Parenting without Conflict

CanParent_Endorsement RGB LOGO

* Awarded the Department of Health’s CANparent Quality Mark

* Four 2.5 hour sessions, completion rates are high

* Underpinned by restorative practice

* Supports parents/carers/anyone with a parenting role


Restorative Thinking  (Parenting without Conflict)  has been awarded  the CANparent Quality Mark.   Delivered by our own facilitators and a range of providers, including Children’s Centres and Schools, the programme helps parents/carers understand their child/ren’s development and behaviour and the reasons underpinning the challenges a child may present.  Drawing on restorative practice, the programme encourages parents/carers to think about responses to their child’s behaviour, what their child’s behaviour is communicating and ultimately to think about responses which meet their child/ren’s needs.

Really useful programme and all parents should be taught this as part of their child’s development.”  (Parent, Bristol)

Ive learnt to sit my son by me and to explain wrong from right.” (Parent, Salford)

I learnt patience and listening and taking my child’s needs on board.  (Parent, Bristol)

“I really like that the programme is delivered over just four weeks…which is reflected in the attendance. Parents are now more aware of what their child may be thinking or feeling during challenging situations.”  (Centre Manager, Bristol)

As a Childrens Centre we offer a variety of parenting opportunities.  ‘Parenting without Conflict’ has been one of the most successful parenting courses the centre has hosted. Feedback from parents has been excellent and outreach workers from the Centre have observed parents effectively using parenting strategies they have learnt from the course.”  (Verla Shaw, St. John’s Children’s Centre, Skelmersdale, Lancashire).

Recent evaluation has shown that, after attending our classes, 90% of parents feel they understand their child’s development and 91% feel they understand their child’s needs.  The Brathay Trust conducted an external evaluation of the programme, April 2015 – 17, and a summary of their evaluation findings is available here.

Restorative Thinking (Parenting without Conflict) is delivered over four 2.5 hour sessions, with groups of parents, carers, grandparents. We encourage parents and carers to form a support network and to continue to meet on an informal basis following completion of the programme.

The classes cover a range of reflective activities, encouraging parents to consider the impact of current parenting styles and behaviour and allowing mothers and fathers to develop new skills needed to build and sustain positive relationships by addressing conflict in a more effective way.

We encourage both mothers and fathers and those with a ‘parenting’ role to join the programme where possible so that there is a consistency of approach and that all those who look after the child receive the same message and therefore can offer the same support. The programme has been developed so that it supports both mums and dads.

We provide all those who attend with a Parent/Carer Handbook.

Restorative Thinking (Parenting without Conflict) covers the following topics:

  • Develop and strengthen parent-child relationships
  • Apply restorative principles and skills to parenting
  • Challenge attitudes and thinking
  • Communicating and staying calm
  • Coping with difficult behaviour
  • Understanding the different stages of a child’s development
  • Managing conflict
  • The psychology behind behaviour and conflict
  • Realistic goal-setting
  • Consolidate positive identity

We offer this programme within education settings (Children’s Centres, Primary and Secondary Schools).  We provide facilitators to deliver the programme in your setting and also offer the programme via a Licence Agreement. We train practitioners to deliver Restorative Thinking (Parenting without Conflict) in-house, providing a comprehensive facilitator manual and participant handbooks, supporting delivery staff with wrap-around support and annual refresher courses.

For details of forthcoming ‘Facilitator Training’ courses, please contact Lesley Parkinson:

Our ‘Facilitator Training’ course takes place over four training days. Our trainer then observes the second class delivered by each Centre/School and holds a de-brief session with facilitators to support successful implementation of the Parenting Programme.  On-going wrap-around support and an annual ‘refresher’ training course for programme facilitators are part of the Licence Agreement.


Background information on the Restorative Thinking Parenting Programme

Restorative Thinking (Parenting without Conflict) was developed and piloted in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, in 2012.  Parents/carers engaged through local Children’s Centres and schools, with families referred to the programme by GPs, Paediatric Psychiatrists, CAMHS, CAPSS, Social Services and schools.

Across the board there was strong evidence of improved outcomes for children and families; 70 families enrolled on the course and 56 completed it fully. This in itself developed an ethos of perseverance within families and was replicated in improved school attendance for the children. Schools reported fewer instances of challenging behaviour with the families participating on the course and also an improved level of engagement by the parents in meetings and consultation events.

Where antisocial behaviour had been a problem, the local police and schools reported fewer incidents and a more responsive attitude to seeking solutions and responding to assistance.

From 2014-16 HMP Forest Bank delivered ‘Parenting without Conflict’ via a Licensing Agreement, which saw prison Family Support Workers delivering the programme with groups of 4-12 men.  Positive outcomes were reported by HMP Forest Bank delivery teams, Restorative Thinking observations, communication via our wrap-around support and the written evaluation tools returned to Restorative Thinking following each round of programme delivery.  Notably, the programme was popular with prisoners, some of whom became peer mentors for the programme, attending further sessions to support others through the programme and producing artwork to enhance delivery of the programme.

‘Parenting without Conflict’ has, since 2014, been delivered in a variety of Schools, Children’s Centres, custody and community settings, always with recorded successful outcomes for participants.  Notably, from April 2015 – October 2017 the programme was delivered throughout Cumbria; this project was externally evaluated by The Brathay Trust and the full report is available here.

Key findings of The Brathay Trust evaluation:

  • Feedback from Children’s Services and Focus Families indicate good outcomes for clients on the Restorative Thinking Limited programmes. (p.11)
  • 88% of those surveyed who attended Restorative Thinking Limited’s Relationships without Conflict and/or Parenting without Conflict course reported changed behaviour. (p.13)
  • 78% of those who attended Restorative Thinking Limited’s Relationships without Conflict &/or Parenting without Conflict programme reported improved life chances. (p.14)
  • Emergent findings indicate that n=2 children whose parents attended Restorative Thinking Limited’s RWC & PWC programmes are able to express their feelings within the home environment. Parents attribute this to improved empathic course facilitators who delivered material which supported them to develop better communication and parenting skills. (p.15)




Please contact us for further information.