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Get Some Help

If you’re having problems in your family life, there are lots of ways you can help yourself and your partner.

You might be:

  • Worrying about your child’s behaviour and need some help with different approaches to parenting
  • Considering splitting up as a couple.
  • Part of a stepfamily and need help adjusting
  • Experiencing arguments between yourselves and need support in communicating with each other
  • Worried about how Covid 19 is impacting on your relationships. For more information visit these websites, relate.org.uknhs.uk or familymediationcouncil.org.uk

Parental conflict is not the same as domestic abuse – if you are afraid of your partner or feeling that they control your life, then it is more likely to be domestic abuse, please seek help either from your local council. If you are not sure who your local council is, visit www.gov.uk for further information or you can get more information from www.nspcc.org.uk

You might be:

  • Worrying about your child’s behaviour and need some help with different approaches to parenting
  • Considering splitting up as a couple.
  • Part of a stepfamily and need help adjusting
  • Experiencing arguments between yourselves and need support in communicating with each other
  • Worried about how Covid 19 is impacting on your relationships. For more information visit these websites, relate.org.uknhs.uk or familymediationcouncil.org.uk
Parental conflict is not the same as domestic abuse – if you are afraid of your partner or feeling that they control your life the this is more likely to be domestic abuse, please seek help either from your local council. If you are not sure who your local council is, visit www.gov.uk for further information or you can get more information from www.nspcc.org.uk

Your Child’s Behaviour

You may have a child with additional needs, or a child who has developed some behaviour that challenges you. It can be a relief to discover that other parents are facing the same issues.

You may feel under a lot of pressure to:

  • ‘Solve’ the behaviour problems on your own
  • Blame yourself and worry about not parenting well
  • Feel that others think you are a bad parent and therefore very alone

Things that can affect your child’s behaviour

  • You’re having a difficult time – children are quick to notice if you’re feeling upset or there are relationship problems in the family. They may behave badly when you feel least able to cope. If you are having problems do not blame yourself, but do not blame your child either if they react with difficult behaviour.
  • Life changes – any change in a child’s life can be difficult for them. This could be the birth of a new baby, moving to a new house, a change of childminder, starting playgroup or something much smaller.
  • Needing attention – your child might see a tantrum as a way of getting attention, even if it’s bad attention. They may wake up at night because they want a cuddle or some company. Try to give them more attention when they are behaving well and less when they’re being difficult.

Do not feel you have to cope alone. If you’re struggling with your child’s behaviour:

  • talk to your health visitor – they will be happy to support you and suggest some new strategies to try acn be found at learning.nspcc.org.uk or www.nhs.uk

If you do not live with your children

You may have a child with additional needs, or a child may be beginning to develop some behaviour that challenges you. Becoming a separated dad or mum when you have been a full-time parent is not easy. Trying to adapt from being with your children all the time, to limited visits maybe once or twice a week – or even less in some cases – can be heart breaking, for you and for them.

It is at times like this that talking to other parents, or to someone impartial outside your situation, is so important. There are organisations that can help such as Cafcass.

Cafcass represents children in family court cases in England. They put children’s needs, wishes and feelings first, making sure that children’s voices are heard at the heart of the family court setting, and that decisions are made in their best interests.

Cafcass’s experienced Family Court Advisers may be asked by the court to work with families and then advise the court on what they consider to be the best interests of the children involved in three main areas:

  • divorce and separation, sometimes called ‘private law’, where parents or carers can not agree on arrangements for their children
  • care proceedings, sometimes called ‘public law’, where social services have serious concerns about the safety or welfare of a child
  • adoption, which can be either public or private law.

If you do not live with your children

You may have a child with additional needs, or a child may be beginning to develop some behaviour that challenges you. Becoming a separated dad or mum when you have been a full-time parent is not easy. Trying to adapt from being with your children all the time, to limited visits maybe once or twice a week – or even less in some cases – can be heart breaking, for you and for them.

It is at times like this that talking to other parents, or to someone impartial outside your situation, is so important. There are organisations that can help such as Cafcass.

Cafcass represents children in family court cases in England. They put children’s needs, wishes and feelings first, making sure that children’s voices are heard at the heart of the family court setting, and that decisions are made in their best interests.

Cafcass’s experienced Family Court Advisers may be asked by the court to work with families and then advise the court on what they consider to be the best interests of the children involved in three main areas:

  • divorce and separation, sometimes called ‘private law’, where parents or carers can not agree on arrangements for their children
  • care proceedings, sometimes called ‘public law’, where social services have serious concerns about the safety or welfare of a child
  • adoption, which can be either public or private law.

Handling Arguments

Arguments are common in all kinds of relationships. Some degree of conflict can even be healthy, as it means both people are expressing themselves, rather than keeping everything inside, or letting emotions become negative.

But if you’re arguing all the time, or simple disagreements end up in a hostile silence or screaming match, it can really start to affect the children – or even leave you wondering whether you want to split up.

Learning ways to handle disagreements constructively and how you deal with it that counts.

Some Top Tips…

  • TIMING, getting the timing right – try to choose a time when your partner is most receptive, and neither partner is tired.
  • APPROACH, approaching the issue gently – try not to start with a negative or hostile comment.
  • COMPLAINT OR PERSONAL ATTACK? There is a difference between a complaint and a personal criticism – choosing words carefully focusing on behaviour not personality or character.
  • TACKLE HEAD-ON – Tackling issues as they come up – not letting things fester or bottle up.
  • SENSITIVITY – Knowing each other’s buttons and what not to push – tread gently when on sensitive ground
  • UNDERLYING ISSUES – Understanding that an argument can be a symptom of other things – make some allowances for outside stresses or deeper issues that can affect how either partner feels and behaves.
  • THEIR VIEW, resolution – Not seeing it as a battle to be won or lost – arguments are about finding solutions to differences not just getting your own way. Take turns to have a say and be prepared to compromise.
  • DON’T ASSUME, not second guessing – listening to what the other partner is really saying instead of making assumptions.
  • TACT – Learning what helps to stop things escalating. Get to know the small things that can be said or done when things are getting heated, perhaps using humour, acknowledging what your partner is saying, saying you’re sorry they are upset.
  • ACCEPTING PERPETUAL PROBLEMS – Every couple will have some issues that are too difficult to resolve, so trying will only lead to frustration, anger and “gridlock.” What seems to work is being able to “make peace” with the problem by communicating acceptance of their partner and using humour and affection.

For more help visit oneplusone.org.uk or helpguide.org

 

Every Family is different…

But many families face similar issues and challenges, Relate have summed up some of the most common problems and put together some practical tips to help families face them together.

Every Family is different…

But many families face similar issues and challenges, Relate have summed up some of the most common problems and put together some practical tips to help families face them together.

Action for Children

Action for children is a charity whose vision is that every child and young person in the UK has a safe and happy childhood, and the foundations they need to thrive.

They work closely with children and their families, from before they’re born until their twenties.

There work is split into three main areas: Best start in life, Good mental health and a safe and loving home.

They have lots of advice, information and resources available to support you and you can also talk to their parenting coaches online.

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