It is in everyone’s interest to avoid conflict – especially children’s – so you should do your best to avoid conflict whenever you can.
- Deal with any negative emotions. Hurt, anger, guilt can all make you behave in unhelpful ways.
- Focus on what’s best for your child rather than getting what you think you deserve – unless you feel you or your child are at risk.
- Try to see things from the other parent’s point of view.
- Don’t use your child as a weapon or try to get them to take sides.
- Be realistic – try to compromise if you can.
- Be clear about what you’ve agreed.
- You don’t have to like each other – but try to respect each other.
- Always try to avoid arguing in front of the children.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Consider mediation as a way of helping you reach important decisions before, or after, you separate.
Mediation or family mediation is where an independent, trained professional helps you and your ex to work out an agreement about issues such as:
Mediation can help you stay in control. No-one will make you do anything against your wishes. The mediator will help you find a solution which works for you both and explain how you can make the agreement legally binding if necessary.
Where can I go next?
Relate - Introduction to family conflict
A three-part guide to dealing with family conflict, from Relate for Parents & Families - who provide relationship support to couples, parents and families.
Dad.info - Ten things that make relationships work in the long term
Tips and ideas on how to make your relationship work - from dad.info, who provide information tips and advice for dads.
Information for families dealing with conflict in their relationship, from SupportLine.