The Parenting without Conflict Course is based on the co-parenting curriculum of New Ways for Families® provided by Interact Support under license from Bill Eddie from the High Conflict Institute in the united states.
New Ways is a counseling and coaching method for parents re-organizing their families after a separation or divorce. New Ways was specifically designed for parents who are stuck in an endless cycle of defensive thinking and extreme behaviors.
How do we know it’s effective?
- It is developed from the in-person curriculum of the New Ways for Families® program
- It is based on interventions proven successful: Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy
- Read more about the research completed on the in-person New Ways program – Social Return on Investment (SROI) Case Study: Medicine Hat Family Services New Ways for Families
When should parents take this online course?
- At the start of a case before big decisions are made, to increase the likelihood of co-operation and joint decision making thereby preventing them from becoming high-conflict
- At any stage in their co-parenting relationship if they are experiencing conflict that is affecting them and/or their children
Program Design: Structure, Skills & Emotional Management:
- Step-by-Step introduction and application of skills in a structured format
- Begins with emotional self-management techniques: parents must first manage their emotions before they can engage in problems solving
- Multiple practice exercises for each skill = repetitive, practical application rather than superficial quizzing of reading material through a comprehensive Journal.
How is this course different?
- Skills-based format rather than a lecture-based format
- Practice exercises, journal entries – self-reflection and life application prompts throughout the course
- Focuses on the long term effects of ongoing conflict on children and the co-parenting relationship – rather than focusing on short term change in parents’ behavior
- Based on how the brain the works and why high conflict people behave the way they do without same or blame
- Addresses specific skills that high conflict parents lack
What skills will parents learn?
- Managed Emotion
- Flexible Thinking
- Moderate Behaviours
- Checking Themselves
Managed emotions means being able to cope with stress and controlling one’s anger, sadness, fear, and anxiety so as to not overreact and take things personally and so as to not pass on these feelings to the child.
How to make realistic proposals, acknowledging that there is more than one solution, acknowledging that people are not “all-bad” or “all-good”, avoiding “all-or-nothing”
Moderate behaviors means avoiding extreme actions, including extreme behavior during changeovers, extreme Parenting Order requests and violence and learning techniques for moderate behavior during written communication.
Checking yourself means monitoring your own behaviour so that you don’t find yourself becoming high conflict as well as your co-parent.
Other Parent Education courses
- Lecture format
- Assumes that all parents can hear the information, process it, and change their behavior accordingly – one their own. Some parents can’t.
- Doesn’t address parents who are “stuck” making decisions based on their feelings – not logic.
- Guilt/shame focused : what parents shouldn’t do rather than what parents should do
- Required completion of written practice exercises and journal entries before moving on to the next page
- Repetitive skills application throughout the course
- Applying the information to hypothetical situations, then to their own situations
- Preparation for decision making by helping them think of proposals before meeting with the co-parent
- End of chapter quizzes
- Visual Identification capability (Proctoring if required)
Future vs Past, Guilt / Shame vs Empowerment:
- Focuses on positive future behavior – how to effectively co-parent, how to teach their child skills for resilience for future success, how to use appropriate problem solving skills for future situations – rather than focusing on past “bad” behavior that only tends to increase the parent’s defensiveness.
- Empowering parents to manage their own emotions, maintain their composure when communicating with the other parent, and take responsibility for the behaviors they exhibit in front of their children.
- Focuses on the outcome for the child by helping parents create a co-parenting environment that is healthy for the child and teaches skills for resilience
- Information on parenting plan options, child development goals and Australian family law standards to manage expectations and give parents the information they need to make the best decisions for their children and family
While group parenting classes are beneficial for many parents going through separation and divorce or while they are in the family court, they simply don’t provide what is necessary for long-term behavioral change for high conflict or potentially high conflict parents.
This course was specifically designed for these types of parents who need a course that gives them the time to learn, reflect, apply and consider their results.
Currently being adapted for Australian use.
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