Talking about Death150x150

10 Ways to Talk to Your Children About Death

Talking about Death250x250When someone in the family or community dies, children are at times kept away from it. Death is a very normal part of life and children, like adults, need to know and understand what is happening, at an age appropriate level of course. They also need closure and support to deal with the loss.

Many children’s first experience of death is that of a pet; it can be great for this to be a first experience as no matter how upsetting the loss is, it will not be as great as that of a family member.

When talking with children about death:

  1. Tell them the truth, someone has died, they will not be able to come back. Talk with them about where you believe they go to after death.
  2. Allow children to ask questions, although you may be very upset at this time, children need information to cope with the death. The more details they have the easier it can be for them. They will want to know how they died and why. You may not have all the answers and tell them if you don’t.
  3. Allow children be part of the funeral and days leading up to the funeral. Allow them time to look in the coffin when it is quiet. Allow them to examine the dead person and put things into the coffin with them, if they wish to.
  4. Bring them at a quiet time, not the first time you visit the coffin, allow yourself some space to grieve and then allow your child time with you.
  5. It is okay for children to see you upset. Sadness and grief are part of our human emotions. Children need to know we have them and your role is to support them to cope with these feelings.
  6. Always tell anyone working closely with your child about the death so they too can support the child in the weeks and months ahead.
  7. Children will continue to ask questions for what seems like forever.  Be patient with them and give them permission to talk and share memories of the dead person.
  8. Start your own traditions around how you will remember the dead person. Will you visit the grave, let off a balloon every so often, look at photos and talk about the good memories. Children don’t want to forget, so even though this may be hard for you to cope with at times when you need to get on with things, tell them it is okay to talk and remember, even if it does make you sad.
  9. If a child loses a sibling or an unborn sibling, share this with them. Create memories for them. It is very important that you can talk with them about this. They will know something has changed in the family, in you. It is important that as a child they know what has changed. We often want to protect children from terrible things that happen, but keeping them as part of the unit, close to you and helping them understand, is much more beneficial for them long term. Finding out as an adult about such things can be more heart breaking.
  10. Children will go through the stages of grief just as adults do. Support them and if at any stage you feel they need more support than you can offer, seek professional support for them through programmes such as Rainbows, Seasons of Growth, Play and Art Therapy and many other services.

This article is part of our weekly ’10 Ways to’ series of parenting tips, and is by One Family’s Director of Children and Parenting Services, Geraldine Kelly.

Find out more about our parenting skills programmes and parent supports. For support and information on these or any related topics, call askonefamily on lo-call 1890 66 22 12 or email

Training | Call for Working Lone Parents

Are you a lone parent who has recently returned to work? Could you help One Family to pilot our new online programme on work-life balance for working lone parents this October and November?

We are looking for:
• Lone parents who are currently in work;
• With reliable internet access via a computer or smart phone, and;
• Availability to take part during October-November 2017.

Modules included in this brand new free online course for lone parents who have just re-entered the workforce:
1. Communicate more effectively with your employer; learn to ask your employer the right questions to get what you need.
2. Your rights and responsibilities; Find all the most relevant and up to date resources on your rights as an employee and as a parent.
3. In-work supports; Find out what supports you are eligible for as a working lone parent, and what kinds of supports you can achieve within your work environment.
4. Your go-to guide to childcare; Find the best option for you, and stay up to date on government childcare schemes.
5. Balancing finances as a working parent; Access useful online resources like a money guide and budget calculator.

By taking part in this pilot, you can develop a better understanding of how to achieve your own work-life balance and you will be contributing to making this course better for parents in the future. By giving your feedback, you will have a say in what topics you think should be covered in a course like this – for both employees and employers. Your input will influence how future courses are developed, and your views will be used to help inform and educate all types of employers on how to better meet the needs of lone parent employees. There is no fee for this course.

If you are interested in taking part, please call us at 01 662 9212 and ask for Neda, or email

Training | Autumn Courses for Parents and Professionals Booking Now

One Family offers an exciting suite of training programmes for people who are parenting alone, or sharing parenting after separation, including a number of free courses; and also programmes for professionals who work with parents, children and families.

Whether returning to education or employment, building on skills to strengthen family life, or continuing professional development, Autumn is the perfect time of year to start working towards something that can bring rewards now and in the new year to come.

Our courses incorporate 45 years of experience in supporting parents. Your perfect training opportunity may be just a click away. Read on to find out more.

For Parents: Family Life

Being equipped with resilience and skills to deal with the range of issues that may arise in day-to-day family life, and in times of change, is important for all parents. Booking is open now for our Autumn courses for parents.

Family Communications: Coping with Family Life and Communication with Teenagers This course is valuable for parents of children of all ages but particularly those with teens. It teaches clear communication skills to strengthen family life including assertive parenting, and conflict reducing communication.
Starts: 3rd October 2017
Duration: 10am-12pm one morning per week for 8 weeks
Location: Rialto, Dublin 8
Cost: €40 unwaged / €60 waged

Self-care and Personal Growth When Parenting Alone Parenting alone means carrying all of the responsibility, all of the time. It can be easy to forget to look after ourselves too. This course supports lone parents to explore their self-worth and confidence through learning about the most important relationship of all: the relationship we have with ourselves.  The overall aim is to support parents to take time for self-care so that they can be there for their children.
Starts: 3rd October 2017
Duration: 10am-12pm one morning per week for 8 weeks
Location: Clondalkin, Dublin 22
Cost: €40 unwaged / €60 waged

Positive Parenting for Changing Families This practical and positive course for parents of 2-12 year olds builds on existing skills to support parents to manage behaviours and development well, with a focus on understanding the needs of children in order to understand behaviours.
Starts: 3rd October 2017
Duration: 10am-12pm one morning per week for 8 weeks
Location: Clondalkin, Dublin 22
Cost: €40 unwaged / €60 waged

Parenting When Separated To address the challenges of parenting when separated, Parents Plus developed this six week course for parents who are preparing for, going through, or have gone through a separation or divorce. It supports parents to work through shared parenting problems in a positive way that is focused on the needs of children.
Starts: 4th October 2017
Duration: 9am-11am one morning per week for 8 weeks
Location: Smithfield, Dublin 7
Cost: €40 unwaged / €60 waged

Parenting Through Stressful Times This course supports people who are parenting alone or sharing parenting in recognising and positively managing stress in themselves and in children. It gently explores the influence stress plays and how we manage daily challenges, and the many tools that can aid and support adults and children to cope with stress and maintain a healthy balance.
Starts: 8th November 2017
Duration: 12pm-2pm one afternoon per week for 8 weeks
Location: Smithfield, Dublin 7
Cost: €40 unwaged / €60 waged

Online Parenting Support Programmes We offer two facilitated online programmes, Positive Parenting and Family Communications, that run throughout the year. Eight weekly sessions are communicated via email and include reflective exercises and completion of a learning journal, all of which can be done in your own time at your own discretion. Optional individual support by email and mentoring around parenting topics from our Director of Children and Parenting Services, and assessment with issue of a Certificate of Completion, are also included.
Starts: Monthly
Duration: Approx. 2 hours per week
Location: Online
Cost: €9.99

Find out more about all of these courses, or book online, here or call us on 01 662 9212 if you’d like more information.

For Parents: Education & Career

Would you like to get back to education and/or work? It can be hard to know where or how to start. We have two upcoming programmes that may fit your needs. Both are free and offer accreditations recognised on the National Framework of Qualifications.

New Futures, starting in October 2017, is a free 24 week; part-time personal and professional development programme specifically designed for those parenting alone or sharing parenting. It is accredited at QQI Level 4.

Options, a full academic year program beginning later this month, is a part-time introductory programme specifically designed for those parenting alone or sharing parenting, and is run in partnership with Ballsbridge College of Further Education. It provides practical skills for progression into employment, self-employment, and/or college.

More information about New Futures and Options is here. If you are interested in one of these programmes but are unsure if it suits your needs at this time, please email us at or call 01 662 9212.

For Professionals: Professional Development Programmes

If you work with parents and/or children; are a family support worker, social worker, youth worker, family therapist, educator, drugs project worker or counsellor, or deliver parenting/family support courses, One Family runs accredited programmes that will help you to build on your skills, knowledge and approach.

Programmes include Positive Parenting for Changing FamiliesFamily Communications: Coping with Family Life and Communication with Teenagers, and half-day Skills Acquisition Workshops. 

Booking is open now for:

Workshop: Supporting Families to Reduce Conflict in Communication

This solution-driven workshop explores how to practitioners can support parents in practising clear and direct communication in relation to common family dilemmas using a non-violent communication framework, identifying communications styles, understanding the connection between needs and choices of behaviour, exploring the benefits and disadvantages of conflict within relationships and families, and more. Workshop places will be limited to twenty people, as they will be facilitated in a participatory workshop style, which actively engages participants.
Date: 24th October 2017
Duration: 1pm-4.30pm
Location: ISPCC, 1st Floor Penrose Wharf, 4/5 Alfred Street, Cork
Cost: €50
Book here.

Workshop: Parenting Through Stressful Times

This intense workshop for professionals working with parents and families will explore how they can support parents in understanding the effects of stress on both parents and children, the importance of having support as a way to combat stress, how to identify stress in children and how it impacts on behaviour and wellbeing, and to develop strategies to develop a less stressful environment for children and parents.
Date: 23rd November 2017
Duration: 9.30am-1pm
Location: One Family, 8 Coke Lane, Smithfield, Dublin 7
Cost: €50
Book here.

Our next three-day Family Communications programme is also booking now for February 2018 in Dublin 7. One Family can also deliver workshops and programmes directly at your organisation with a minimum of ten participants.

Sign up to receive our Professional Development updates here to be among the first to hear about our new programmes and schedules.

If you would like to find out more about any of our training opportunities, call us on 01 662 9212 or email

Training | Enrolment Now Open for Options Courses

Options Slider 500x230We are happy to announce that enrolment is now open for the Options part-time programmes run by One Family in co-operation with Ballsbridge College of Further Education.

Options programmes are free of charge and specifically designed for those parenting alone or sharing parenting. If you are looking to get back into the workplace and/or further education after a gap, or for the first time, Options are for you. Three Options programmes are enrolling now in Communications, IT Skills, and Nursing Theory & Practice.

Dates: Starts Wednesday, 21 September 2016 and runs until May 2017.
Hours: Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 1pm.
Location: Dublin 2

Communications (Minor Award – Level 5)
IT Skills (Minor Award – Level 4)
Nursing Theory & Practice (Minor Award – Level 5)

For more information and to book your place, click here.

Training | Free Continuing Professional Development Opportunity – Last Remaining Places

Positive Parenting for Changing Families CoverOne Family is offering a unique opportunity to avail of free professional development training which normally costs €400.

One Family has almost 45 years experience working with one-parent families, people sharing parenting, and separating. From 22-24 June, we will facilitate our three-day Positive Parenting for Changing Families programme in Dublin and, as the HSE Dublin South Central has awarded lottery funding to us, we are pleased to be able to offer this opportunity to avail of a renowned professional development programme at no cost to sector professionals working with parents, children and families.

Positive Parenting for Changing Families is an evidence-informed programme developed through funding from the HSE that was positively externally evaluated in 2014 through the Family Support Agency. It specifically supports people parenting alone, sharing parenting, and separating families but is suitable for use with other family units. It is relevant for one to one work as well as with groups of parents, and will be of particular interest to Service Managers.

Please click here to read more about Positive Parenting for Changing Families.

Today we are offering three places on this training which have become available owing to a last minute cancellation. It will be held on 22-24 June from 9.30am-4pm daily at O’Brien Centre for Science, UCD, Dublin 4. Please contact Michelle on 01 662 9212 or by email for information and to register today. Don’t miss out!

Training | Stronger Families EU Conference

Stronger Families EUAcross Europe, more and more one-parent families are living in poverty. One Family is proud to collaborate as part of Stronger Families EU, a pioneering new Europe-wide initiative to help parents improve their skills and/or progress to employment. The project is a partnership between four long-established lone parent support organisations: APERIO (Czech Republic), Intermedia (Italy), One Family (Republic of Ireland) and One Parent Families (Scotland).

On Wednesday 15 June 2016, we will be showcasing the courses we have developed for working with parents and professionals at a round table conference taking place in Prague, and you can read more about it here: Stronger Families EU_International Conference_Society, Jobs and Families in Transition_15 June 2016.

You can also find more information on the Stronger Families website here, watch the presentations or join the conversation on Twitter on #strongerfamiliesEU.

absent parent

Parenting | 10 Ways to Talk To Your Child About An Absent Parent (0-3 yrs)

absent parent 0-3It can be daunting when your baby is born and you start to think about how to tell them that their other parent does not want to be part of their life at that time, or maybe never. However, it is best to introduce this concept from day one. This way you do not allow any confusion to creep into your child’s life.

Here are some tips on how you can do this:

  1. At the registration of your child’s birth, you can add the father’s name to the birth certificate. In time your child will see this and you can talk with them about their father. Children always want to identify with family, who they look like and where they came from.
  2. Have a picture of your child’s other parent in their room or in their baby book, if possible. You may find this very hard to do, but at least if the image exists you can explain who that person is as the child grows up.
  3. If possible, inform the father of the child’s birth and invite him to send something to the baby. Something you can keep to show the baby that they acknowledged the birth.
  4. Try to inform or involve the absent parent’s extended family from the birth of your baby. This can be very hard to do when relationships have broken down, but along the road at least you can tell your child you made every effort to ensure they knew where they came from.
  5. Have a short story in your baby book about how you met their father and how you felt when you found out you were pregnant. Talk a little in the story about how you understood the father felt too. Try to stay positive. Children never usually want to hear anything negative about a parent, even if they are completely absent from their life.
  6. As well as a photo in the baby book of their other parent, you could write some things in about your baby’s absent parent such as their full name, birthday, what s/he liked to eat, their hobbies etc. Give an example of something you liked about them. Whatever you feel you would like to share do, without going too deep into what happened between you as a couple.
  7. As your child grows in this age range, try to drop comments into conversation about how they may remind you of their other parent – positive things only. Try to open up conversation with them about their father. If things come up in a story book or in conversation with other parents about dads, use this as an opportunity to remind them that they also have a father (or mother, depending on your family’s situation).
  8. If you enter a new relationship be very clear when meeting new people that your child is your son or daughter and this other person is your partner, e.g. saying ‘Kaela is my daughter and Simon is my partner’ instead of leading them to believe it is ‘our daughter’. So many people fall into this by error.
  9. Remember, children don’t have to hear something to think it is real. Often by not hearing anything to contradict an idea they have formed can lead them to believe it to be true.
  10. Do not at any stage support or encourage your child to call anyone who is not their biological father ‘daddy’. This can lead to great hurt and confusion as they get older. Children always discover the truth, one way or another.

This ’10 Ways to’ article is by One Family’s Director of Children & Parenting Services, Geraldine Kelly, as part of our weekly ’10 Ways to’ series of parenting tips. You can read the full series here.

Next you might like to read: 10 Ways to Positively Maintain Contact

Find out more about our parenting skills programmes and parent supports. For support and information on these or any related topics, call askonefamily on lo-call 1890 66 22 12 or email

sibling relationships

Parenting | 10 Ways to Support A Child With A New Sibling

sibling relationshipsBecoming a big brother or sister can be very exciting for many children, and at the same time a little scary. They may be wondering how life will change for them in both positive and negative ways. Some children as they get older prefer being an only child, while others long for a sibling. In this article we will explore what it means for children when one parent has a new baby – meaning they are now the big brother or sister – and what issues this can raise for children from separated families.

  1. Often very young children don’t understand what is happening until the baby arrives home and they see their parent holding it. At times they think the baby will be going back to where it came from, and it can be a shock when they realise the baby is staying and maybe even sleeping in their old cot.
  2. If the baby will not be living with the child full-time, it can create a variety of responses from the child. The child may be very keen to stay with the new baby, to protect it. It can feel like it is their baby at times. So parting and returning to the other parent may be very difficult for them.
  3. For other children, the new baby may pose a treat. Now they have to share the parent not only with a new step parent/partner but also with a new sibling. When will they get quality time? This can cause a feeling of unsettlement for children of all ages.
  4. It is important for all the parents – both biological and step-parents – to try and build in quality time with the first child. It is crucial to help them see they have a very valued place in the family and that their needs are still very important.
  5. Children can at times feel abandoned and neglected during separations, particularly at times when adult needs become more prominent and take over. Hopefully by the time a new baby is arriving, things will have settled down and children are feeling more secure in the new relationships that have formed. It is key when a new baby arrives to ensure that the child does not again experience these feelings, whereby their needs were not at the forefront of family life.
  6. It is important also to give your child good, positive language to describe the changes in their family to friends and other family members. ‘Half brother’ or ‘Half sister’ are not the most preferred terms as a person they describe would not feel happy about being ‘half’ of something. It may be better to just support them to say they have a new sister/brother. Then they can go on explain that Daddy or Mammy have this baby. As parents, we can help our children to understand blended families as they get older. Once they have an understanding and a positive experience they will flourish.
  7. Help the child to understand their unique bond with this child. I know it can be hard for parents to accept when the other parent moves on and has more children, but the baby exists and will always have a bond to your child. Try to be open and support the relationship. Try not to see this as a threat.
  8. Often parents and older children ask why the other parent had more children. They may feel they already struggled to have time for the first born, but this is life and things are not always planned or thought out. There may be issues around maintenance as now money has to go further to support the new baby. Your child may be getting less. Again you may need to sit and talk with the other parent about the impact this will have and try to reach agreement, as the courts will usually allow a person provide the best they can for each child. The first born will not get preference.
  9. The quality time a child shares with the other parent may be reduced when a baby is born. You would hope this to be very temporary, as otherwise the older child is being set up to resent the new baby. As parents, it is up to us to try not to give one child less attention when a new baby arrives. This can be difficult, maybe you can try and get others to help with the newborn. This will allow you time to support your older child to know they are very valued within your life and extending family.
  10. When children are having time with the other parent, we can expect that it will be one to one time. Parents may request the new child not to be part of this time. While it is important for children to have one to one quality time with parents, we must remember that children also need to be immersed into their parent’s new family form. It will be hard for them to understand and adjust, no matter what the age, but if this is what the family is going to be, then why try and make it different? At times it may be for the parents’ benefit to exclude other new family but really children can often adapt positively and smoothly to new experiences. What matters most is how they are parented and supported with the changes. It is about keeping their needs central, and for both parents to have a focus on meeting the child’s needs first and foremost.

This ’10 Ways to’ article is by One Family’s Director of Children & Parenting Services, Geraldine Kelly, as part of our weekly ’10 Ways to’ series of parenting tips. You can read the full series here.

Next you might like to read: 10 Ways to Address Sibling Rivalry 

LIVE Facebook Q&A with Geraldine on this topic Tuesday 21 July from 10am-11pm in our NEW One Family Parenting Group which is a closed Facebook group (meaning that only members can read posts) that anyone can join. Post your questions and share your experiences.

Find out more about our parenting skills programmes and parent supports. For support and information on these or any related topics, call askonefamily on lo-call 1890 66 22 12 or email


Parenting | 10 Ways to Parent ‘On The Run’

realxationFor many parents it can feel like you are on a treadmill that is never switched off. On Monday you might be asked, how was your weekend? You look in amazement at the person and try to think, the weekend, when was that? Whether sharing parenting, parenting alone, when your children are very young or teenagers, it never stops. Keeping on top of it all is very challenging and we often forget to be mindful of our own well being. We laugh at the though of it. Obviously the person who coined the term ‘self care’ has no children!

But here it is again – self care. If you can’t find the time to look after yourself and your needs, what type of parent will you be? You may be coping alright now, but how long until the batteries run dry? We all have areas in our lives that are not going too well, sometimes it is because we don’t have the energy or time to put into them.

This summer, could you take on the challenge of trying to do one thing for yourself each day? It is just for you now, but really it is an investment in your ability to parent and thus in your children. They need parents who can stay on the treadmill for a very long time.

Here are some ideas to help get you started:

  1. Take a 30 minutes walk, once a week: on your own ideally or bring the buggie if you must. It helps clear the mind and keep you feeling energised. This will also give you time to see the world and possibly bump into the neighbours for a chat.
  2. Read a book that is not about fairies and princesses and superheroes. Can you find an hour a week to read a chapter? Connect to the adult world around you. It is amazing how we forget it exists. This will also give you something to talk about. We often think if we did meet someone, what would we talk about? Our lives are so focused on our children, it’s easy to forget how to have adult conversations.
  3. Join a parent and toddler group. Even though children are with you, it allows great opportunities to talk with other parents and possibly widen your social circle. Some groups are great at organising trips and events. Check in with your local community center, community bulletin/newsletter and even the local shop notice boards to find groups near you.
  4. Use a drop in crèche for one hour a week. Can you budget to allow yourself one hour off a week? You can just sit and think, plan, read or drink coffee. Basically, this is one hour for you to stay still.
  5. Can you arrange for a relative to take your children once a month? One day off or if you are really lucky one night off is a great opportunity to recharge the batteries. A night of undisturbed sleep does wonders for the body and mind. Then you will feel ready for the children again when they return.
  6. If your children go to their other parent, can you do things in this time for yourself? Many parents use this time to cook, freeze dinners, clean and get ready for another week. Even though this will make the next week run smoother it does not really count as time spent for you. Think about what hobbies you had as a child, or something you wished you had done. Can you join a club – a walking club, book club, hobby or maybe even a study group? Have you had time to think about what you want for you?
  7. We take a lot of time to plan what our children will eat. Have they eaten their 5 a day? We challenge the other parent to reduce the intake of junk food. But how often do you look at your diet. Can you take some time to plan your 5 a day? You are your child’s best role model after all.
  8. Can you arrange a babysitter club? It does not have to be at night time as it depends on what you enjoy doing. Can your friend take your child for a few hours to allow you some time and then you do the same for them?
  9. Many parents buy too many clothes for their children. Do they really need all these clothes? Do they notice what they wear? Why not put some time in to your own wardrobe? What could you do with getting? At times we avoid going out and about as we feel we have nothing to wear. It would be a great resource for your child to have a parent who is confident in how they look.
  10. Ask for help. Parenting is very challenging no matter what form your family takes. Seek out supports. Access professional parenting supports like parenting courses or one to one mentoring – One Family have parenting supports available in many locations both in Dublin and in other. Don’t go it alone when others would love to be invited to join you. (See below for more information on One Family parenting supports.)

This summer take time for you. It may seem selfish at first, but your children will be the ultimate winners when you succeed.

This ’10 Ways to’ article is by One Family’s Director of Children & Parenting Services, Geraldine Kelly, as part of our weekly ’10 Ways to’ series of parenting tips. You can read the full series here.

Next you might like to read: 10 Ways to Parent Self Care

LIVE Facebook Q&A with Geraldine on this topic Tuesday 14 July from 10am-11pm in our NEW One Family Parenting Group which is a closed Facebook group (meaning that only members can read posts) that anyone can join. Post your questions and share your experiences.

Find out more about our parenting skills programmes and parent supports. For support and information on these or any related topics, call askonefamily on lo-call 1890 66 22 12 or email


Supporting a step parent relationship150x150

Parenting | 10 Ways to Support a Child in a Step Parent Relationship

Supporting a step parent relationship250x250Having a step parent is a very normal part of life for many children in Ireland today. Often children hear about step mothers in fairy tales and the picture painted is not one that would excite you. In order for children to have a good relationship with a step parent they need to be supported in the following ways:

  1. While it may not be your ideal situation that your child has a step parent, in order for them to feel safe and secure in the relationship you must give them permission to have a relationship with this person.
  2. Many parents can feel that a step parent may try to take over their role. This can lead to the parent fighting against the relationship and making life somewhat more difficult for their child. If you can be confident in your relationship with your child then there is no need to worry about anyone trying to take your place.
  3. Remember that children need adults and good positive relationships in their lives. The step parent, if allowed, can be a very supportive person for your child. If they are spending periods of time with this person then they need to be able to talk with them, share worries and seek support. The biological parent most likely won’t always be there, so the more people around to support your children the better.
  4. Try to form a relationship of respect with the step parent. It can be very hard for children to have a good relationship with someone they don’t see their parent engage positively with. Talk with your child’s other parent about how you can both take steps to ensure the relationship with the step parent is one based on respect. In the case of infidelity, this can be very difficult, but we must always try to think about the best interests of our children.
  5. Allow your child to talk about their time with the other parent and the step parent. Acknowledge what they do with your child. Try to say positive things about the step parent. By not talking about them at all you are very clearly letting your child know you have no time for them.  Ask yourself, is this fair on your child considering they have to live with the step parent part of the time?
  6. It might be nice to arrange for all of the parents, step and biological to go out once or twice with the children. Blended families are a common feature in Irish society. Children can and do have wonderful experiences in blended families.
  7. As family life moves on after separation and step parents become a more permanent part of your child’s life try to accept them fully and acknowledge with your child the part that the step parent plays in their life.
  8. Remember the other parent may be the first one to introduce a step parent to your child, but in time you could also be with someone new. What type of relationship would you like your child to have with your new partner?
  9. If the step parent also has children, then your child has more to deal with. When sharing time with the other parent your child will need your support to explore how they want to engage with the other children who live with them. Is it okay for them to be good friends? They will need to learn the rules of sibling rivalry if they have not any biological siblings. They may also need support around sharing their parent with other children. This may be hard for them if they already feel they don’t have enough time with that parent.
  10. Good stable adult relationships are very valuable for your child to witness and be part of. It can offer your child great stability and help to build up their  confidence. It is really good for children to see their parents in good positive relationships. Part of life is learning that not every relationship is good and not every relationship lasts forever but it should not stop you from engaging with people and giving new relationships a chance.

Next you might like to read: 10 Ways to Sensitive Integration of a Step Parent 

This ’10 Ways to’ article is by One Family’s Director of Children & Parenting Services, Geraldine Kelly, as part of our weekly ’10 Ways to’ series of parenting tips. You can read the full series here.

LIVE Facebook Q&A with Geraldine on this topic Tuesday 7 July from 11am-12pm in our NEW One Family Parenting Group which is a closed Facebook group (meaning that only members can read posts) that anyone can join. Post your questions and share your experiences.

Find out more about our parenting skills programmes and parent supports. For support and information on these or any related topics, call askonefamily on lo-call 1890 66 22 12 or email