Managing conflict when you have children
It’s not the separation itself that can cause harm to your children, it’s the level of relationship conflict that they see or hear between parents. This is universally recognised as being very harmful.
Learn how to handle your differences with the other parent so you can co-parent together and create the best possible future for your child. Mediation could help you do this – some mediators are trained to talk to children too.
Arguments caused by you or the other parent often happen because one of you is:
- Struggling to deal with feelings about the separation.
- Unhappy with arrangements to do with the children.
- Unhappy with the other parent’s behaviour or attitude.
Most people can usually tell when an argument is about to begin, so it’s important to recognise the signs and learn to avoid relationship conflict.
Dealing with the separation can be made more difficult by doing things like:
- Stopping contact with the children.
- Threatening to take them away.
- Refusing to speak to each other.
- Not sticking to arrangements.
- Criticising each other.
- Breaking things, shouting or behaving aggressively.
This approach usually causes problems for everyone involved – including the person doing these things.
Consider mediation as a way of helping you reach important decisions before you separate.
Where can I go next?
Dad.info - managing conflict without destroying your relationship
Guidance on how to handle arguments from a dad's persective - from dad.info, who provide information tips and advice for dads.
Relate - Introduction to family conflict
Relates top tips on reducing family rows and dealing with family conflict. Relate for Parents & Families - provide relationship support to couples, parents and families.
SupportLine - families and relationship problems
Information for families dealing with conflict in their relationship, from SupportLine.