"Drawing on personal experience and conversations with parents who live apart from their children I could see a gap between these parents and what's available to help them. The Guide is designed to fill this gap."
This blog is from information in www.goodcontacttime.info to help parents living apart from their children to have the best possible family contact time.
The site also has information and resources for grandparents.
"Especially in the early days of living apart from your children you probably don't have the time to research what's available. You perhaps don't even know what areas to concentrate on and you are probably too upset about the whole situation to think about it as clearly as you normally would. The Guide has been designed especially with this situation in mind but could also be useful to parents who have planned contact time with their children for a number of years.
"When a parent (mother or father) becomes a non-resident parent, their life is thrown into turmoil. They lose their home and family but still have to continue working to help provide for them. Their health and energy levels suffer and their emotions are highly stressed. In such circumstances it is hardly surprising if these parents struggle to re-establish their relationship with their children in the new situation."
What's needed is some good and easily accessed practical advice which is brought to their attention at an early stage. I set up this website in 2014 because I could find nothing existing which fitted this bill.
The website is a goldmine of links to websites, publications and organisations that may be helpful - parents don't have to start from scatch to seek out resources.
The Guide reminds parents Don’t forget how your children are feeling – this is very important
"This is an especially difficult time for them so always respect their feelings and emotions. They might not be ready to have fun as much as in the past - this is understandable.
- Show them love and care; show interest and talk to them positively.
- When you need to be firm with them use a quiet calm manner; be clear and always fair.
- Be especially careful to avoid making any negative comments about their other parent.
To help you with this - on Local Authority websites search "Family Information Services" for free or low-cost parenting courses. These are also provided by some charities - enter "Parenting Courses UK" in your search engine."
Bookmark the website for "a wake-up call for separated parents to do more and better in the interests of their children and themselves - when children are caught up in family breakdown good contact time is very important for their emotional well-being and for their development in general".
St Michael's Jigsaw contact service in London SW16 offers supervised and supported contact as well as space hire.