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. 

pdf Resource page for the toolkit for positive communication to build stronger relationships (288 KB) .

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:

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.

Arguing Better

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. 

Family hub: parent courses

Additional online parent courses aimed at parents of all ages including material for children and young people and a course on understanding your relationships can be found in the catalogue on the family hub website Parent courses.

Understanding your relationships is for you if you are:

  • Feeling like you are constantly arguing and not being heard
  • Hoping to enhance your parenting and family relationships
  • Seeking a change in your personal or professional relationships
  • Interested in emotional wellbeing and deepening your understanding of yourself and others

Information cards

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.

Email relationshipsmatter@bristol.gov.uk if you want these Getting on Better cards in Polish, Somali, and Arabic.

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 

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]=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.

Relationships and caring for a child with special educational needs or disabilities 

Contact is a charity that runs a free advice and information helpline for parents and carers with disabled children aged from birth to 25, living in any part of the UK.

Contact has produced a page on the website Looking after your relationship to offer guidance to parents and carers on healthy relationships and the impact caring for a child with SEND can have on family harmony.

There is also a useful guide accessible on the Contact website: 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).

Useful apps