Why you need to stop arguing
Research shows that unresolved conflict between separated parents can affect children’s mental health and impact how well they do in life.
The Early Intervention Foundation (EIF), a charity dedicated to tackling the root causes of problems, was commissioned by the government to review a series of programmes on the subject of ‘What works to enhance inter-parental relationships and improve outcomes for children’.
The EIF looked into the effectiveness of a number of different programmes designed to improve relationships between parents.
Key findings from this study included:
- Parents who are still in conflict with each other are more likely to be aggressive towards their children too
- Unresolved conflict makes it harder for parents to pick up on and respond to their children’s needs
- Children who see the ongoing conflict between their parents can sometimes become aggressive themselves. Others may have low self-esteem and even depression
- All of this can affect how well they do at school and how good they are at making friends, which can negatively affect their overall wellbeing in the long term.
- Conflict between parents may be particularly troublesome for father-child relationships. In other words, the relationship between dads and their children takes a bigger hit than the relationship between mums and children.
The EIF have pointed out that any programme working to improve parenting skills should pay attention to the relationship between the two parents, and address any ongoing conflict. This will likely be more effective in improving outcomes for children.
Carey Oppenheim, EIF Chief Executive, says: “Children of all ages can be affected by inter-parental conflict… More needs to be done to encourage couples to seek support and make services available to them”.
Your children are very responsive to you, even if you and their other parent have separated. Working with your ex to resolve conflict might seem like one of the hardest parts of co-parenting, but it’s one of the best things you can do for your child’s future.
Our free online parenting plan can help you to make parenting arrangements without having to be in the same room as your ex-partner, allowing you to work through difficult issues with minimal conflict.