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Healthy relationships

Introduction to ‘Healthy relationships’

In this sprint you will develop the following knowledge: 

  • I can talk to parents about the importance of their own relationship and the impact this can have on the infant.  
  • I can ask about and recognise an unhealthy relationship between parents. 

All families are different and the relationships between family members can be complex. Sometimes conflict can occur within families and relationships can become unhealthy.

Parental conflict is different to domestic abuse. Nobody should experience domestic abuse where they feel threatened or unsafe. Conflict can be part of a normal relationship, Parental conflict might include shouting and arguments, parents not speaking to each other and break down in communication. It may include parents being disrespectful to each other and problems that do not get resolved. When parental conflict occurs, it can and most often does impact on the children in the situation. 

Anna Freud

Watch the video below produced by Anna Freud and consider the implications of parental conflict upon children.  


When watching the video, make notes about how parental conflict impacts on children. Did you note how parental conflict can cause children anxiety and depression, behavioural difficulties, including aggressive and hostile behaviours, loyalty conflicts, cognitive dissonance and poorer adjustment. 


Develop your understanding of ‘Healthy relationships’

Now you understand what parental conflict is and the potential impact on children, lets think about the importance of healthy relationships.

Anna Freud

Using the link above, scroll to the strategies section of the website and list some suggestions you might share with parents who are in conflict about how they can protect children from conflict. 


Reflect upon ‘Healthy relationships’

We’ve now looked at the impact that parental conflict has on children. Let’s look at a case study which brings this to life.

RESPECT Men’s Advice Line

Read through the case study below and make notes on some of the unhealthy behaviours in James and Jenny’s relationship. 


Further Resources

  • So far, we have considered parental conflict, this might have sparked an interest in safeguarding children. If so, there is a safeguarding self-study pack which you can undertake. The self-study pack also covers domestic abuse. 
    • This self-study pack explores Safeguarding Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults. Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility, everyone who works with children and vulnerable young people and adults have a responsibility to keep them safe.  
    • You may currently work with children and vulnerable adults and want to learn more about Safeguarding or you may be thinking of entering this field of work in the future and want to learn more about how to identify tell-tale signs of abuse and what course of action to take if you have concerns about an individual’s welfare and safety. 
    • The sprints within this self-study pack will equip you with the knowledge of how to identify signs of abuse and will encourage you to explore other areas of safeguarding that you may not have previously considered, but that you may come across in your future careers.