This paper describes a number of themes that emerged from a qualitative research study into the effects of a parenting programme on family life (Mockford, 2000). Existing research points to many valuable outcomes of parenting programmes including improved maternal psychosocial health (Barlow and Coren, 2000), improved relationships (Grimshaw and McGuire, 1998; Smith, 1997) and reduced child behaviour problems (Barlow, 1999; Patterson et al., 1993; 2002b). There has, however, been little qualitative work undertaken with parents who have attended a parenting programme. The findings from this study show that in addition to many positive consequences, there were a number of unintended consequences of attending a parenting programme. In particular, women spoke of the difficulties that they faced at home when trying to apply the techniques that they had learned on the parenting programme. These difficulties included gaining the support of partners in implementing the techniques learned, changing their established habits and those of their partners, finding the time to parent together, and incorporating the techniques into their already busy lives. These findings also suggest that a change in one parent’s approach to parenting may result in increased discrepancies in parenting techniques between the parent who attended the programme and the parent who did not, and that this may result in parental conflict.