Relate NI is passionate about enabling good quality relationships. Through our 75 years’ experience of working with people throughout Northern Ireland, we’ve come to understand that relationships not only give our lives meaning, they are of vital importance to our wellbeing. Evidence now demonstrates why good quality relationships matter. They can protect us from the effects of long term health problems; help our recovery, and can even prevent illness in the first place.
We know that conflict between parents and in families is always going to happen and is totally normal (we are all human) but how it is handled, has a massive impact on the future of our kids. The evidence shows that children growing up with parents who have low levels of parental conflict or well-resolved parental conflict, whether they are together or separated, enjoy better physical and mental health, better emotional wellbeing, higher qualifications and a lower likelihood of engaging in risky behaviours.
The evidence also shows children of all ages can be affected by destructive or poorly resolved parental conflict, with the effects shown across babies, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. This can present as mental health problems, dropping out of school sooner, poorer relationships with friends, drugs and alcohol misuse, poor future romantic relationship chances, low employability, and a higher chance of engaging in physical violence. The impact of parental conflict on children can be varied and long-lasting, as there is always the risk that relationship behaviours and problems will be repeated.
Relate NI provides adult relationship counselling for both couples and individuals, which can be an effective intervention for helping you to manage unhelpful conflict in your relationship, and develop strategies for how to move forward in a way that is best for your children.