by Penny Mansfield CBE, Director of One Plus One
The economic and emotional pressures of modern family life lead to frustrations and conflict in families. All too often children are the audience to our falling – outs with partners.
Research evidence is clear that being the object of parental conflict – or just the witnesses to it – negatively affects children’s health and wellbeing.
The good news is that when parents are aware of this, they can be helped to find ways to express their frustrations calmly, and begin to argue more constructively. Arguing is part of family communication. When parents begin to see the impact of their arguing on their families, they can be encouraged to make changes to how they argue.
Working with the Good Things Foundation Centres, we met families who shared with us real situations from their family lives. Using a behaviour modelling training design, we created videos www.seeitdifferently.org which offer mothers and fathers the opportunity to stand back, see what their children are seeing, hear what they are hearing and feel what they are feeling. With this awareness parents can be motivated to change their behaviour. Behaviour modelling training uses visual demonstrations of behaviours to promote knowledge and skills acquisition and improvement in attitudes, intentions and self-efficacy. So, parents see a situation going badly, and then the same situation going better.
These videos introduce a few of the skills needed. To learn more skills, with a focus on separated parents. please go to: https://click.clickrelationships.org/home/parenting-apart/