Parenting after Parting is a communication skills course for parents who are separating…


Session 1: Managing the Separation and Your New Relationship

In Session 1 we look at how to support your changed relationship and what this means in practical terms. We
examine how to establish effective, open communication based on the principles of respect, clarity and
authenticity, and the importance of clear communication both in relationship with each other and with your
children. We look at ‘ownership’ of feelings and problems and how to recognise who has responsibility for the
different problems or issues that may arise. We set some mutually-agreed ground rules of communication to
support the changed situation most effectively.


Session 2: Helping Your Child to Manage Feelings

The aim of Session 2 is to equip parents with the knowledge they need in order to best help their children deal
with their feelings. We look at how feelings are contagious, and the importance of allowing their expression
without ‘taking them on’ ourselves. We examine unhelpful ways of responding to feelings which may make
them bigger, either by dismissing them or making too much of them. We see how children’s feelings are often
intense but transient, and how to listen in a way which acknowledges without indulging them. We look at the
‘pressure cooker’ effect and how expressing feelings can allow the ‘steam’ to escape so that a child can move
on. We define acceptable and unacceptable ways of expressing feelings, and how to be a ‘sounding-board’
rather than a ‘punch-bag’. We also acknowledge our own feelings and look at ways we can best manage them.


Session 3: Building a Safe Framework for Your Child

The purpose of session 3 is to help both parents gain more confidence in their own ability to manage life with
children as single parents and we look at the importance of trust in each other even if we parent quite
differently. We examine how to create and sustain a secure ‘framework’ for your child throughout the process
of separation and re-adjustment. We look at rules and expectations of behaviour, our own personal
boundaries and how to sustain a clear authority based on respect for our child and respect for ourselves. We
also look at how children are capable of following different rules in different homes, whilst establishing some
mutually-agreed principles to work from.


Session 4: Your New Family – Looking to the Future

In session 4 we acknowledge the changes in family life and how these changes may continue. We look at
being a family that lives in two houses and how we can build a new family where children feel secure that
they still have two loving parents. We look at how each household can create its ‘culture’ according to the
values of each parent as well as our shared values as a family. We examine ways of continuing open, healthy
communication as a family when circumstances change, looking to the future and the possible situations we
may encounter, such as a new partner and step-siblings. We think about how we can apply the skills learned
during this course and remember to use them. Session 4 also gives us the chance to troubleshoot individual
issues arising from the course in more depth.


Parenting after parting doesn’t have to be so difficult if you are prepared and feel confident in your approach. This course gives you the tools to build that confidence in yourself.