Parents: Your Relationships Matter

Brighter Futures for Children

Whether you are together, separated or divorced the way you communicate with each other matters to your children, regardless of how old they are.

Conflict between parents is a normal part of relationships. Not all conflict is harmful, in fact when disagreements or conflict is well resolved there is evidence that this can have a positive impact on children.  You show it’s ok to disagree and role model how to resolve things in a respectful way. 

There is also evidence that when conflict between parents is frequent, intense and poorly resolved it puts children and young people’s mental health at risk.   Behaviours such as shouting, becoming withdrawn or slamming doors can be harmful.  Whether you are parenting together, separated, divorced, are in same-sex or heterosexual relationships, are biologically related to the child or not such as blended or foster families your relationship with each other matters. 

Parental conflict is different from domestic abuse.  This is because there is not an imbalance of power, neither parent seeks to control the other, and neither parent is fearful of the other.  If you are afraid of your partner or feeling that they control your life then this is more likely to be domestic abuse, please seek help from Berkshire Women’s Aid or the NSPCC.

Page created - December 2021

Review date due - March 2024

Help and Support

Help and Support

As with lots of things in life getting help and support early is always better than waiting until things become really difficult.  There are lots of online resources developed by parents for parents as well as organisations who specialise in supporting adult relationships and parents.

Relationships Matter

Click - Relationships Matter

The charity One Plus One provides information, support, advice and guidance on relationships.  They have a fantastic website called ‘Click’ focused on relationship support from experts and the community.


It is full of useful free resources for parents with sections on parenting together and apart.  This also includes topics such as ‘Raising a Baby after a Breakup’, ‘Becoming a Dad’ and a short online course called ‘Getting it Right for Children’.


Parent Talk – Action for Children

Parent Talk is a free service for all things related to being a parent.  They have a dedicated space on their website for parenting and relationships that covers lots of topics around relationships and parenting including if you are recently separated, money worries and managing arguments.  Parent Talk has trained, experienced parenting coaches that you can talk to.  Parenting and relationships - Support for Parents from Action For Children


Relationship Matters:

This is a partnership between 15 Councils across Yorkshire and the Humber Region helping families who may be having relationship difficulties. Aimed at parents/carers the website contains a range of information, advice and guidance.


Family Lives

Family Lives provides targeted early intervention and crisis support to families. If you need to talk, they're here to listen


Care for the Family

A national charity which aims to promote strong family life and to help those who face family difficulties.


Families Need Fathers

Families Need Fathers is a social care organisation,  helping parents whose children's relationship with them is under threat. We offer information, advice and support services for parents on how to do the best for their children. We are the only organisation that provides these services on a national basis.

Advice on Handling Arguments

Advice on Handling Arguments

Relate have a section on their website for handling arguments. It includes bite size information, videos and tools to help you think about how and why arguments start, dealing with the moment and after.   “We always say: conflict is inevitable. It’s how you deal with it that counts” (Relate Website)

Advice and guidance for parents and carers in conflict or separating

Anna Freud Centre have a section on their website for parent carers going through separation or conflict.

Divorce and Separation – A Guide for Parents

Divorce and Separation – A Guide for Parents

Young Minds is a UK charity focused on supporting children and young people’s mental health.  Their website has information for children, young people, parents/carers and those working with them.

If you are worried about how your relationship break-up might affect your child, there is advice on their website on how you can support them through it.

Cafcass - Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service

Cafcass - Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service Home - Cafcass - Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service

Cafcass represents children in family court cases in England. The website has sections for young people, parents and professionals.  The Parents and Carers section has information on separation and divorce. They also have a Resources section that includes links to websites for fathers and mothers, information sheets on tips when you are separating, including the experience of children whose parents have separated. 

Money and Relationships

Many people struggle financially, and we know that things like debt, not being able to buy the basics, reduced working hours or losing a job can put extra pressure on relationships. A lot of people find it uncomfortable discussing money, which in turn can lead to disagreements or feeling alone with the worry.  If you are struggling with money, whatever the issue and no matter how much support you need don’t wait until things get worse. 

Please visit Money Matters: cost of living advice and support - Reading Borough Council 

Related Advice

Dad's Information Young Parents Parents useful apps & websites Parenting Support

Page last reviewed: 24/03/2023

Contact the Team

Family Information Service 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2

SEND Local Offer 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2

Adult & Carers Support 0118 937 3747 0118 937 3747
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