Interparental Conflict And Its Impact On Children

Children are malleable in nature when they are young. Hence, everything that happens around them or everything that they witness can leave a lasting impression on them. Not all children are lucky to come from sorted and peaceful households. Some children have to witness conflicts between parents and that is not a good thing for a child to see. Children who come from conflict-ridden houses are often very different from children who come from happy households. Conflicts between parents, especially if the conflicts happen in front of the children, can leave behind a trauma in the minds of the children. Parents often act out in anger and frustration without realizing the damage it can do to a child who is witnessing something that a child should never witness. Some events and words can scar a child for life. As adults, we often make the mistake of thinking that a child doesn’t understand what is happening so it wouldn’t affect him or her. And sometimes, we think that a child would forget it eventually after growing up. But that is not true. Children are intuitive and smart beings. So, they can get a tangible sense of discomfort when they are put in the middle of a conflict. There are many other ways conflicts between parents can affect children.

1. A Sense Of Insecurity

A home should be a safe haven for a child. A child should feel happy coming back to his or her home. But children who come from unhappy households feel upset about returning home. A conflict-ridden home is filled with chaos and tension. And no child wants to come back to an environment like that. Conflicts that a child witnesses can often leave him or her with lasting anxiety and a feeling of helplessness. A child from a conflict-ridden house can get a palpable sense of the tension and can often feel stressed about his or her home. This is not how a child should experience his or her childhood. Childhood should be joyful and happy. Such children often develop a deep insecurity that can last for a long time and sometimes can even give rise to other behavioral issues.

2. They Can Develop Low Self-Esteem

Children often feel responsible when their parents fight. This can give rise to a lot of guilt and shame in them. These children can grow up with a low self-esteem. This low self esteem is a product of the guilt and shame that they felt as a child due to their parent’s bad behavior.

3. Stress About Choosing Loyalty

A lot of parents don’t really think before putting their kids in the middle of their fights. This often lead to the kids having to choose a side. As a kid, it is a heartbreaking experience when he or she is made to choose between the parents. This can give a huge amount of stress to a kid which can lead to him or her having issues with his or her parents later.

4. Terrible Example

It is often said that parents are the first role models that a child has. But when parents lead by terrible examples, the children also imbibe those same behaviors. Such children grow up to show same kind of behavior with their families and peers. So, parents must think a million times before behaving terribly in front of their children.

5. Behavioral Issues

Children who grow up in conflict-ridden homes often end up having serious behavioral problems. Failing grades, violent outbursts and sometimes, even substance abuse can be seen in such children.

Lessons For Parents

It is not uncommon to have problems with one’s spouse, but make sure to not let your child witness that. If you are having problems with your partner, you can consult a marriage counselor and seek appropriate help. If you are divorced and having problems with your ex-partner, then make sure to come up with a parenting plan that both of you can use and adhere to. This will greatly help in being great co-parents and raising a well-adjusted and happy child.

It is important for parents to remember that your child needs care, love and a sense of security to have a happy childhood. So, make sure to set your problems aside to provide all of that to your child.