This campaign is about making a positive commitment to children.

Sad girl with head on arms while parents argue in the background

Rationale for the campaign

A report published last autumn by the Family Solutions Group highlighted the damage being done to the futures of an estimated 280,000 per year children as a result of long and protracted separations between parents involved in the family court system.

At Tavistock Relationships, we very much welcomed this report and the strong emphasis paid in the report’s recommendations to the use of parenting and relationship support in helping separated couples. For example, the report stated: “Attendance by parents at a registered parenting programme to become the norm following separation.” We would welcome this as part of the implementation of the new divorce legislation.

So, we therefore welcome a new initiative - The Parent's Promise - and have signed up as signatories. The initiative aims to change the conversation about parental separation, both within families and in wider society. It’s based on a simple and important concept that, safeguarding concerns notwithstanding, every child has a right to a positive relationship with both parents and that no child should be asked or forced to choose between their parents.

Only 5% [of people] had discussed how to co-parent if they separated

The Parents Promise undertook research that found that the conversation about dealing with conflict and separation rarely happens between couples. That may not be surprising, as the topic is a difficult one. It is, however, revealing that the research found that 87% of people had planned with their partner about how to spend a lottery win but only 5% had discussed how to co-parent if they separated. The sad reality is that the latter is a far more likely scenario.

Initiatives such as the #ParentsPromise are about making a positive commitment to children. Coming to counselling is also about making a step to work out your problems, and we hope that it is becoming clear that doing this early opens up the possibility of lessening the impact on children in the event of a relationship breaking down. You can visit https://theparentspromise.org.uk/ and start a conversation today.

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