishing good sleeping habits for the whole family, Healthy eating for the whole family, Reducing personality clashes in family dynamics, Keeping children safe, Helping children to cope with fears and nightmares.
Strategies to deal with bullying, Making and keeping Friends, Coping with Homework, Building resilience in your child, Your child’s moral development, Managing Screen time.
Educating parents and their teenage and adult children about the dangers of Drugs, Establishing good study habits for high school, Motivating your teenager, Managing HSC Stress, Safe use of the internet, Career transitioning.
Striking a healthy Work/Life/Family Balance, Dealing with bullying at school, Parenting in culturally diverse families, Coping with grief, Helping a depressed or anxious family member/friend, Moving with children, Making a smooth transition to parenthood, Separation, divorce, step families, Sibling rivalry, Parenting a shy child, Finding other strategies to manage children’s behaviour.
Transitioning to retirement, Caring for an ageing loved one, Aged care options, Moving a loved one to an aged care facility.
Managing flexibility for managers, Managing flexibility for employees, Personal Resilience at home and work, Coaching others for greater resilience at home and work.

Transitioning back to work after parental leave, Managing Work and Family Stress, Stop screaming at the children and dumping on your family, Positive involvement in the school, Strategies to get adult kids out of the house!

Recordings of Webinars: If a participant cannot attend a webinar, they can view the recording of it at their leisure.

Click herePostive parenting 2 to download a sample recording of a webinar [Windows Media File – File size: 14.2MB]

The Smart Parent

Life Institute, Family Transitions, Teenage years

By learning the skills of a smart parent/carer that are covered in each of the age related parenting programs, is it is hoped that parenting becomes easier and more enjoyable.

The core skills of a Smart Parent

A Smart Parent knows the stages of emotional and social development that a child/teen will progress through as it lays the foundation for empathy, the cornerstone of emotionally intelligent parenting. When a parent/carer can empathise with their child/teen then they will be able to set fair and consistent expectations. This is better for the child/teen because they are more able to be understood rather than judged, included rather than isolated, and responded to rather than reacted to.

Be careful with your thoughts when you are by yourself
Be careful with your words when you are with others

A Smart Parent  appreciates that it is important to teach values to children, as values guide us in life. Values give the whole family a thread that connects one another and is integral to resilience when times can be difficult because of outside forces. We can’t often change what happens in life, but we can change how we respond. A strong set of values helps families respond in a positive and wise way.

A Smart Parent encourages a healthy level of motivation for their child/teen. Motivation comes from within and when parents/carers know and appreciate how to go about tapping into a child/teen’s internal hard drive then parenting becomes less conflictual and frustrating as the child/teen takes on the responsibility to be self-directed. They learn to manage their own life including; school work, exercise, good eating choices, decisions around friendship groups, study subject choices, career path, intimate relationships such as marriage and more.

Life Institute, Family Transitions, early years

Building a healthy relationship with your child/teen is central to being a smart parent/carer as it is the foundation on which everything else is built.

Life Institute, Family Transitions, Parenting Training

A Smart Parent has a warm and firm parenting style. This style of parenting gives child/teen the environment to grow and develop to their full potential as this type of parent shows love and warmth and at the same time, sets boundaries and enforces expectations. This gives a child/teen a sense of security as life is consistent and predictable, thus eliminating confusion. A warm and firm parent/carer also appreciates their child/teen’s unique temperament and parents/cares accordingly.

A Smart Parent practices positive parenting techniques. It is easier to be around a person who sees the glass half full rather than half empty. A happy positive atmosphere puts everyone in a good mood which makes it more enjoyable when getting things done. Positive language in particular helps build confidence, direct behaviour and build healthy family relationships as a child/ teen doesn’t feel like they are being put down which can happen quickly when parents get tired, stressed, and reactive.

A Smart Parent is in tune with their child/teen’s emotions. Understanding and acknowledging how a child/teen feels helps them to regulate their own emotions and moods well and learn the skill of managing their emotions rather than be overwhelmed by them, especially unwanted or difficult emotions.

A Smart Parent practices good communication by giving and receiving feedback rather than screaming, shaming, belittling or putting their child/teen down. Authentic feedback is something families can easily aspire to given the dynamics. There is often nothing to hide. Learning how to listen so your child/teen so that they talk, and learning how to talk so your child/teen somthat they listen, is a skill not only for the family unit, but for all interactions, with friends, work colleagues, and more.

A Smart Parent is one who priorities balance in their life, working to live and not living to work.

In the family transitions programs, we teach the principles of a smart parent/carer mentioned above and help you to apply them to your daily lives, whether it is for parents, carers and teachers via online webinars and seminars at your work, school, home or community group, or via private consultations online or in person in our rooms.

Understanding teenage family transition - Life Institute

Since our inception, almost 100% of participants across all workshops rated the parenting and caring programs as good/excellent.

Women think men will change but they don’t
Men think women won’t change but they do


What our clients say

I found not only the information invaluable but also the encouragement from the presenters to manage the difficult behaviours of my ageing parents.
Railcorp, Sydney
It was great meeting parents at work with children of similar ages. I got so much out of the seminar such as managing expectations, and watching my children’s behaviour and responding rather than reacting.
Ernst and Young, Melbourne

Lots of great information such as the importance of the warm and firm parenting style. I will be implementing that.

State Street, Sydney
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