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Parents in conflict

Parents and carers can occasionally argue but too much conflict can be unhealthy.


Conflict can also occur when parents and carers are managing stress or worries about financial issues, issues of trust and fidelity, parenting practices, or where there is stress or trauma in the family. This includes when parents or carers have decided to separate. Stress does not just make conflict more likely, but it also makes us less able to manage conflict. When we are stressed, we are less able to think objectively and see things from another person’s point of view, and more likely to react in automatic, poorly thought-through ways.

Our clinical team has developed a therapeutic assessment model that aims to support families where there are concerns about the impact of parental conflict or parental communication breakdown on children. We have found that when working with children in this situation, involving the whole family has a much better outcome.

We have put together some tips for parents and carers experiencing conflict and advice on reducing the impact of conflict between parents and carers on children.