Tag Archives: communication

Mental Health Awareness Week: Workplace Stress

30% of working parents feel burnout regularly

This Mental Health Awareness Week is focusing on Stress. Managing stress levels and promoting wellbeing in the workplace is considered crucial to maintaining a productive workforce. Yet stress is still a big problem for many. 

Stress can be caused by many things but for working parents a major source of stress can be the ongoing struggle to balance the demands of work and home life. In addition to the ongoing need to arrange and pay for childcare, find workable arrangements during the school holidays, and sort out the daily school run and scheduling of after-school activities, many parents feel a sense of guilt that they are not able to give their work or their home life as much time and energy as they would like.

When you’re feeling stressed at work here are some tips you can try to help reduce stress levels:

Ask for help
Everyone needs help from time to time. Have a chat with your manager about your workload and how they can help you solve any problems you are having.

Striking a balance
Balancing your time can be a real challenge as a working parent. Occasionally you may need to work longer hours to get something done, but try to claim this time back later if you can.

Be realistic
Remember, you can’t be ‘perfect’ all the time. Set boundaries to ensure you’re not taking on too much and be realistic with the targets and goals you set.

Get into a habit
Do something at the end of each working day, such as tidying your desk or making a list of what needs to be done the next day. This can help you to switch off from work.

Develop relationships
Connecting with your colleagues can help to build up a network of support and make work more enjoyable.

Take short breaks
Try to take short breaks throughout your day, as well as time away from your desk at lunchtime. Why not try going for a short walk outside

Parenting NI are delighted to be working with businesses and organisations throughout Northern Ireland in supporting their parent employees. To find out more about what we offer click here.

Having conversations about Mental Health in the Workplace

Aside from the theme of Stress, Mental Health Awareness Week aims to highlight the importance of Mental Health and reduce the stigma around talking about it. This week over 300 radio stations joined to broadcast the same message about mental health. They are calling on the law to be changed and make it a legal requirement to have trained mental health first aiders in every workplace or college.

It can be difficult to approach having a conversation with a colleague about mental health, but we all have mental health just like physical health. If we noticed a colleague had the cold or was in pain we would ask them how they were doing and show support. However, it can be more difficult to notice and also very difficult to ask about how someone is doing mentally. 

There is no perfect way to start a conversation about someone’s wellbeing, but just being there to listen in an empathetic and non-judgemental way can help. Below are some tips on how you might approach a colleague, someone you work with or manage, if you’re worried about them.

  • Choose a place you can chat privately – maybe suggest going for a walk or grabbing a coffee
  • Choose an appropriate time, like a break time or lunch
  • Show that you are actively listening by giving them eye contact and physical and verbal nods.
  • Ask open questions – “How are you today” – sometimes making it about the present can prevent the ubiquitous “I’m fine” response
  • Reassure the person that it is okay to talk
  • Let them know that you are there to listen to them and help if they need you to 
  • If mental health is being discussed in the news why not use this as an opportunity to bring it up in the office and get conversation going?

Time to Change have great resources which can be downloaded from their website on having conversations about mental health. 

Walking on Eggshells Belfast

Non Violent Resistance Programme

Due to funding stipulations for this programme is only available to women at this time. Men interested in this programme can contact our Helpline on 0808 8010 722 to be placed on a waiting list and contacted when the next suitable programme becomes available.

Duration: Every Wednesday for 8 weeks
Aim: To provide parents with the skills to achieve a calmer and violent free home

Child to parent violence is an abuse of power through which the child or adolescent attempts to coerce, control or dominate others in the family.

The Parents Walking on Eggshells Programme uses the principles of Non Violent Resistance to help parents experiencing child to parent violence overcome their sense of helplessness, develop a support network, stop destructive behaviours inside the home and improve relationships between family members.

  • Overcome sense of helplessness
  • Develop a support network
  • Stop destructive behaviours
  • Improve family relationships

This programme is particularly suited to parents of children aged 8-16 years old.

All parents and carers need to complete an initial telephone assessment to ensure the programme is suitable for their family circumstances. Call 0808 8010 722 to complete and register. If you would prefer you can complete the Expression of Interest form at the bottom of the page and we will get in touch with you. Please note that sometimes this can take a few days.

Odyssey Parenting Your Teen Antrim

Duration: Every Tuesday for 2 hours
Aim: To improve the parent/adolescent relationship

FREE for parents/carers to attend

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Leave me alone.”

“You’re a melter!”

These phrases are often all too familiar for parents of teenagers. The teenage years can be notoriously challenging but Parenting NI and the Odyssey, Parenting Your Teen Programme can help you navigate your way through the reality of parenting teenagers.

The programme promotes the Authoritative Parenting style, which has been proven to be most effective.

Odyssey Parenting Your Teen Topics

The programme explores a range of topics relating to parenting young people, including:

  • Teen Development
  • Self-Esteem
  • Setting boundaries
  • Rules and consequences
  • Dealing with conflict
  • Problem solving

Call us now on 0808 8010 722 to register. If you would prefer you can complete the Expression of Interest form at the bottom of the page. Completing this form does not secure you a place on the programme, you will need to complete a short registration over the phone. Once the team receive your details they will be in touch to complete your registration. Please note this can sometimes take a few days.

Odyssey, Parenting Your Teen Portadown

Duration: Every Thursday for 2 hours
Aim: To improve the parent/adolescent relationship

FREE for parents/carers to attend

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Leave me alone.”

“You’re a melter!”

These phrases are often all too familiar for parents of teenagers. The teenage years can be notoriously challenging but Parenting NI and the Odyssey, Parenting Your Teen Programme can help you navigate your way through the reality of parenting teenagers.

The programme promotes the Authoritative Parenting style, which has been proven to be most effective.

Odyssey Parenting Your Teen Topics

The programme explores a range of topics relating to parenting young people, including:

  • Teen Development
  • Self-Esteem
  • Setting boundaries
  • Rules and consequences
  • Dealing with conflict
  • Problem solving

Call us now on 0808 8010 722 to register. If you would prefer you can complete the Expression of Interest form at the bottom of the page. Completing this form does not secure you a place on the programme, you will need to complete a short registration over the phone. Once the team receive your details they will be in touch to complete your registration. Please note this can sometimes take a few days.

Belfast Parenting Your Teen Programme

Duration: Every Thursday for 2 hours
Aim: To improve the parent/adolescent relationship

FREE for parents/carers to attend

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Leave me alone.”

“You’re a melter!”

These phrases are often all too familiar for parents of teenagers. The teenage years can be notoriously challenging but Parenting NI and the Odyssey, Parenting Your Teen Programme can help you navigate your way through the reality of parenting teenagers.

The programme promotes the Authoritative Parenting style, which has been proven to be most effective.

Odyssey Parenting Your Teen Topics

The programme explores a range of topics relating to parenting young people, including:

  • Teen Development
  • Self-Esteem
  • Setting boundaries
  • Rules and consequences
  • Dealing with conflict
  • Problem solving

Call us now on 0808 8010 722 to register. If you would prefer you can complete the Expression of Interest form at the bottom of the page. Completing this form does not secure you a place on the programme, you will need to complete a short registration over the phone. Once the team receive your details they will be in touch to complete your registration. Please note this can sometimes take a few days.

“That’s not true!” – Parents Guide to Fake News

 

What is Fake News?

"Fake News" is not a term many of us would have been using 18 months ago. Despite the term's recent popularity, the idea of fake news is not a new one.  Governments and powerful individuals have spread information via mass communication in order to boost support for many years. However, in today's world it's increasingly difficult to tell what is real and what isn't.

It is especially hard for children who have not yet developed critical thinking skills which help them to separate truth from fiction. It is important for parents to talk to children and young people about real and fake news content. Having conversations about fake news is one of the ways parents can help combat the impact of these stories.

How Big is Our Fake News Problem?

The complex nature of what constitutes "fake news" and what is stories or ideas we don't agree with makes it almost impossible to quantify how much "fake" news children and young people see.

We do know that it is serious enough to be an issue. For example, 6.6 million people saw a video posted about the Grenfell Tower disaster, which incorrectly claimed that 42 people had died in one room (BBC, 2017). Using social media increases young people's likelihood of being exposed to fake news in one way or another.

Types of Fake News

Parody or joke sites

You could argue these are the least harmful of "Fake News" sites. Most of these sites make it pretty obvious that they are not real stories. The purpose of these stories could be to amuse people or they could annoy or "troll" a certain section of society.

While adults could identify these stories are satire, children and young people may struggle.

News Imposter Sites

These “fake news” stories make up the bulk of the fake news on the internet. These articles usually have intriguing titles to encourage you to click on them, which generates money for ads.

This type of fake news will be very familiar to you if you read real news on the internet often. Below the main story, and regularly camouflaged as real “related stories” are a list of seemingly alarming news stories.

An adult thinking critically would realise that this source was untrustworthy. However, a child or young person could easily be tricked. In addition, the most common place to see these aside from as ads are as shared stories on social media.

Fake Stories on Real Sources

This third and final type of fake news is perhaps the most insidious of all. These stories are fake but usually contain a grain of truth in order to trick otherwise reliable news websites to carry them. The purpose of these stories varies – sometimes it is a prank, others seek to influence the debate around an issue but they undermine the trust in all news sources.

These sorts of stories are the most difficult for parents to safeguard children and young people against, as one of the most reliable ways to dismantle fake news is by checking reliable news sources.

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) has a handy 8-step process which is quick, easy to understand and available to help distinguish fake from real news.

1. Consider the source – is it usually reliable and have you ever heard of them before?2. Read Beyond – read the whole story, not just the headline
3. Check the author – are they a real person?
4. Look for supporting sources – fake news is less likely to have multiple verifying sources
5. Check the date – maybe it wasn’t fake news when it was posted but is it now?
6. Is it a joke? – teach children about how some of these articles are meant to be funny, and why people make jokes like this.
7. Check your own biases.
8. Ask the Experts – a teacher, a fact-checking website or tell children to ask you as a parent!

How to Talk to Children & Young People about "Fake News"

1. Ask your children about what they have heard to find out about what they already know.

2. You might want to consider where your young person gets their news from. If they are reading it on social media tell them not to rely on it too heavily for news.

3. Try and explain things in a simple and age appropriate way as possible. Explain that sometimes people may lie and why they might do that.

4. Listen and acknowledge – children often feel misrepresented or unhappy with the news they read. It is important to listen to what they are feeling, and respond.

5. Parents can also improve children’s media literacy during everyday activities. For example, if your child or young person watches a lot of Youtube videos, ask them what they know about who created them, and why. This is a simple and easy way to build up to a conversation about “fake” content.

If you are concerned about the impact "Fake News" has on your child ask for help!
Contact Parenting NI

You can give us a call on 0808 8010 722.

Media Literacy

Ask other parents how they talk to their children about it.

Speak to Teachers

Ask teachers about how they teach critical thinking skills in school.

Look Online

Look for reliable sources like the BBC, OFCOM and others.

Read the Report

Click here to download and read the full report.

Odyssey, Parenting Your Teen Coleraine

Duration: Every Wednesday for 2 hours
Aim: To improve the parent/adolescent relationship

FREE for parents/carers to attend

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Leave me alone.”

“You’re a melter!”

These phrases are often all too familiar for parents of teenagers. The teenage years can be notoriously challenging but Parenting NI and the Odyssey, Parenting Your Teen Programme can help you navigate your way through the reality of parenting teenagers.

The programme promotes the Authoritative Parenting style, which has been proven to be most effective.

Odyssey Parenting Your Teen Topics

The programme explores a range of topics relating to parenting young people, including:

  • Teen Development
  • Self-Esteem
  • Setting boundaries
  • Rules and consequences
  • Dealing with conflict
  • Problem solving

Call us now on 0808 8010 722 to register. If you would prefer you can complete the Expression of Interest form at the bottom of the page. Completing this form does not secure you a place on the programme, you will need to complete a short registration over the phone. Once the team receive your details they will be in touch to complete your registration. Please note this can sometimes take a few days.

Parenting Children’s Challenging Behaviour Belfast


Due to funding stipulations this programme is only available to parents living in Belfast
Duration: Every Tuesday for 6 weeks
Aim: To help parents understand and manage their children’s challenging behaviours

The Parenting Children’s Challenging Behaviour programme will:

  • Help parents understand children’s behaviours
  • Recognise the triggers to their child’s behaviour
  • Give practical tips on how to reinforce positive behaviour

The programme promotes the Authoritative Parenting style which research shows to be the most effective.

The programme is particularly suited to those parenting children aged 2-10 years old.
Requests for places on this programme must be made through the Family Support Hub. You can contact Parenting NI for more information on the process on 0808 8010 722 or complete an expression of interest below.

Odyssey, Parenting Your Teen Maghera

Duration: Every Thursday for 2 hours
Aim: To improve the parent/adolescent relationship

FREE for parents/carers to attend

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Leave me alone.”

“You’re a melter!”

These phrases are often all too familiar for parents of teenagers. The teenage years can be notoriously challenging but Parenting NI and the Odyssey, Parenting Your Teen Programme can help you navigate your way through the reality of parenting teenagers.

The programme promotes the Authoritative Parenting style, which has been proven to be most effective.

Odyssey Parenting Your Teen Topics

The programme explores a range of topics relating to parenting young people, including:

  • Teen Development
  • Self-Esteem
  • Setting boundaries
  • Rules and consequences
  • Dealing with conflict
  • Problem solving

Call us now on 0808 8010 722 to register. If you would prefer you can complete the Expression of Interest form at the bottom of the page. Completing this form does not secure you a place on the programme, you will need to complete a short registration over the phone. Once the team receive your details they will be in touch to complete your registration. Please note this can sometimes take a few days.

Odyssey, Parenting Your Teen Derry~Londonderry

Duration: Every Wednesday for 2 hours
Aim: To improve the parent/adolescent relationship

FREE for parents/carers to attend

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Leave me alone.”

“You’re a melter!”

These phrases are often all too familiar for parents of teenagers. The teenage years can be notoriously challenging but Parenting NI and the Odyssey, Parenting Your Teen Programme can help you navigate your way through the reality of parenting teenagers.

The programme promotes the Authoritative Parenting style, which has been proven to be most effective.

Odyssey Parenting Your Teen Topics

The programme explores a range of topics relating to parenting young people, including:

  • Teen Development
  • Self-Esteem
  • Setting boundaries
  • Rules and consequences
  • Dealing with conflict
  • Problem solving

Call us now on 0808 8010 722 to register. If you would prefer you can complete the Expression of Interest form at the bottom of the page. Completing this form does not secure you a place on the programme, you will need to complete a short registration over the phone. Once the team receive your details they will be in touch to complete your registration. Please note this can sometimes take a few days.