We will be offering some teen and primary age parenting courses online. Details will be published soon. You can refer yourself for a course and we will contact you once we can start offering dates again.
We aim to rotate the offer of courses within all the localities of both boroughs but parents can access any course regardless of where they live.
You can complete a self referral form at any time. This will help us understand demand for courses. We will then contact you to let you know when the next course you are interested in will run and where.
You can read more about the courses that will normally be on offer in the leaflets below:
Parenting courses focussing on SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) are on the Local Offer section (opens a new window) of this website.
We hope you will also find the following advice and suggestions helpful when dealing with some of the common issues and challenges that might arise in your family.
When you communicate well with your child, it leads to a strong relationship, greater co-operation, and feelings of worth. When communication is a struggle, it can lead to your child switching off, conflict and feelings of worthlessness.
Good communication is about:
- Encouraging children to talk to you so you can tell what they are thinking and feeling.
- Being able to really listen and respond in a sensitive way to all kinds of things – not just the nice things or good news but also anger, embarrassment, sadness or fear.
- Focussing on body language and tonality as well as the words so you can really understand what children are saying.
- Taking into account what children of different ages/stages can understand and how long they can pay attention in a conversation.
Listen and talk technique – one to one
For the parent to say something like ‘I’m really unhappy about how things are at the moment – what seems to be the problem?’
Then to let the child answer, without any interruptions from the parent (even if it appears way off course).
Then for the parent to summarise what the child has said and say something like ‘Is this what you’re telling me’. If the child says yes, for the parent to reply ‘Thank you for sharing that with me’.
If the child says no for the parent to ask ‘What is it I haven’t understood? Hopefully the child will help the parent clarify what they have misunderstood.
To finish with something like ‘This has helped me understand things better – thank you’.
Learn to listen so you can listen and learn
Conflict is a clash of interests!
Responding in the wrong way will make things worse - responding in the right way will make things better.
Teaching children conflict resolution skills:
Identify why the children are experiencing conflict.
Come down to their level.
Let each child take their turn in recounting their side of the conflict.
Then repeat what each child has told you in your own words so that they know you understand the situation and their individual feelings.
Ask the children if they can come up with ideas to solve the problem together.
Four part ‘I’ messages are a way of telling someone that their behaviour towards you is not OK without attacking or blaming them.
I feel (taking responsibility for one’s own feelings).
When (stating the behaviour is a problem).
Because (what it is about the behaviour or consequence that is not OK).
I would like (saying what you want to happen instead).
eg: I feel really annoyed when you leave your dirty clothes on the bedroom floor because it makes extra work for me to pick it up. I would like you to put it in the dirty washing basket in future.
Tips for managing conflict with teenagers
Conflict has a purpose – use it in a positive way to understand each other better and improve family relationships.
Teenagers don’t normally like rules but will respect them better if they are involved in drawing them up.
Accept that parents and teenagers see things differently.
Decide whose problem it is.
Avoid misunderstandings - be clear in what is being said.
Build in family time together.
Conflict management with teenagers
Take a break to let things cool down if staying calm is hard.
Let your child know you are listening.
Show your child you care about their thoughts and feelings.
Stick to the issue you’re in conflict with rather than getting onto other issues or past events.
Try to negotiate a decision that you can both live with or at least try to be clear about why you can’t agree.
Ideas to help manage screen time
Decide what your rules will be and stick to them. Try not to give in to demands from children for extra time.
Restrictions could include:
Setting time limits
Setting device curfews
Having no devices in the bedroom
Age appropriate content and having no devices during mealtimes
Give children ideas of other activities that they could do, children may need some encouragement and support to get started on something new.
Be a role model
As parents and carers we need to be mindful of how much we are accessing screens and devices for non-working purposes. If they see us doing other activities, they are more likely to copy.
Young children have a poor understanding of time and older children can get too carried away with their games to look at the clock. Set egg timers, alarms or buzzers to give an audible signal when time is up or set warnings so the child is aware that time will be up soon, e.g. 5 minute warnings.
Use tech to control tech
There are many settings and apps that allow parents to restrict device usage automatically, see some links below:
- Xbox: http://support.xbox.com/en-US/xbox-360/security/xbox-live-parental-control (opens a new window) – How to set time restrictions and other settings on Xbox 360.
- PlayStation, Wii, Windows-based computers: http://www.esrb.org/about/settingcontrols.jsp (opens a new window) - How to activate controls.
- iPhone and iPad: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/parentkit-parental-controls/id600618138?mt=8 (opens a new window)
- Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.screentime (opens a new window) - Allows parents to add bonus time as a reward for eg helping around the house
Use screen time as a reward
Encourage children to earn screen time, this could be awarded in blocks of minutes based on completed chores or accomplished goals. For example marbles in a jar could be rewarded to represent so many minutes of screen time earned. Chores could be divided and written on lollypop sticks and put in a jar or put on pieces of paper and folded and put in a lucky dip box.
- Try to start screen time as late as possible in the day
- Once children are on devices it can be harder to get them off
Let older children take responsibility for their actions. Have a family meeting and discuss what is reasonable, healthy and fair regarding screen use. Draw up an agreement/timetable for everyone to follow.
Share experiences with them
Too much screen time can cause potential isolation and lack of social interaction for your child. By getting involved and sharing the electronic experience you can turn it into a fun, positive, family-bonding opportunity.
Free online parenting courses and advice
Netmums offer an online course in association with Family Links:
Positive Parenting Solutions is a Facebook group that offers daily information
You can find more information and suggestions in the COVID 19 section (opens a new window) on this website.
Families Under Pressure (opens a new window) - During this stressful and cooped up time, don't let the pressure of parenting get you down. Try these tips, backed by science for Families Under Pressure
Care for the Family’s podcasts
Care for the Family’s podcasts for parents of Primary and Teenagers cover a range of topics with valuable insights and practical tips – share the link and invite people to watch then comment or discuss using the questions provided.
How to sign up for a parenting course
Parents can self-refer using the parenting support expression of interest form (word). Once a referral has been made, the parent will be contacted by phone and text to discuss the referral and to establish which course would be most suitable. Where possible, we can arrange for translators if required and the parent is committed to attending the course.
Where possible we offer crèches but this depends on the location of the course and the target age group. We aim to offer some evening courses but these are mainly for the courses for parents of teenagers. We do not offer crèches for evening courses.
All referrals and requests for additional information for both boroughs should be addressed to
Achieving for Children
Phone : 020 8547 6965/07771974388