Building and maintaining positive relationships with children and with all family members is not always easy. Families have times when tempers flare, feelings get hurt and misunderstandings occur. It helps to have good communication, flexibility and creativity to manage these situations and maintain positive connections.

Cultural background, family values and differences in family make-up (e.g., sole parents, step and blended families, same-sex parents and carers) can influence the values and goals adults have for children’s development. This may also lead to diverse relationships and support needs. Consider, for example, how your family values and cultural background has influenced your thinking and behaviour.

Making time for family members, communicating effectively and supporting each other are important ways to strengthen families and build positive relationships. Working together as a family is also helpful in building strong and caring family relationships. In times of conflict, families who are able to work together find effective ways to manage and learn from the experience. As conflict is a normal and healthy part of family life, children can learn to manage it. Parents and carers can help children identify the problem behind the conflict and guide them through a process of peaceful problem solving.