Reducing Parental Conflict to Foster Positive Relationships
Arguments are common in all kinds of relationships. It is healthy to argue, as long as both people are able to express their feelings in a way that resolves issues, rather than keeping everything inside and letting issues build up. If you are regularly having disagreements that are not resolved, these can lead to more intense arguments which can cause parental conflict and lead to family breakdown, which can have a negative impact on your child/children.
Arguments or ‘rows’ are present in all relationships and can be a positive means of expressing feelings in a way that resolves issues or presenting difficulties. Open communication is desired to allow each party to express their thoughts and feelings and to work towards a mutually agreeable solution. Problems arises if disagreements continue to happen on a regular basis without being resolved that can lead to family discord, conflict and breakdown within the family unit.
Definition of Parental Conflict
Parental conflict is characterised as non-violent, but frequent, intense and poorly resolved conflicts; ranging from emotional withdrawal, lack of warmth and affection, to overtly hostile and acrimonious exchanges. Ongoing parental conflict impacts on the family’s quality of life with continued exposure being associated with a range of problems for children and young people such as struggling to form healthy attachments, negative peer relationships, exhibiting poor impulse control and risk-taking behaviours. Children and young people may present a range of psychological difficulties; low mood, depression anxiety, and aggression, and if unaddressed, may begin to show us their hurt through self-harming behaviours and in its most extreme form suicidality.
Newham Family Relationships Matters
Newham is offering couples that are experiencing ongoing conflict or unresolved disagreements the opportunity to access support via a trained Early Help Practitioner or Coach who will work with them to consider other positive ways of communicating. This support may be through a 6 week intervention or through a number of conversations.
If you are interested in further advice and support to address your relationship conflict or simply to learn more about healthy relationships, please feel free to look at some of the resources and links on this page. If you would like to access our ‘Families Relationship Matters’ offer, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Useful Information and Advice
- COVID-19 guidance for children and families from Cafcass (for those co-parenting and with child arrangement agreements in place)
- Please see here for a series of expert blogs from Anna Freud Centre to help address parental conflict under Covid
- COVID-19 advice and tips for healthy relationships from Relate
- Information about managing arguments