Free parenting course on offer

A MAJOR concern for many couples seeking to split up is the impact that separation or divorce might have on their children.

As a result, Parenting NI in partnership with the Coleraine Child Contact Centre, The House, Abbey Street, is organising a four-week “Parenting Apart” programme for mothers and fathers in Coleraine.

The free programme is aimed at parents who have separated; are separating; divorced or thinking of divorce.

It will provide practical advice and guidance on what children need to know, and what parents can do to meet their needs.

Jackie Valentine Director of Parenting Education, Parenting NI discusses the programmes: “A recent report from kids in the middle found that 72% of children felt they needed someone to talk to about their feelings.

“Separation or divorce is an extremely emotional process. Such family change undoubtedly affects parenting. Not only are separating parents adapting to new personal situations and environments, but they are also often faced with the challenge of answering difficult questions from their children.

“The actual words which parents use during this time are extremely important so that children understand what is happening. The programme also highlights the importance of parents taking time out to remind them of what is in the best interests of the children.”

Places are available on both programmes for mothers and fathers. Anyone interested in taking part should contact the Parents Helpline on 0808 8010 722.

The programme will be held on consecutive Wednesdays from March 25 to Wednesday May 16.

The mothers’ programme will be from 10am to 12 noon; while the fathers programme will be from 7pm to 9pm.