Is this for Me?
- Are you worried about the impact of arguing on your child?
- Are you unsure how to manage parenting together after separation or divorce?
- Are you feeling stuck or finding it difficult to communicate with your partner or ex-partner about your child?
- Do you want to understand what is getting in the way of parenting well after parting?
The Parent Connection has been created by OnePlusOne, the UK’s leading relationships research organisation. We have been investigating what makes relationships work or fall apart for the last forty years and this service is based on research and some of the skills used in mediation.
Talking to others on the Forum who may have been through separation or using the wide range of the information, tools and exercises to help you understand the issues that may be affecting your parenting relationship is a good start. All the materials and features on the site have been designed to support parents as they work things out for themselves.
Using the ParentConnection.org.uk will get you to think about the importance of the relationship you have with your ex but to get the most out of it - you must ‘want’ to improve the relationship. Ask yourself:
- Do you believe your children need both of you?
- Do you respect your partner as a parent?
- Are you committed to working things out for the sake of your child?
- Are you prepared to accept responsibility for your part in creating difficulties or problems?
- Are you prepared to compromise?
- Are you prepared to act together on issues that arise?
- Are you prepared to make changes in yourself?
Separating is often a long and difficult process and may be hard for you to use the site if you are feeling overwhelmed, sad, angry or hurt. Take care to follow the advice on when to use the different resources, and when not to. The do-it-yourself approach means you must take care to take care of yourself, thereby being in a far better place to take care of your children.
When is The Parent Connection not for me?
As a do-it-yourself site we cannot offer you the personal care and support you would get from a counsellor or therapist on a one-to-one basis. But if that is what you are looking for you may wish to use the links below alongside using theparentconnetion.org.uk
Mediation is a confidential, voluntary, "without prejudice" process in which a neutral third party, the mediator helps you to discuss and negotiate all issues surrounding your divorce or separation. Research shows that mediation improves communication and helps you build for the future in your new circumstances. In particular it can help your child maintain their family relationships.
- For more on mediation and how to find mediators in your local area go to National Family Mediation
- The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy has guidance on how to find a reputable counsellor.
- Relate and Marriage Care also offer counselling services.
Concerned about an abusive relationship in your family?
If your partner is violent or abusive to you or to your child or if you suspect that someone you know is in an abusive relationship then you need to know where to turn to for help - domestic violence is a complex issue but recognising the warning signs and symptoms of an abusive relationship is the first step to breaking free. Remember domestic abuse is not just physical abuse it can include emotional, sexual, and economic abuse as well; so if you are worried about your partner’s (or your own behaviour) there are several specialist organisations that you could contact for help or advice or to find out about local services in your area.
If you are a woman worried about domestic violence
- Women's Aid is the national domestic violence charity that helps hundreds of thousands of women and children every year. They work to end violence against women and children and support hundreds of domestic and sexual violence services across the country.
If you are worried about the impact of domestic violence on your child
Children are often more aware of problems than their parents realize. But they don’t always understand what is happening and why, so sometimes it can help if they have information that is more age appropriate.
- The Hideout is a website that has been created by Women’s Aid. It provides help, information and support for children and young people – whether they are currently living with violence or have experienced violence in the past. The site includes lots of age specific information to explain what domestic violence is, how it affects children and where they can go for more help.
- Children can’t contact The Hideout directly by email or phone but the site has clear links to recommended national helplines such as NSPCC and Childline
- Family Breakups is a website made for young people, by young people in partnership with Oxfordshire Family Mediation. It offers support and advice to young people who have been affected by family breakups, based on the experiences of the individuals who created this site.