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Hertfordshire County Council

Relationship support for parents

Whether you are together or apart, arguments in a relationship are normal - what matters is how you deal with them. Help and support is at hand if you need it.

How conflict affects your children

Disagreements are normal but regular conflict between parents, whether together or separated, can affect your children's emotions and educational outcomes. So getting help to improve your relationship will help your children to thrive at school and form better relationships themselves.


Counselling and mediation

Couple counselling or mediation may help if you are unable to solve your differences by yourself.

  • Counselling will help you to understand each other better so you have fewer arguments and get on better.
  • It will help you to look at what is behind emotions and arguments, to see the difference from the other side and understand how your background is influencing your behaviour.
  • The counsellor will encourage you both to talk. They won’t judge you, take sides or tell you what to do.

Suitable for parents who:

  • want practical help to improve their relationship and settle disputes
  • want to focus on the future and what needs to change
  • are together or apart.

Not suitable for parents who:

  • want to talk in depth about resolving long term issues - mediation would be a better option.
  • Mediation is a space to listen to the views of each person, where you can focus on the present to help improve the future.
  • It will help you understand what needs to happen to resolve your differences.
  • It will help you to settle specific ongoing disputes and find your own solutions.
  • The mediator will ask you both to explain your point of view and will help you explore options. The mediator won’t judge you, take sides or tell you what to do.

Suitable for parents who:

  • want to learn how to deal with long term issues in their relationship, such as affairs, differences in cultural/economic background, addiction, bereavement or health issues
  • want to communicate better and understand each other
  • are together or apart.

Not suitable for parents who:

  • want to focus on resolving disputes and conflicts - counselling is a better option
  • are in a crisis.

       Couple Having Counselling 4992x3328      

Find a range of local counselling and mediation services

Communication is key

It's important to try:

  • talking and listening to each other
  • telling your partner how you are feeling
  • avoid placing blame on each other.
 Instead of saying... Try something like...
  • you just don't understand me
  • I feel like i'm not being understood and it's making me upset
  • why are you always late?
  • I feel worried when you're home late
  • you don't do anything when you get home in the evening
  • I feel tired by the evening and could really do with some help getting the children ready for bed
  • you never think of me
  • I feel like i'm not important