Connect-team. Connecting fathers and mothers as a collaborative team

Stimulating dialogue between partners on shared and involved parenting is the goal of this project. To this end, we are developing a web platform in cooperation with organisations with expertise in fatherhood, families and relationships. On the web platform, parents will find methods to enter into dialogue with each other in a way that recognises and appreciates their role and contribution to parenting. Fathers and mothers are encouraged to take an active and equal role in parenting.

man vrouw kind van kleur zitten op gras

Coparenting

Equal parenting takes shape in the dialogue between partners. We use the concept of 'coparenting'. Coparenting is a form of parenting in which parents share the responsibility for the upbringing of their children, and includes the support and coordination that parents show in the care and upbringing of children.

Coparenting is related to the quality of the partner relationship of parents. Couples who communicate well with each other, cooperate and are able to resolve conflicts are more likely to parent effectively together.

Gender dimension

The link between equal parenting and the partner relationship has a gender dimension. A strong partner relationship, based on trust and acceptance, encourages fathers to take on an active and involved parental role. When there are relationship problems, men withdraw from parenting more than women. Encouragement from the mother can contribute to men taking up their role as father more actively.

On the other hand, after the arrival of children, the division of labour in many families evolves in a more traditional direction. This leads to dissatisfaction in the partner relationship especially among mothers. After the birth of the first child, a lot of energy and time is spent on childcare and the quality of communication between partners declines.

Low threshold

Fathers and mothers do not always find it easy to start a conversation about parenting, education and the division of tasks. The supply that lowers the threshold to stimulate dialogue between partners, without the need for problems, is limited and little known. 

The field of work sees opportunities in online and blended initiatives to reach large groups of parents and new target groups. Online help is accessible, less stigmatising and financially and logistically more attractive than face-to-face help. 

Accessible and diverse

It is essential that the web platform meets the real needs and concrete requirements of families. Equally important is that web platform is inclusive and reflects the diversity of today's families. We involve organisations that have expertise in reaching fathers, people from different philosophical and cultural backgrounds and families living in poverty. We also involve different family types, families with different philosophical and cultural backgrounds and families in poverty. Families with a new composition must also be able to find their way in the offer, because existing approaches to parental cooperation cannot be applied to newly composed families without adjustments.