Challenging Parenting Situations
Parenting is hard enough in the best of times, but when life’s tough challenges – incarceration, addiction, separation/divorce, domestic violence – add to the stress, parenting can seem overwhelming. Here are some tips for getting through these tough situations:
When Child Welfare is Involved
- Community Legal Services of Philadelphia – More information on legal issues involving child welfare
- Allegheny County Bar Foundation Juvenile Court Project – More information on legal issues involving child welfare
- Navigating the Child Welfare System – This chart can help you understand the process of how reports of suspected abuse are handled at the county level.
- Visits with your child – Tips for making the most of the time you have with your child.
- Do’s and Don’ts – Do’s and Don’ts for Parents with Child Welfare Involvement offers general tips for cooperating with your county Children and Youth office.
- Fostering Families – Tips for improving relationships between foster parents and birth parents.
- Parenting From a Distance (Spanish) – Tips for parents whose children are in foster care placement.
- Parenting From a Distance – Tips for parents whose children are in foster care placement.
When a Parent is Incarcerated
- Visiting Mom or Dad – This fact sheet from the Children of Incarcerated Parents Library provides information on the impact of children visiting an incarcerated parent and a developmental guide to preparing a child for a visit to prison.
- Second Chances: Guidelines for Reuniting Parents and Children – A guide book for parents reuniting with children, with many helpful tips included.
- Painting for Prevention – Prayers Go Up – Two of our “Painting for Prevention” murals were created by incarcerated parents.
- Painting for Prevention – The Journey Home – Two of our “Painting for Prevention” murals were created by incarcerated parents.
- It’s Never Too Late – A father tells about his reunification with his children following his release from prison.
- Rights of Incarcerated Parents – What to do if you are incarcerated and your child is in foster care or county-paid kinship care.
- Ideas for Separated Families – Incarcerated parents can find creative ways to stay in contact with their children. Here are some ideas.
- Questions Children Ask About Incarceration – Published by the Families and Corrections Network, this helps parents have an age-appropriate discussion with children and help them understand what’s happening.
- Parenting from the Inside – You can maintain your relationship with your child while you are incarcerated; here’s how.
Separation or Divorce
- Ten Simple Rules for When There Is a New Partner in Your Life – Ten Simple Rules for When There Is a New Partner in Your Life
- Custody and Visitation – What to know about establishing custody and visitation.
- What to Do When They Say, “Where’s Daddy?” – If your children have no contact with their other parent, here are some ways to explain it to them.
- Ten Tips for Stepfamilies – Blending families is not easy, and here are a few thoughts to get you started.
- Co-Parenting Together (Spanish) – There’s no such thing as an ex-parent. Putting your child first in separation or divorce is not easy but very important.
- Co-Parenting Together – There’s no such thing as an ex-parent. Putting your child first in separation or divorce is not easy but very important.
Addiction or Mental Illness
- Recovering Families: Sample Pages – View sample pages of PFSA’s curriculum for parents in recovery. Visit our online store to order the curriculum workbooks or instructor manual.
- Helping Children Understand Mental Illness – Some tips from the Mental Health Association of Southeast Pennsylvania on how to talk with children about a parent’s mental illness.
- Parenting with Hope and Health – It’s possible to be a good parent with a mental illness. Here are some tips for success.
- Information for Caregivers – Caring for a child whose parents are addicted can be overwhelming. Here is some information to help both child and caregiver cope.
- Parenting One Day at a Time (Spanish) – Parents in recovery often have a lot of guilt and shame over their parenting. Here are some tips for coping.
- Parenting One Day at a Time – Parents in recovery often have a lot of guilt and shame over their parenting. Here are some tips for coping.
Other Challenging Situations
- A Happy and Safe Halloween – This newsletter offers great information on keeping Halloween age-appropriate, safety tips and why dress-up play is so important. Published by the Allegheny County Safe Start program via its ACT Raising Safe Kids initiative, PFSA thanks them for their kind permission to share it here.
- Helping Children Cope with Separation – Whether because of work, illness, incarceration or divorce, children need help to stay connected with parents while they are apart.
- Coping with Grief and Loss – Reactions to grief and loss vary, and recovery from loss can take a long time.
- Families in Tough Economic Times – The economy impacts children too. Here are some ways to talk with your children about tough economic times.
- Parenting When There is Domestic Violence – Keeping children safe is the first priority of any parent.
- Parenting Your Children’s Children – Grandparents raising grandchildren face special challenges. Here are some tips.