Why relationships matter and online resources for relationship support for parents and co-parents
Why relationships matter
Relationship quality is an important factor in all families whether you are an extended family, adopted family, step family, same sex family or grandparent family.
Conflict in relationships is part of everyday life but conflict which is frequent, intense and poorly resolved can lead to distressed relationships and have harmful effects on children.
Support for Inter-Parental Conflict (SIPCo) project
If you have a child or children aged between 8 and 14 years old, and you're currently in conflict with your partner or co-parent, then the SIPCo project could help.
pdf The SIPCo project (835 KB) aims to help you learn strategies to reduce the conflict between you and your partner, or between you and your co-parent if you're no longer together.
The SIPCo project could help you if you:
- have a child or children aged between 8 and 14
- find it hard to get on with your partner or your ex
- frequently argue with your partner or your ex, or have stopped talking to each other
To find out more:
- email firstname.lastname@example.org
- call 07721 635376
Healthy relationships for parents
If you're a Bristol resident you can access three online courses to help promote quality relationships from OnePlusOne Go to https://www.oneplusone.org.uk/parents (opens new window):
- Me, You and Baby Too, for new and expectant parents
- Arguing Better, for parents or carers who want help with stress or arguing
- Getting It Right for Children, for separating or separated parents
You'll need to register on OnePlusOne Go to https://www.oneplusone.org.uk/parents (opens new window) with your name and email to see the courses. The courses are free of charge.
Me, You and Baby Too
Becoming parents can change your relationship. Tiredness and stress associated with parenthood can lead to you and your partner misunderstanding each other.
This course can help you improve communication skills and manage conflict better. It has videos to help couples navigate the transition to parenthood.
This course will help you understand the impact of parental arguments on children and how to argue in a constructive way.
Getting it right for children
This course helps parents develop effective ways to co-operate after separation.
When parents separate, it's easy for children to get caught in the middle of their disagreements.
Getting on Better cards
These eight Getting on Better cards are for parents who are together or separated. They may help you to think about your relationship and how you can communicate better or deal with conflict more effectively.
- pdf Stages and changes of relationships (416 KB)
- pdf Arguments are like fire (871 KB)
- pdf Conflict styles (288 KB)
- pdf The magic ratio (373 KB)
- pdf Communicate better (250 KB)
- pdf Harmful and helpful arguments (157 KB)
- pdf Child roles: for separated parents (311 KB)
- pdf Parent roles: for separated parents (318 KB)
Email email@example.com if you want these Getting on Better cards in Polish, Somali, and Arabic.
Getting it right for children skills cards
These five skills cards are for parents doing the Getting it right for children course. The cards will help remind parents of key communication skills from the course.
- pdf Keep calm (267 KB)
- pdf See it differently (315 KB)
- pdf Speak for yourself (142 KB)
- pdf Negotiate (367 KB)
- pdf Work it out (291 KB)
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want these Getting it right for children cards in Polish, Somali, and Arabic.
Other digital resources
See it Differently
See it Differently Go to https://www.seeitdifferently.org/ (opens new window) has videos that highlight the damaging impact parental conflict can have on children.
Relation Kit Go to https://relationkit.co.uk/videos/ (opens new window) has videos and support to help you do things differently.
Click Go to https://click.clickrelationships.org/home/all-issues/ (opens new window) have free, expert relationship advice and a supportive community to discuss relationship issues with
Relate Go to https://www.relate.org.uk/ (opens new window) offer help and advice including ‘ask Ammanda Go to https://www.relate.org.uk/ask-ammanda (opens new window)' Relate's head of clinical practice and trained relationship counsellor and sex therapist.
Advice on handling arguments
Advice on handling arguments Go to https://www.relate.org.uk/get-help?theme=38 (opens new window)includes bite size information, videos and tools to help you think about how and why arguments start, dealing with the moment and after.
Parenting after separation
Bristol City Council parenting courses
We run a range of parenting courses including Parents Plus Parenting When Separated Programme: for parents who are preparing for, going through, or have gone through a separation or divorce.
Parenting when Separated
This is a 6 week course, running for 2.5 hours per session. This course is for parents who are preparing for, going through or have gone through a separation or divorce.
As the Parenting when Separated course is focused on personal development and coping, we recommend that parents attend this course alone. Separated parents of the same children should attend separate courses.
If you're interested in the Parenting when Separated course or would like further advice about parental relationship support contact email@example.com and a parental relationship practitioner will get back to you.
National Family Mediation
National Family Mediation Go to https://www.nfm.org.uk/ (opens new window) have a team of skilled mediators in Bristol who are available to provide family mediation services to families.
As an established contractor of Free Legal Aid Go to https://www.gov.uk/legal-aid (opens new window), many clients who are eligible for Legal Aid receive mediation services without any charge.
Schools training resource
The National Family Mediation team have also put together a schools training resource.
It is aimed at teachers but does have information that will useful to parents as well.
Fegans offer a free online course parenting after separation Go to https://www.fegans.org.uk/parenting-post-separation-0/ (opens new window)
Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families
Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families has advice and guidance for separated or separating parents Go to https://www.annafreud.org/parents-and-carers/in-conflict/ (opens new window).
Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass)
Bristol Separated Parents Information Programme (SPIP) is now called Planning Together For Children.
This is a course which promotes cooperative parenting. It supports parents to think about the needs of their children first when they're working out to parent together when separating or living apart.
Planning Together for Children isn't currently available for parents outside of the court process or who want to refer themselves, but you can use the Parenting Plan.
If you can't access the link or don't want to do the plan online, use the Word version.
Relationships and caring for a disabled child
Contact Go to https://contact.org.uk/ (opens new window) for families with disabled children has a free relationships and caring for a disabled child guide Go to https://eur03.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fcontact.org.uk%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2021%2F03%2Frelationships_guide.pdf&data=05%7C01%7C%7C801884fcd0b6473ec8f708db0db627fe%7C6378a7a50f214482aee0897eb7de331f%7C0%7C0%7C638118848260466316%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=ySzu%2BZlCVkS3SIcX2wVqwKm1HJuvPMGhIrPJJH5LqBk%3D&reserved=0 (opens new window).
- Gottman cards deck app Go to https://www.gottman.com/couples/apps/ (opens new window) The Gottman Institute, a research-based approach to relationships
- Between Us app Go to https://www.betweenus-app.com/ (opens new window) Tavistock Relationships, designed to help you have a better relationship with your partner now or in the future
- Baby Buddy app Go to https://www.bestbeginnings.org.uk/baby-buddy (opens new window) Best Beginings, an interactive pregnancy and parenting app