Family Situation

Talking to Your Child About Your Family Situation

Family Situation2015 is shaping up to be a big year for children’s rights, especially with regard to Family Law. Children are now being placed at the centre of legislation that directly affects them and their parents. Talking about your family situation can be difficult especially if you, as a parent, are struggling to cope yourself. Here are a few tips to help you to open a dialogue with your children and ease them  into a secure understanding  of their family.

  1. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child states that every child has the right to know about both biological parents.
  2. Parents need to explain their family situation to their children in a way that fosters respect for the other parent and allows children to feel positively about their family.
  3. Being able to talk to a child positively about their family situation allows trust to develop between a parent and a child.
  4. Both parents have rights and with those rights come responsibilities to ensure that parents meet the child’s best interests.
  5. According to Irish law, access (to parents) is the right of the child.
  6. Be truthful with children and answer questions in a way that is respectful to the other parent and age appropriate to the child.
  7. If you live with your parents and they behave like parents to your child then be honest about the real nature of the relationship.
  8. If a new partner is like a parent to your child be truthful about the real nature of the relationship.
  9. Use and create opportunities for talking about your family situation.
  10. Start early and be prepared to add information as your children get older. Children are well able for the truth, they often want the facts to help them understand and feel less vulnerable.

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. Coming up Next Week: 10 ways to Parent Through Stressful Times.

LIVE Facebook Q&A on this topic with Geraldine, 9 March from 11am-12pm on One Family’s Facebook pageJoin in and post your questions.

Next you might like to read: 10 ways to Support Grandparents Relationships With Your Child, 10 ways to Nurture Your Role As A Step Parent or 10 ways to Explain An Absent Parent.

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

Enjoy our Happy Family Day Video

Our annual Family Day Festival took place on Sunday 18 May in Dublin’s Iveagh Gardens. Despite the heavy rain, we had a brilliant day with wonderful singers, musicians, poets, performers, sports, storytelling and puppet shows to entertain us, excellent workshops, and information from a variety of family focused and cultural organisations.

View this short Family Day Festival video for a real flavour of the day. It’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face and get your toes tapping.

Thank you to videographer Ger O’Donnell; and thank you to all of the wonderful volunteers, performers, participating organisations, staff and production crew for making the Family Day Festival 2014 such an enjoyable and positive celebration of the diversity of families in Ireland today. Thank you also to the Community Foundation for Ireland and Dublin City Council for their support; to Today FM; and to the OPW for kindly providing the Iveagh Gardens. We are already looking forward to Family Day Festival 2015.

There are many ways to get involved in the Festival including sponsorship opportunities. If you or your organisation would like to find out more, please email us or call 01 662 9212.

Family Day Fest sign

All Families Celebrated at Family Day Festival 2014

One Family’s fourth Family Day Festival took place yesterday and was enjoyed by thousands of happy people, children and adults alike, in Dublin’s beautiful Iveagh Gardens – despite the rain.

The annual free Festival is the highlight of One Family’s ongoing campaign for a nationally celebrated Family Day, similar to Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, but which would include all children irrespective of their family make-up. We have been celebrating Family Day for a decade. The Festival, which takes place every year on the Sunday following UN International Day of Families on 15 May, presented a fun, jam-packed programme of workshops from acting to yoga, and butter making to boxing with Olympian Michael Carruth; main stage entertainment with MC Aidan Bishop including magician Brian Daly, Musicantia Roma Children’s Choir, the Nepalese Cultural Group (NCG) and singer Sinéad White; pop-up play opportunities and traditional sports and games; and many of Ireland’s leading cultural organisations for children with fun activities such as puppet shows, arts and crafts, storytelling and more.

The Family Day Festival is a fantastic day out but as the Irish Times noted this week, it also ‘carries a subtle message‘. This message is that all families should be cherished. We know that it is the quality of relationships in the home, not family make-up, that is most important for children’s well-being and Family Day celebrates all the different types of families that make up today’s Irish society. One Family, GLEN, Marriage Equality, Treoir, BeLong To, New Communities Partnership, ISPCC and Children’s Rights Alliance were among the organisations working with and for families who were on hand in the Information Village to have fun and engage with families about their services.

A favourite of this year’s event was the new One Family Talking Tent which presented parenting talks by One Family, Marriage Equality, GLEN and BeLonG To. The Talking Tent line-up also featured powerful spoken word performances from Colm Keegan and John Cummins, and comic verse for children with Paul Tubb. We were delighted to host the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Oisín Quinn. Minister John Hayes TD and Senator Averil Power also attended and joined in the fun.

Ireland’s celebration of the 20th anniversary of UN International Year of the Family 2014 was a great success.

View the Family Day Festival 2014 photo album for lots of fun photos!

If you were there, please take a short anonymous survey by clicking here to help us make next year’s Family Day Festival even better.

Thank you to all the performers and entertainers who created magical memories for so many families throughout the day. Thank you to the participating organisations, to the production staff, and to all of the incredible Family Day Festival volunteers.

The Family Day Festival is kindly supported by the Community Foundation for Ireland, Dublin City Council (DCC) and Today FM. The Iveagh Gardens is provided courtesy of the Office of Public Works (OPW). One Family is grateful to all.

If your organisation would like to get involved in 2015, we’d love to hear from you. Email or call us on 01 662 9212 to find out more.


One Family Participating in EU Families and Societies Project

One Family is one of twenty experts and stakeholders from across Europe contributing to Families and Societies, a large-scale integrating project on the factors that define and shape what families will look like in the future, coordinated through Stockholm University. The projects runs until 31 January 2017. Questions being addressed include: Are existing social and family policies compatible with changes in family patterns?

The main objectives of the project are:

  • To investigate the diversity of family forms, relationships, and life courses in Europe.
  • To assess the compatibility of existing policies with family changes.
  • To contribute to evidence-based policy-making.

The overall conceptual framework is based on three key premises:

  • Family life courses are becoming more diverse.
  • The interdependency of lives matters.
  • Social contexts and policies matter.
If you would like to find out more, click here to visit the website.

Family Day a huge success – thanks to everyone who took part

Today is UN International Day of the Family, an annual celebration of the diversity of families and family life across the    world. To mark the day One Family and EBS Building Society came together to celebrate Irish families and family diversity by hosting The Family Day picnic in Iveagh Gardens, a free event with entertainment for all the family. Hundreds of families joined the fun for Family Day by either attending the picnic in Iveagh Gardens or by hosting their own event with their family to mark the day. All families who registered for Family Day are still in with a chance to win €1,000 by simply submitting a photograph from their ‘Family Day’ to Pictured enjoying the fun today were Hunzah Alraqi(5) and Shafeeq Alraqui taking part in the wheelbarrow race, Jamie Duffy (2) with Twinkle Toes the owl from Dublin Zoo and Rocio & Belen Gonzalez (3) enjoying the face painters. Thanks to everyone who has helped to make Family Day such a huge success.


Are you ready for Family Day 2011?

Hope you are all set for Family Day, Sunday 15 May? There’s a good piece in today’s Herald about it and about family diversity and the need to embrace all types of families. Dont forget to join us from 1pm to 5pm in the Iveagh Gardens, Dublin 2 for a Family Picnic or why not organise your own event and be in with the chance to win €1000*? More information about Family Day 2011 can be found here or to read the article in the Herald, click here

Ray D’Arcy launches Family Day, 15 May

One Family & EBS Building Society announce details of Free Family Day Picnic to be hosted in Iveagh Gardens on 15 May. Ray D’Arcy calls on people to celebrate families on 15 May to mark International Day of the Family.

Ray D’Arcy at Launch of Family Day 2011
Ray D’Arcy at launch of Family Day 2011 with EBS Head of Marketing, Aidan Power and One Family Director, Karen Kiernan











International Day of the Family, on 15 May 2011, is an annual celebration of the diversity of families and family life across the world. Speaking today broadcaster Ray D’Arcy explained, “Mothers’ Day is for mums and Fathers’ Day is for dads but Family Day is for everyone to celebrate all types of families.” He added: “Everyone is so busy these days that family members don’t spend as much time together as they once did. Family Day aims to rectify this by simply encouraging families to have fun and spend more time together.” Ray D’Arcy was speaking at today’s  announcement that this year to mark International Day of Family – One Family and EBS Building Society will be hosting a Family Day Picnic in The Iveagh Gardens, Dublin 2. Read more