Are children affecting your relationship?

Conflict in relationships because of children or step-children is common, but it shouldn’t be blamed on the children. Both parents love their children, but they can have different ideas about how to care for their kids.
 
There can be many reasons why parents have differences, including:
  • how they were raised
  • each parent’s personalities
  • how busy parents are
  • different views on discipline
  • different attitudes on freedom and levels of risk for children
  • children’s chores
  • choice of schools and extra-curricular activities
  • the special needs of one or more of the children.
 
In a very busy home, there may be poor eating and sleep routines and it can be stressful. Both children and parents find it difficult to thrive in a chaotic household.
 
Parents who are easy-going might put up with a lot more than their partner. If there is a strict parent, their partner might think that they are too hard on the children.
 

When you disagree about the children

Whatever you disagree on, it’s important to find ways to work through your differences for the benefit of the children. Seeing parents argue is not good for the children. Children cant often think that these arguments are their fault.
 
Make the time to talk through the issues and look for compromise. Together you can decide the important things in your children’s lives and reach an agreement where you can. If you can’t have conversations about the children without arguments, consider seeing a counsellor to get help.
 

Don’t forget about your partner

You may be feeling overwhelmed caring for children, working and doing a million other things. It’s easy to start taking your partner for granted. Try to find time for yourselves, even if you are busy and tired.
 

Getting help

Relationship counselling can help you discuss the issues that are causing you to argue and support you to develop ways to manage the conflict in the future.
 
You could also attend a course and meet other parents who want to increase their parenting and relationship skills.
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