Raising Children

Different strategies and approaches to rearing children are a common cause of rows and conflict within a relationship. The nature of the conflict tends to change as your children progress from babies through childhood and into adolescence. Discussing your own childhoods and how you were raised can help to get you started on seeing where there will be areas of disagreement.

Many couples are surprised to discover that first babies are frequently the catalyst for extreme dissatisfaction. Both partners are constantly tired and are trying to make the right decision whilst in unfamiliar and scary territory. A small person's life depends on you getting it right so little wonder that couples can be over-anxious and nervous, quick to blame each other if things go wrong.

If you have survived the baby stage it is still not all plain sailing. The toddler stage is not known as the 'Terrible Twos' for nothing. A time when your child is starting to test out what is possible and developing their personality can be difficult to manage.

Starting school is often when the person who has had primary care for the child may return to work or find themselves at a loose end. This period can be stressful, particularly if there are changes in role in the family.

The teenage years can often be a time of great stress in a relationship; your children are no longer the malleable little things they once were and have developed ideas, opinions and often a bad attitude! Although it may appear that everything has become a point of argument with a teenager there are specific flash points that cause tension between parents. This is often exacerbated where a step-parent is involved.

The following sections have hints and tips to help you understand and avoid potential relationship conflict at each stage of your child's development. Ideally try to look ahead and plan for the next stage with your partner.