Reducing parental conflict

The guidance on this page is to help parents to reduce conflict and arguments in their relationships with their partner or co-parent.

In Hackney, we are trying to raise awareness so people can get the help they need sooner rather than later.


Report a concern

If you have urgent welfare concerns about children or young people that need an immediate response, phone the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 020 8356 5500.

The MASH team is available Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. Outside these hours you should report any concerns that need an immediate response to our emergency duty team on 020 8356 2710.

If you are worried that a child may be suffering, or may be at risk of harm, you should complete a MASH safeguarding referral which you can access via our request for support form.

If you need more professional support beyond these self-help materials, the Multi-Agency Team (MAT) for children aged 0 to 5 and the Family Support Service for children and young people aged 5 to 19 can provide structured support. Parents or professionals can refer for this support through the request for support form.

Complete request for support form

For information about the Family Support Service, visit Support for families.

For information about the Multi-Agency Team (MAT), visit Hackney education and schools – Parenting courses and family support.

Conflict and arguments between parents or carers that are together or separated 

Some level of arguing and conflict between parents or carers is often a normal part of everyday life. However, there is strong evidence to show that frequent, intense, and poorly resolved arguments can have a significant negative impact on children’s mental health and long-term life chances.

Having ongoing arguments with your partner or co-parent (even if you’re no longer in a relationship with them) can also have a serious impact on your own emotional wellbeing because the arguing can make you feel emotionally drained.

Impact of arguments between parents or carers on children

There is lots of evidence that ongoing, frequent and intense arguments can make children feel anxious. Children struggle to understand why arguments between adults happen and it can make them feel as if the arguments are their fault.

Children who live with ongoing, destructive conflict can:

  • do less well at school than their friends
  • struggle with their emotional well-being and feel more anxious
  • struggle to sleep properly 
  • develop poor communication and conflict resolution skills

Babies, toddlers, children and young people can be upset and anxious about parent or carer relationships even if they seem ok on the outside.

Even if you think the children can’t hear your arguments, they know that something isn’t right and this can make them feel unsettled.

Our free self help guide for couples struggling with arguments and communication 

We have worked with the relationship experts at Amity Relationship Solutions to create some useful self-help support guides to help you communicate better with your partner or co-parent.

See Amity Next Time self help: Parenting Apart (PDF 2.9 MB) 

See Amity Next Time self help: Parenting Together (PDF 3 MB)

Get advice and support

Family life, parenting and support websites

Page updated on: 23 August 2023