Parenting alone or sharing parenting can be a challenge. It’s not just the practical aspects of life that we can help you with. Separating from a partner or bringing up children alone can raise a mixture of practical and emotional issues. Our booklets and articles look at a range of situations from how to deal with relationship breakdown and how to introduce a new partner to your children, to parenting tips and advice on everything from how to handle fussy eaters and how to deal with temper tantrums. Click the links below to read more, and if you want to talk to an expert call our askonefamily helpline on 01 662 9212.
Becoming a Parent
Parenting & Family Relationships
Family Communications | Many problems can be solved or improved with better communication. Learning how to listen to your family and teaching your children about respect and boundaries are all vital to a happy home environment. It is also important to learn how to talk about the difficult stuff, or topics that make us feel awkward. This category deals with issues that revolve around communication such as: How to Talk to Your Children About Death, How to Improve Listening In The Home and How to Run A Family Meeting.
Parent Well Being | Parenting can bring up many challenges. It can be difficult to manage your own well being when so often you are pulled in so many other directions. It is vital to you and your families health and happiness that you are taken care of too. This category is all about you, the parent. It offers a number of articles containing tips on minding yourself such as: How to Parent Self Care, How to Be Assertive and How to Feel Pride In Your Family.
Positive Parenting | Sometimes it can be the small changes that make a big difference. Our positive parenting tips category is a comprehensive list of our top tips on a variety of topics. They give information, support and guidelines on how to handle numerous issues or even implement positive changes to your family. They include: How to Encourage Healthier Eating, How to Survive Sleepless Nights and How to Understand Children and Emotions and The Learning Power of Play.
Problem Solving | Good problem solving skills are a valuable resource when you are parenting. Often times it can be hard to figure out how to tackle a certain problem that arises in your home. Our problem solving category offers a list of articles to help you through a range of problems that can arise for parents. They include: How to Parent Siblings, How to Handle Difficult Behaviour( 1 & 2) and How to Improve Your Child’s Self Esteem.
Talking With Your Children About Your Family | Children and Teenagers will ask many questions of you over the years. At times it can be hard to find the right words, particularly if what they are asking us upsetting for you. In this section you will find a number of articles written on how to talk to your children about these subjects. They include: How to Talk To Your Children About Your Family Situation, How to Explain An Absent Parent and How to Nurture Your Role As A Step Parent.
Families in Transition
Five ways to cope with the end of a relationship
- Talk with your children about what is happening in the family, once the decision to separate is final – mums and dads might like to think children are not aware of difficulties between them but they often notice more than you think and it is important to let them know that the separation is not their fault. It is an emotional and uncertain time for all of you. If you can talk to them together then this can help your children see that you are both available to them at this time, despite what is happening. Share with them future plans and arrangements, if possible.
- Set aside the issues of your adult relationship when it comes to the relationship that your children have with their other parent –try to remain courteous towards them or if this is too difficult be neutral as your children love both of you.
- Find someone you trust to talk to – get support from a trusted friend or professional – family members can also be supportive in many ways although sometimes may be less impartial especially when there may be conflict between the couple. It is important that you have a space to talk about how you are feeling.
- Consider mediation – this can be a way of negotiating and working out a plan for the future, everything from money to sharing parenting. See www.legalaidboard.ie for details of the free Family Mediation Service in many locations around the country.
- Get legal advice – you do not need to do anything with it but it may help in your decision-making to know where you stand legally and what options may be there, if needed. See www.flac.ie for details of the legal advice centre nearest you.
Five Supports for Children and Teenagers Experiencing Parental Separation
- Talk with them and listen to them. Let them know it is not their fault, as well as what is happening in the family with the changes. You, as mum or dad can provide a lot for your child at this time, in being available to them. Planning and communicating when a child will have time with each parent may help also.
- Understand that their behaviour may change in response to this new situation – keep a routine where you can, especially for younger children.
- Support – the Rainbows programme is a peer-led support for school-age children who have experienced bereavement or separation – see www.rainbowsireland.com and for teenagers there is counselling from www.teenbetween.ie in the Dublin area
- Play therapy – can be helpful for children who may be experiencing difficulty in adjusting to the change. There are play therapists around the country, mostly in private practice; to find out more about qualified play therapists you may be interested in play therapy websites such as www.ipta.ie or www.playtherapy.ie
- Read – Barnardos has some excellent booklets on coping with separation, for children aged 6-12, for teenagers and one for their parents, see www.barnardos.ie . Check out your local library or bookshop for children’s storybooks on separation and change in family life.
Childcare for pre-school and school-aged children is a requirement for many one-parent families who need affordable, good quality childcare.
Please click on the topics below for information on each scheme.
The Community Childcare Subvention Programme is a scheme offering reduced cost childcare in community childcare services for people on low incomes or in receipt of a social welfare payment.
The Early Childhood Care and Education Scheme (ECCE) is often referred to as the free pre-school year and this offers early childhood care and education for children in the year before they start primary school.
If you are going into work, education or training then one of the folllowing schemes may support you with childcare costs:
The Childcare Employment and Training Scheme (CETS) offers subsidised childcare for people who are undertaking certain vocational training courses.
The Community Employment Childcare programme (CEC) provides low cost childcare for people who participate in a Community Employment Scheme and need childcare for children aged between 5 and 13 years, in order to take up a place.
After-School Child Care Scheme (ASCC) supports people who are returning to work, increasing their work hours or are starting an employment programme with a childcare place, for up to a year, at a much reduced cost.
Your local County or City Childcare Committee is a good place to start for finding out about types of childcare as well as finding contact details for childcare providers in your area and the childcare schemes that they may offer in your community.