Managing conflict

There may be times when conflict occurs, particularly when you're unwell

Left unresolved, conflict can affect the relationship with your child and family

Some of the things that can help prevent or manage conflict situations when you're unwell include:

  • Being aware of your symptoms and how they might affect your behaviour in stressful situations (e.g. short temper, being disconnected, sadness).
  • Talking as a family about how you can address things in a helpful way (not in the middle of an argument).
  • Providing your family with language that can be used to check on your symptoms and your levels of stress. This can also help them to express what they seeing or what is concerning for them.

I developed a bit of a language around my level of stress with my kids. I tend to get more stressed out depending on how rowdy they are. So I explained to them that a 10 meant I was going to blow up, and I'd tell them when I was at a 6 or 7 (for example). It was a bit of an indication to them of where I was at so they knew to tone it down for a bit until I was under control.
Terry, QLD parent

  • Encouraging each family member to understand the perspectives of everyone and inviting them to share their views about what it is like for them when you're not well.
  • Anticipating that there may be conflict when you're unwell (or when there are changes in roles, relationships and responsibilities) and having a plan to manage it.
  • Making sure that you child has someone else to talk to if they are feeling stressed or concerned (e.g. family friends or a professional).   

For more information about how to deal with conflict and how to problem-solve as a family, visit the Raising Children Network website.