Tag Archives: dads

Parenting Apart Programme (Dads Only)

Start date: Wednesday 4th Nov – 7.30pm – 9pm
Duration: Every Wednesday for 6 weeks
Location: Online via Zoom

The Parenting Apart programme is aimed at parents who have separated, are separating, divorced or thinking of divorce.

This free online programme will provide practical advice and guidance about what children need to know, and what parents can do to meet their children’s need. Although parents are immersed in their own difficulties, this programme can help parents focus on the child’s needs with the aim of minimising the impact of the separation.

The programme explores:

  • Emotional impact
  • Parenting roles
  • Changes in relationships
  • Legalities
  • Financial impact
  • Moving on

To register call us on freephone 0808 8010 722.

Freephone number is currently available Monday – Thursday 9:30 am – 3:30 pm and Friday 9:30 am – 12:30 pm. 

 

Parenting Apart Programme (Dads Only)

Start date: Wednesday 4th Nov – 10.30am – 12pm
Duration: Every Wednesday for 6 weeks
Location: Online via Zoom

The Parenting Apart programme is aimed at parents who have separated, are separating, divorced or thinking of divorce.

This free online programme will provide practical advice and guidance about what children need to know, and what parents can do to meet their children’s need. Although parents are immersed in their own difficulties, this programme can help parents focus on the child’s needs with the aim of minimising the impact of the separation.

The programme explores:

  • Emotional impact
  • Parenting roles
  • Changes in relationships
  • Legalities
  • Financial impact
  • Moving on

To register call us on freephone 0808 8010 722.

Freephone number is currently available Monday – Thursday 9:30 am – 3:30 pm and Friday 9:30 am – 12:30 pm. 

Keeping Your Cool Programme For Dads

Duration: Every Monday for 6 weeks
Aim: To help parents manage their anger

Anger is a normal emotion, which most parents experience on a regular basis. It is often seen as a negative emotion but it can be used as a motivator to instigate change.

This 6 week online programme running from Monday 2nd of November to Monday 7th December allows you to explore:

  • Reactions to anger
  • How anger impacts on children
  • How to identify the triggers
  • Find positive ways of managing their anger

To find out more or to register, call us on freephone 0808 8010 722. 

Fathers and Families

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes every Wednesday for 6 weeks
Aim: To promote positive parenting skills to fathers

FREE for dads to attend.

Fathers play an important role in their children’s lives.

This programme is specifically tailored to those in a fathering role.

Father and Families will help you recognise the important role you have to play in your child’s lives and give you the skills to use a positive parenting approach.

The free online programme is fun and interactive and offers you a great opportunity to build a support network.

Fathers and Families Programme

Duration: 6 weeks online via Zoom

The Fathers and Families Programme emphasises the important role fathers play in the lives of their children, encourage fathers to take an active role in their child’s upbringing, whether they live with their child or not. The programme will provide fathers with knowledge on how they can be an Authoritative father and develop a strong, positive relationship with their child regardless of their family structure.

Over the 6 weeks we explore:

  • The Important Role of the Father
  • Parenting Styles
  • Supporting Fathers
  • Effective Communication
  • Rules and Consequences
  • Quality Time

The programme is interactive, fun and offers dads an opportunity to build a support network.

This programme is offered as part of the Dads Project, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund NI. 

Fathers and Social Isolation

This period of social isolation has been difficult for all parents. However, separated fathers face further challenges during the crisis. Getting sufficient contact time with children as a separated father is often complex – and the results even when contact orders are put into place may be unsatisfactory. The process of resolving contact cases takes on average 6 months, but may take as long as 22 months. However, even when a case is considered “concluded”, fathers often face breaches of contact orders requiring further legal actions.

Lockdown Guidance

The onset of the lockdown and social distancing has enhanced the issues faced by fathers. Initially, there was a lack of clarity with regards to seeing non-resident parents during lockdown. The government moved relatively swiftly to address this – on March 25th, two days after the imposition of the lockdown it was clarified that seeing non-resident parents counted as “essential” journeys. Minister Michael Gove stated:

“While children should not normally be moving between households, we recognise that this may be necessary when children who are under 18 move between separated parents. This is permissible & has been made clear in the guidance”

Nonetheless, the confusion caused by the conflicting advice has caused some ex-partners to withdraw contact with separated fathers. Parenting NI’s ‘Dad’s Project’, which works with fathers has been contacted by several fathers in this position. One father told us:

“I was seeing my daughter 3 night a week pre lock down. Initially when entered lock down I didn’t see her for 2 weeks, then kept her every 2nd week for a full week. Up until last week I hadn’t seen her for a further 2 weeks.

Over this period, I have found it stressful doing my work and my daughter has struggled to understand family and has found it hard adjusting to the ex-partners new home”

A further complication of this was the cessation of “normal” court proceedings. With the coronavirus safeguards in place, private and non-essential court cases were halted. The Lord Chief Justice has outlined his guidance for what court business could proceed. While some family cases were included in this, they were limited to:

“Non-molestation Orders; Applications under the Children (NI) Order 1995 such as Care Orders, Prohibited Steps Orders, Emergency Protection Orders and Secure Accommodation Orders; Declaratory judgments in patients’ cases; Child abduction.”

Contact

Contact orders – and private cases to establish contact in the event of a separation – have been either postponed or unable to start as a result of the crisis. Additionally, with limited resources in an already over-stretched judicial system the fathers Parenting NI supports expressed concern that their issues were unlikely to be resolved in the near future. Small numbers of ex-partners acting in bad faith have seemingly been able to use the crisis as a means to reduce or remove contact. The normal resources available to fathers in this time are under strain, making it harder to address.

A father said:

“Just before the lockdown at the end of February a new order was issued leaving contact as per the wishes and feelings of the children, thereby removing my right to contact with my children or any means of legal recourse against my ex-wife which I had.

Since then I’ve had no contact with my daughters aged 12 and 14. I contacted the court office and they just told me that my appeal is on file and would be dealt with when possible. Only very urgent matters would be dealt with by the Court until further notice. They just told me to wait until I hear from the Court.”

Even where a father has been able to maintain contact, the impact of the crisis has complicated normal contact. For fathers who had supervised contact via contact centres, there has been restrictions and even closures. While many contact centres have implemented innovative solutions to attempt to address these issues, they cannot provide face-to-face contact. Additionally, the regulations on social distancing have meant that fathers cannot avail of outdoor or leisure activities in the same way as before. If a father has non-overnight contact and a home that is not well suited to time with his children, the crisis has made it harder for him to spend meaningful time together. One example we received informed us:

“He is 4 years old and has limited understanding of what is happening and social distancing. I am holding off taking him to parks or busy areas until I am satisfied the risk has decreased considerably. This includes visits to my mother who is having to shield.”

Mixed Messages

One of the major issues has simply been a lack of clarity regarding the rules. The mixed messaging of regulations and the manner in which they have been reported by the media have meant that fathers are often uncertain as to what is allowed. This has created unneeded stress and concern for some fathers.

Fathers who are separated already face significant mental health challenges. One report found that they are more likely to have serious mental health problems, and feel more isolated than separated women. In addition, the Royal College of Psychiatrists notes that men who experience divorce or separation experience depression more often and it is more severe. Studies have shown that fathers who no longer live with their children experience poorer relationship quality with their children and experience more social isolation, greater conflict with former spouses, and suffer the loss of emotional support from former friends and peers compared to fathers who reside with their children. Lack of contact can exacerbate these outcomes and has negative impacts on children as well.

Support

Parenting NI continues to provide advice and support for fathers both through our general support line and specifically through the ‘Dads Project’. We feel it is more important than ever for fathers to be aware that support continues to exist even during this difficult period. Fathers can still ring the support line on 0800 8010 722 and be referred for direct help. In addition, they can access any of the following voluntary organisations:

Advice NI www.adviceni.net Financial support
Christians Against Poverty www.capuk.org Hardship/foodbank/white goods
Law Centre www.lawcentreni.org Legal information
Lifeline www.lifelinehelpline.info Support with end of life thoughts/actions
Family Benefits Advice www.employersforchilcare.org Advice with childcare costs and childcare options
Samaritans www.samaritans.org Depression, loneliness
Simon Community www.simoncommunity.org Homelessness
Family Mediation NI www.familymediationni.org.uk Family mediation
Aware NI www.aware-ni.org Depression/Mental Health

Finally, if a father is experiencing any other issues, looking at the Helplines Network NI website can point them toward an organisation that may be able to address it:
https://helplinesni.com/

Parenting Apart Belfast (Dads Only)

This programme is being delivered as part of the Dads Project and therefore is open to men only. Thanks to funding from the National Lottery Community Fund NI this is free for dads to attend.

Start date: Monday 20th April 2020
Duration: Every Monday for 6 weeks

The Parenting Apart programme is aimed at parents who have separated, are separating, divorced or thinking of divorce.

The programme will provide practical advice and guidance about what children need to know, and what parents can do to meet their children’s need. Although parents are immersed in their own difficulties, this programme can help parents focus on the child’s needs with the aim of minimising the impact of the separation.

The programme explores:

  • Emotional impact
  • Parenting roles
  • Changes in relationships
  • Legalities
  • Financial impact
  • Moving on

To register call us on freephone 0808 8010 722.

Freephone number is currently available Monday – Thursday 9:30 am – 3:30 pm and Friday 9:30 am – 12:30 pm. 

Dad Matters Belfast

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Understanding the unique and valuable role dad’s play in their children’s lives

Come along to this relaxed Dad Matters workshop to meet other dads and explore a range of topics such as:

  • The challenges of fatherhood
  • How dad’s influence their child’s development and outcomes
  • Understanding how to be an active dad

The workshop will be held on a Tuesday evening in South Belfast. You can register by calling freephone 0808 8010 722.

Freephone number is currently available Monday – Thursday 9:30 am – 3:30 pm and Friday 9:30 am – 12:30 pm. Daddy Matters workshop for dads exploring the unique and valuable role dad’s play in their children’s lives. Call freephone 0808 8010 722 to register.Daddy Matters workshop for dads exploring the unique and valuable role dad’s play in their children’s lives. Call freephone 0808 8010 722 to register.

Dads Project Positive Approaches to Discipline Workshop Belfast

Why do children misbehave?

This workshop will explore:

    • Attitudes to the use of physical punishment on children and young people
    • Current legislation in Northern Ireland
    • Positive approaches to discipline and positive parenting strategies

Call us to register on freephone 0808 8010 722.

The freephone number is currently available Mon – Thurs 9:30 am – 3:30 pm & Fri 9:30 am – 12:30 pm.

Delivery of this programme is being delivered as part of the Dads Project and therefore is open to dads only.

Keeping Your Cool Derry~Londonderry (Dads Only)

Keeping Your Cool: Parents Anger Management Programme coming to Belfast from Thursday 23rd January!

This programme is being delivered as part of the Dads Project and therefore is open to men only. Thanks to funding from the National Lottery Community Fund NI this is free for dads to attend.

Duration: 8 weeks
Aim: To provide parents with the tools to recognise the triggers to their outbursts and manage their emotions.

This programme allows parents to explore their reaction to anger, how losing their cool impacts on their children, identify the triggers to them losing their cool and find positive ways of managing their behaviour. Throughout the programme parents are given techniques to help them manage stress, understand their triggers and keep their cool to ensure family life improves.

The programmes looks at:

  • Choice, change and minding the gap
  • The challenge of keeping your cool
  • The trouble with thinking
  • Escalating emotions
  • Children and anger
  • Gender, life experiences and parental anger
  • Conflict, power and anger management
  • Learning and moving on

To register call us on freephone 0808 8010 722.

Freephone number is currently available Monday – Thursday 9:30 am – 3:30 pm and Friday 9:30 am – 12:30 pm.