Why our FREE parenting and relationship offer is so helpful for Londoners in 7 boroughs.
Together or separated couples in Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, Camden, Hammersmith & Fulham, Croydon, Brent and Lambeth can access free relationship and parenting support currently, here we explain why seeking help to reduce arguments with your partner can improve not only your wellbeing, but your children's.
Alice Hargreaves, Relationship & Parenting Practitioner with Tavistock Relationships
Alice Hargreaves, Relationship & Parenting Practitioner with Tavistock Relationships, describes the help that is available
Our parenting programmes, which are also available to expectant parents, put the children at the forefront and look at ways to for parents and co-parents to resolve conflicts between themselves and their children.
Our classes, which will be held in your local area, look at the couple relationship, whether together or apart. They look at parenting and how to manage childcare responsibilities, as well as ways for parents to better care for themselves and their own mental health.
We use a series of structured activities and exercises to provide routes for coping with different challenges and situations. Parents are given workbooks which can become their tool box to refer to both during and once the course is finished.
The course aims to empower parents to identify areas where are they are doing well, as well as areas for improvement – often around communication, and managing emotions and challenging situations.
We offer support for people with children aged up to 18, or up to 25 if the child has learning difficulties.
The problems faced by parents of teenagers are often very different to those with younger children. For example, those with teenager might be at logger heads over homework, money, alcohol and drugs. While those with younger children will more likely be grappling with getting the kids to bed and to school on time, shopping and activities. Screen time, diet and trouble and school frequently occur in both age groups.
We also look at the challenges and opportunities of step-parenting and blended families. For residents of Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, Camden, Hammersmith & Fulham, Croydon, Brent and Lambeth, this help is free:
How to recognise when you need support
By Naomi Mwamba, Family & Parenting Practitioner, Tavistock Relationships
Thanks to funding from the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP), we are delighted to be able to offer new free parenting support to people living in seven London boroughs - Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, Camden, Hammersmith & Fulham, Croydon, Brent and Lambeth. Parenting support is also available in other parts of London and the South East.
But even when you know this type of help is available, you might wonder whether it’s right for you.
Relationships are so important for our health and wellbeing, and that of our children. What we do in our couple and co-parenting relationships affects the success of our children in every area of their life.
It’s very normal to have arguments and disagreements in a relationship with your partner or co-partner, but how do we know when the line has been crossed and these arguments are damaging the welfare of our children?
Here at Tavistock Relationships, we help couples with a wide range of relationship problems, including the challenges of parenting.
Often when people come to us for help, they’ve already been struggling for some time. They will have tried lots of things, they will have spoken to friends and family and tried to fix it themselves. They are usually at breaking point, with one person already sleeping on the sofa or even moved out.
Relationships aren’t easy, especially when people have children to care for too. Sometimes expert, impartial help is needed. We urge people to seek support before they reach breaking point, so that issues can be hopefully be resolved, or an amicable split can be supported. Or if you’ve already split, we can help you parent better apart.
Every couple is different and the challenges very personal and individual. But we do see some common themes.
The domestic battle ground
The division of domestic tasks in general often creates conflict. For example, who takes the kids to school, who cooks the evening meal, makes the packed lunches, takes out the bins. As well as who gets the lie-in at the weekend.
Many stay-at-home or part-time working parents, feel their full time working partner’s lives haven’t really altered since the arrival of children, while their own lives have changed out of all recognition.
Tensions are often aroused when at the end of a long day at work, the full-time working partner walks through the door and the parent who has stayed at home to care for the child is desperate to hand over the baby and have a break.
Different parenting styles
Often when we become parents we consciously or unconsciously want to fix the problems and parenting mistakes that we experienced as children, leading to specific parenting priorities and styles.
For example, one might be quick to discipline, while the other more inclined to give lee-way. Sometimes these arguments are played out in front of the children, adding an extra layer of conflict and potential collusion.
Relationships with in-laws can be very challenging. They might be providing childcare support but can also be judgemental, creating a build-up of tension and resentment.
The partner that is staying at home and doing the bulk of the childcare will often have set ways of doing things and specific ideas about the best way to raise children, for example the sort of food the children eat, clothes they wear, exercise they do, etc. They also want their partner or co-parent to help and support them, but expect them to do this in the same way. It’s sometimes hard to let go and decide what is really important and appreciate that different parenting styles aren’t necessarily worse.
Time, money and sex
Couples often argue over finances – and prioritising over where to spend money. For example, one person might want to save up to buy a house, while the other would prefer to go on a big holiday.
How we spend our time can create conflict. We all have hobbies and interests we like to pursue, and this has to be balanced with family time.
Couples often argue about sex as well. One partner may look for much more regular sex than the other is prepared to give.
Couples and co-parents often have different ways of communicating. Some people like to sort out issues straight away, even it if means having a row. While others want time to think about things and then have a quiet conversation about it, hoping to avoid conflict.
Conflict can be come with behaviours other than arguing. The silent treatment and cold war tactics can be very hard to cope with and can be just as damaging to a relationship as fiery rows where horrible things are said.
Some people find it hard to talk about what’s worrying them in the relationship and there can be a lingering simmering resentment over something, which one day reaches a boiling point that is hard to recover from.
If you do not live in one of the London Boroughs offering the free support, we offer a range of affordable relationship help.