The Family Resource Centre is hosting a co-parenting workshop to assist parents who are separated or divorced.
Organizers say the focus of the workshop is to support parents and partners in their efforts to provide a nurturing home environment for their children following a period of family change.
Charmaine Miller, program facilitator at the Family Resource Centre, said, “The workshop helps parents reduce the negative effects separation has on children [who] are living in separated homes but still have that shared interest in raising their children together.”
The two-part workshop, called “Children First,” takes place twice a month on the first and second Wednesday, starting Aug. 5, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Family Resource Centre on the ground floor of the Compass Centre. The workshop is free and participants can choose to attend either the same or separate sessions from their partners.
The parenting class will be conducted by Miriam Foster, the center’s program coordinator, along with another worker.
Topics for discussion will focus on self awareness and children’s needs: A video will show the impact that divorce has on children; demonstrations on how to avoid triggers that ignite conflict; understanding financial responsibilities; the dynamics of violence, abuse and neglect; and grieving the loss of a parent.
“What we are trying to do is focus a lot on maintaining some form of parental involvement … that’s what the workshops stress a lot,” said Ms. Miller.
She added, “It’s not just because a relationship ended between [the] mother and father that it means that the relationship has to stop with the child. Oftentimes, that is what we are seeing with the children. Unfortunately, the children tend to be in the middle of the broken relationship and they tend to suffer the consequences of that.”
In most cases, co-parenting refers to raising children in separate homes because the parents have separated or divorced, and though no longer living together, they continue to be involved in parenting their children. Co-parenting can also involve grandparents or others who have assumed parenting responsibilities, according to the Family Resource Centre.
A light dinner and childcare will be provided for those attending the workshop.