Reducing parental conflict online during a time of uncertainty
Guest post written by Emily Redmond, Head of Service Design at Good Things Foundation

Good Things Foundation have had the pleasure of working with OnePlusOne on the See it differently programme since March 2019, bringing together expertise in digital inclusion and relationships, to develop resources designed to help parents to manage conflict in their lives.  Over the past two years we have co-designed content with parents who already receive support from community organisations, placing resources to help reduce parental conflict in trusted places – both online and offline.

 

We all argue and have busy lives, which can make it hard to notice conflict when it exists, let alone know what to do about it. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, life has been even harder for many of us, and we’ve all had to find new ways to get support and information, and to get by in extremely challenging circumstances. With over a million views (and counting!), we are proud of the See it differently resources and would love to see them used far and wide.  

 

Supporting digitally excluded parents in communities during a pandemic

Good Things Foundation is a social change charity and its mission is a world where everyone can benefit from digital. We work to tackle digital exclusion at a national and local level, to help the nine million people who can’t use the internet without help. There are a lot of people who don’t have the skills, motivation, confidence or access to use the internet safely, meaning they could be missing out on key services and information that could really benefit them. The importance of digital inclusion has been highlighted even more over the last year.  

 

One of the ways we help people is through the Online Centres Network – a network of thousands of community organisations. We know that going to where people are works – and that includes supporting people to use the internet and understanding the everyday challenges that families face. But when Covid-19 hit, face-to-face support wasn’t so straightforward. As our Covid-19 Response Report shows, community organisations found creative ways to continue to provide support, including emergency response in their communities such as providing food parcels and internet-enabled devices to people who were isolated and disconnected (as demonstrated through the Everyone Connected project).

 

Worries about finances, employment, and having to adapt to the “new normal” has put relationships under increased strain. Digitally excluded people have been hit hard by the pandemic and many community organisations have been under intense pressure to be able to provide the best support they can. So how can we help parents to reduce conflict in their lives in a time of such uncertainty?  

 

The ‘See it differently’ resources

First launched in January 2020, the See it differently resources have been viewed over one million times. To develop engaging and relatable resources, we conducted extensive user research and co-design with over 100 parents. Building on the principles of Behaviour Modelling Training, we co-created four short videos raising awareness of conflict and its impact on children. By promoting the videos on social media and through existing networks, we have managed to reach parents with helpful resources who:

  1. Don’t necessarily know that they are experiencing conflict.
  1. Aren’t especially looking for support.
  1. Are quite savvy about the content they consume online and specifically avoid anything that comes with a sense of judgement.  

These are all things we took into consideration when developing the videos, so that they are relatable, engaging and pitched at the right level to introduce skills that parents can try the next time they argue. We found through our co-design sessions that parents being able to see themselves in the videos was an important part of applying the skills to their own lives. As a result, the videos feature a diverse range of family dynamics, storylines, and types of conflict. We also developed two new animations to help parents overcome obstacles they might face when trying to apply the skills.  

 

We’re so pleased that the resources have been used by community organisations, local authorities, and Reducing Parental Conflict practitioners, as well as by parents accessing them independently online. Feedback has been extremely positive, with parents going on to make real changes in their lives, and practitioners embedding the resources into existing sessions and signposting parents to them online.

 

How you can get involved

All the See it differently resources are available for free at seeitdifferently.org until the end of 2021 and indefinitely on YouTube. Whether you want to embed the resources into your existing services, support a friend, or use the resources yourself – the resources can be used by anyone.  

 

We’ve also developed a guide for practitioners, hosted on the See it differently website, which explains the theory behind parental conflict and how to use the resources with parents.  

 

We know that parents look for trusted support, and the wider we can share these resources, the better.  

 

If you have any questions about the See it differently website, or about how you can use the resources, please get in touch with the team at OnePlusOne by emailing info@oneplusone.org.uk.

See it differently is a video website co-created by OnePlusOne and Good Things Foundation. Through a series of short videos, parents get to see how their arguments can impact their children and the subtle changes they can make towards resolving things in a calmer and more constructive way.

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