Relationships with family and carers

Each family is different and there are ways to deal with conflict. Find out how to deal with different family issues and have positive relationships.

Conflict with your family

Everyone has family conflict. Occasional tension or arguments are normal, however there are things you can do to stop conflict from getting worse.

With your parents, guardians or carers conflict might happen due to:

  • differences in your opinions and values
  • poor communication
  • your desire for more independence
  • feeling like you’re being treated like a kid
  • your privacy not being respected
  • changes are happening in your family
  • you feeling the pressure of their expectations.

Conflict with your brothers and sisters can happen due to:

  • differences in age
  • jealousy or competitiveness
  • lack of space.

There are different ways of dealing with family conflict. Visit the ReachOut website for tips on how to deal with conflict, talk to your family and ease tension with a family member.

You can also work on improving your communication skills, then talking to your family to let them know how you feel.

If things don’t get any better, contact Kids Helpline to have a chat with someone and get some support.

Dealing with divorce and custody

Coming to terms with a divorce and changes in your family or living arrangements can be really tough. Although custody agreements can be uncomfortable or difficult to understand, there are things you can do to help you through these tricky times.

As your family relationships change there will be a lot to adjust to which can take time. Here are some things you can do:

  • ask your parents/guardians why they’re divorcing
  • let your parent/guardians know what your preferred living situation is
  • ask them not to talk to you about their problems with each other
  • talk to other family members about your feelings.

If you are struggling, you can ask to talk to someone such as a trusted adult, school counsellor, youth worker or psychologist. You can also call KidsHelpline.

Visit the ReachOut website for more information about dealing with divorce and custody.

You can also watch a video about what it’s like to live in a blended family.

Where to get help

If you are, or someone you know is, in immediate danger call the police on Triple Zero (000).


Supports young people and their families going through a tough time.

Kids Helpline

To talk to someone about anything that’s going on in your life.


For support and advice in a personal crisis.

  • For all ages
  • Phone 13 11 14 (24 hours, 7 days)
  • Online web chat is available 7 days a week from 7pm to midnight (AEST)

ReachOut NextStep

If you are going through a tough time, you’re not alone. Find the best support options for you. Watch how it works.

Youth Beyond Blue

For understanding what’s going on and getting help if you are going through a tough time, feeling stressed, anxious or down.

More information