A bit of background:
We know that being a parent can be very rewarding and also very challenging at times. Parenting together, whether you are living with your child’s other parents or living separately can take some work.
We also know that a lot of parents can argue about the best way to parent (as well as other things) and if these arguments happen a lot, are intense, carry on a long time and don’t ever seem to get resolved they can have a negative impact on children’s emotional wellbeing.
There is a lot of evidence that says that if parents can argue constructively and communicate with each other well then children will benefit.
What is the dilemma-the thing we need parents help to tackle?
There is help and support for parents to strengthen their relationship-websites, leaflets and there are people in services that are trained to recognise and respond positively to this.
A lot of parents in our communities in Hartlepool however are not using these resources.
What does the research tell us?
There’s a national research report that gives a lot of recommendations.
Parents want accessible support in the community. People they trust. Parents want to access help from other parents- (can we do this digitally using Facebook and YouTube?).
What was the event about?
- We wanted to involve parents to think about the best way to share information, advice and support to other parents who might want a bit of help with their relationship
- To share some examples of how parent-led support sessions or information might reach some parents who wouldn’t come near services to talk about their relationship
- To develop the ideas into a project that could interest funders
So what was the outcome?
Our event took place on September 9th and had a great turn out of 37 parents! It was fantastic to hear parents talking about what could be done in the community to support better parental relationships. We captured lots of constructive discussion under various themes such as:
Parents talking to parents, sharing feelings and listening to each other, feeling believed in, trusting the other person. Step back in arguments, let the other person have their say, choose the right moment.
Places to meet.
Playgroups, schools, community centre help.
Activity days – support, training, knowledge, awareness.
What help is available – promotion in schools, shopping centres, libraries.
Public places, e.g. library.
Support groups – talking sponsors.
Online Tools & Resources
EPEC Youtube videos.
Promote what help is available on social media, other online communications.
Training & Support Services
“Being a parent” – that includes Relationships Matter to support relationships.
Recruit more parent group leaders, including male PGLS.
Every school in Hartlepool to have an EPEC group. Within 12 months – wishful thinking!
Educate parents, they need to look after themselves.
Importance of developing community links through EPEC or similar.
Need childcare to make sure parents have the time they need.
Teachers need more training so they can better understand course content to engage with parents.
Education via other parents/parent group leaders.