Skip to content
  1. Do it online
  2. Login
  3. Have your say
  4. My Durham

Parental conflict resources for parents who are together


When family life is good, children thrive and if parents get on well together it is better for the children.

There are things you can do that will help you feel stronger and ready to deal with disagreements and arguments - see our Top tips to help you stay calm during disagreements or arguments page.

For a free private online chat room where you can talk to a listener about your relationship, go to Click relationships: Listening room.

Do you recognise any of these things? 

  • Are you arguing, having rows, shouting all the time with each other about things like, money, how you parent or housework? 
  • Are you worried about splitting up? 
  • Is there sulking, silent treatment, slamming doors or walking away from each other? 
  • Are you anxious or worried and is this getting in the way of managing everyday life? 
  • Are you not able to say sorry after an argument and move on? 
  • Are you using hurtful texts, emails or social media against each other? 

"See it Differently" are useful video clips showing how parents can communicate better. We all argue sometimes. Whether that's with our partners, our parents or other family members, life stresses can put strain on families and lead to arguments which affect children. The videos show a different way of doing things to make life easier for everyone in the family.

Work it out together

Finding better ways to deal with conflict in the family and communicating in more positive ways helps children feel more secure - children are likely to feel happier, healthier and do better at school. Children who see adults working out relationship problems in a constructive way are more likely to follow this example and have better relationships with others and enjoy life. See our Top Tips page to find out what you can do to help improve the relationship with your partner.

Get some help  

If you're having problems in your family life, there are lots of ways you can help yourself and your partner.  

You might be: 

  • worrying about your child's behaviour and need some help with different approaches to parenting - your local  provides a range of programmes what could help.
  • considering splitting up as a couple - see our information below about separation
  • part of a stepfamily and need help adjusting 
  • experiencing arguments between yourselves and need support in communicating with each other 
  • worried about how Covid-19 is impacting on your relationships - see Relate and Family Mediation Council for more information

Qwell offers free, safe and anonymous mental wellbeing support for adults across the UK. There a variety of anonymous support options to meet your needs including on-line messaging, booked and drop-in chat, therapeutic content, community support and personal development tools.

Parents considering separation

The Co-Parent Hub

There is a lot to consider when thinking about separation. Most important is how the new arrangements will affect your children. You are likely to be feeling strong emotions and it may be hard to not be swayed by these. A good place to start thinking about this is the Co-Parent Hub. It gives you the chance to think through the practical arrangements you'll need to make and will help you stay focused on making decisions in the best interests of your children.

The Co-Parent Hub has different online tools to help you during and after your separation and in making arrangements for your children. Their parenting plan, which both parents can use, and advice about mediation options are designed to help separating parents come to agreements without needing to use the court system. It also has advice on how to reassure your children, who are likely to be feeling upset and anxious, and take some time to really listen to them about what they need.

It is almost always in a child's best interest to maintain contact with both parents. It is important that you do not seek to punish your ex-partner by denying them contact with their children, unless of course there are concerns that the children would not be safe.

Safety concerns

If you are concerned that your children are not safe with your ex-partner or other family member, it is your responsibility to take protective action. This may include:

  • stopping your children from seeing your ex-partner, or other family members, where there is a risk to your child's safety
  • asking somebody neutral to help with handovers
  • asking for handovers to take place away from the home address
  • asking for communication to be kept to arrangements for your children
  • limiting communicating to text messages

When to contact Children's Services

You should contact First Contact if you are concerned that your child's safety is at risk and you are unable to protect them or you need additional support or advice.

Helpful websites

Courses

Arguing better

This course is for parents experiencing high levels of stress and couple conflict.

The course includes a mixture of video clips, animations, pictures and activities. You can do it all in one go or you can take a break between sections and come back when you're ready to carry on.

It is all about finding helpful ways to communicate during stressful times. You'll learn why arguments happen, how they can affect you, and the best ways to support each other.

It may be particularly useful for anyone who is dealing with a lot of stress or arguing more than they'd like to.

The course is split into three sections:

  • Understanding stress - This section helps you to understand how stress affects you and your relationship.  It helps you to identify causes of stress.
  • Coping with stress together - This section helps you to learn ways of coping with stress together and supporting each other.
  • Arguing better - Arguments can be constructive (helpful) or destructive (harmful). This section helps you to think about how the arguments start, and how they get out of hand. Most importantly, it will give you the skills to resolve arguments in more constructive ways.  

If you feel you need extra support and are already working with a professional or are in contact with your GP or child's school, they will be able to support you in getting the help you need. Alternatively, you can speak with your local Family Centre or telephone First Contact 03000 267 979 and ask to speak to an Early Help Triage Worker.

Please register and sign into the course at OnePlusOne - courses.