For those going through family breakdown there is a massive amount of information available on the internet. Sometimes the choice can be overwhelming. We’re often asked for recommendations of resources that can help families going through separation, divorce or civil partnership dissolution, so we wanted to bring to your attention The Parent Connection.
The Parent Connection is a website run by One Plus One, the UK’s leading relationship research organisation. It contains information to support people in making the transition from being partners to being co-parents. There is a focus on learning constructive communication skills and on planning for co-parenting in the long-term. These are elements that we as mediators work hard on with parents, to help them resolve the issues between them about the children.
There is plenty of information to help parents understand what their children might be thinking and feeling, and the site also looks at practical steps that parents can take to help children through the situation. The videos it includes are rather powerful, and might be particularly helpful for people who are struggling to assess how older children are reacting to new family circumstances or make sense of their own complicated feelings.
There is a forum available where people can get support from others with experience of their situations, and share stories. The site says that the forum is moderated by mediators who ensure that the tone of discussion remains constructive and positive. The site also provides a “listening room” instant-chat service which is open on Saturdays at 4pm and Mondays and Thursdays at 8pm. This provides access to someone with a counselling background, which can be useful as a first port of call for people who perhaps are not quite at the stage where they feel able to seek counselling but want to investigate more about it.
For those who are going through difficulties in their relationship but who have not made a decision to divorce, The Parent Connection has a helpful sister site, The Couple Connection. This site focuses on adult relationships: how to deal with change, commitment, disagreements or problems, and how to strengthen your connection to avoid problems in the future. It also carries information and insights on dealing with specific challenges to a relationship, for example if one partner has an affair, or if there are major recurring problems arising from housework or money. Again there are forums for discussion and a listening room, which is available every evening.
These resources are free and carry plenty of useful information and ideas, whatever the status of your relationship. Why not take a look and see if they inspire you to do anything differently?