Are your Parents Split Up?
Workshops for teenagers and children to
help you manage through your parent's divorce
Want to know how to deal with stuff you can't change? Our 5 workshops together give you practical ways to help you stay calm and focussed when nothing feels right any more.
Who are these workshops for?
Divorce or separation is stressful for the whole family, but young people in the UK who filled in a Happiness Questionnaire as part of an international project on how happy young people felt, described feeling less happy with their life a year after a big life event. Some events involved a member of their family dying, other events included their family splitting up due to their parents having divorced. Without the skills to support them emotionally young people can go on to feel anxious or low when their parents split up or may become more focused on eating too little or too much.
These understandable responses can develop if a young person feels they can't control a given situation. Do you feel like this? If so, these workshops may be helpful for you.
Why would you find the workshops useful?
Often young people try to protect their parents from their own worries, not wanting to burden parents already in distress. Making the mental and emotional adjustment from a child to a young person isn't easy at the best of times, you're likely to be going through changes yourself and trying to get a grip on your own life, so living with a parental break-up at the same time may be one more situation you find yourself having to manage, but probably with only your best friend to talk to. That's a heavy place for you and your mates when what you really need at the moment is to feel the world and everything in it is solid and stable. So instead of trying your best on your own we can teach you some ways you can use when you need to feel better in a situation - and you can use some of these practical things if you feel stressed in a group or over homework and exams, so you can apply what you learn to other issues so you can feel good all round!
How can we help you best?
We work with you all in a small group. The group is for 13 -16 year olds because the way children think and understand things isn't as complex as you, so we can address the things most helpful to you without needing to worry that a child might need something different. We also give you small things to continue practising outside of the workshop and then time to think and chat things through in the workshops too.
So if you think learning how to get less panicky sometimes and how to become confident is something that that would be useful. Maybe chat to one or both parents, or a school teacher about if this course could be for you. They will need to support you by paying for the course and they may want to help you arrange how you'll plan this around your homework and other commitments.
We offer a tailor made course, and have the research that proves the techniques we will teach you reduce stress and boost emotional resilience in young people.
Therefore, a young person who learns these strategies can manage their own thoughts, feelings and emotions about separation or divorce. It gives you the skills to bounce back more quickly from your family changes and other life-changing events so that if in the future, a parent introduces you to their new partner or if they remarry you'll have the skills to manage whatever your feelings might be.
Jo Bentley has been teaching mindfulness to adults, teenagers and children for the last 8 years, after post graduate training at Bangor University and with the Mindfulness in Schools project. Jo works with young people in a range of settings in the North West of England and the USA.
In 2014 Jo was asked by Cumbria County Council to create a programme which would boost emotional resilience amongst young people. The project was funded by the Big Lottery as part of Head Start and Jo’s programme included training teachers and working in schools to teach mindfulness skills to young people in Carlisle and Barrow. The programme continues and now includes primary schools and secondary schools in the South Lakes area of Cumbria. Research with 900 students showed that the majority of students felt more able to cope with challenges in their lives and had developed strategies for dealing with worry, stress, difficult thoughts and emotions, there are also improvements in focus and concentration.
Comments from young people who have taken the course include;
‘Thank you for helping me to manage my anger, I have a better relationship now with my Mum’ Lisa 14yrs
‘I can get to sleep now, I used to lie awake all night, my head wouldn’t let me sleep’ Oliver, 15 yrs
‘I thought it would be boring to be calm, but it helps me with everything’ Jane 16 yrs
‘I have a quiet space I can go to when it’s all mad around me’ Tom 11 yrs
Jo’s work has been featured on BBC TV, BBC Radio 4 and 5Live and in the Huffington Post.
Adriana Galimberti-Rennie is an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and has spent over 25 years helping couples & families who are trying to stay together or have decided to split up. She is an expert in collaborative divorce and a chartered psychologist who has dealt with a wide range of issues during her 30 years experience. Adriana is also an author, a frequent commentator for the BBC, and lectures to lawyers and psychologists on dispute resolution and communication skills.
Dates to follow (for 9 - 12 year olds).
Jan 29th, Feb 5th, 12th, Mar 5th & 12 (for 9 - 12year olds).
“By the way. Thank you. I really appreciate everything you have done for us both...It has made things a lot clearer and easier to get through.”
“I just thought I’d drop you a message. I’m now living in.... and about to buy a new house. I have a new job. I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot.... I’m a much stronger person than I ever was. Our daughter gets to see her dad every weekend. We get on most of the time. I thought you’d like to know that I’m doing ok. Take care.”
“It was just to tell you what has happened. It has been an extraordinary few years! My two children are still living in the same house, only five minutes’ walk from me. I see them loads and they are really good company! Their mother, is well and we are on good terms and communicating well - who’d have thought that! I am well too. This is just to say that with every success that comes the way of the children and me, I often think back to our meetings with gratitude!”
“Everyone should have access to this way to divorce.”