Children are like sponges. They absorb everything they see and what they hear. It’s no wonder that there’s a saying, “children see, children do.” As parents, you play a prominent role in shaping your children and how they grow out to be in the future.
However, no matter how much love you believe you are showing and giving to your child, marital conflicts can have a devastating impact on them. Not only do children soak up the things around them, but they are also “analyzers” of arguments and disagreements.
When something is wrong, even when you’re pretending, children can sense that. It can be very harmful to your child since it can distress them and lead them to feel high alert at all times. Note that “Small changes can make a big difference in parenting a difficult kid.” Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC said.
Effects On Children
Even at a young age, children can learn a lot from an argument between their parents. Your facial expressions, even the tone, and volume of your voice can send a lot of mixed signals to your child. It is essential to know how fighting with your spouse can influence your child’s behavior.
The following are some of the effects on children when their parents are fighting in front of them:
The Child Can Become Insecure.
Your home is a child’s nest of safety and care. However, fighting with your spouse can suck the oxygen out of the room and suffocate your child. This tension can make your child anxious and frightened, which can last a lifetime.
He Will Have These Feelings Of Guilt And Shame.
Even if your children didn’t cause the fight, they might feel that they are the reason that you and your partner conflict. It can be very emotionally taxing to your child.
Your Child Will Have Self-Esteem Issues.
When parents fight, their children will experience contradicting situations
– You throw spades all the time but stay in the same house.
– You are apparently mad at each other but tolerate one another in front of others.
– There are no arguments, but no agreements either.
These situations can be stressful for your child to take in and will make them feel unworthy at some point. Parental fighting can cause their self-esteem to hit rock bottom.
The Child Is Pressured To Take Sides.
Taking sides can be very stressful for a child. All children, in general, need to please both of their parents. During a conflict, debating about whose side to take is distressing, especially if there is pressure coming from the parents themselves. “Dealing with parental alienation is not easy. It can be exceedingly painful when your children resist your attempts to connect or view you as the “bad” parent, which is often the case.” Sharie Stines, PsyD. wrote in an article.
Your Kid Will Perform Badly In School.
Constant fighting can preoccupy your child’s mind, filling it with conflict and chaos. As a result of this, it can be difficult for your child to focus on tasks, especially in school.
He Might Suffer From Physical Illnesses.
An overworked mental state can cause a lot of health issues. Stress is proven to be a cause of many illnesses and diseases. Once your child transitions to adulthood, he may deal with problems such as immune system issues, vascular disorders, and many more.
The Possibility Of Mental Or Behavioral Disorders On Your Child Is Inevitable.
Physical illnesses also come with mental issues. Chronic fighting between parents can build behavioral problems in your child, such as isolating oneself or recklessly initiating fights with others. In other cases, they may develop mental illnesses like severe depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Since children don’t know about coping strategies, fights can leave them feeling drained, and it can negatively affect their brain development.
The Kid Will Grow Up Thinking A Dysfunctional Home Is Normal.
“When a child’s social and emotional issues and psychological distress are left untreated, it can negatively impact his/her educational aspirations and developmental milestones.” Dr. R. Y. Langham, Ph.D. said. Growing up in a dysfunctional household, verbal and emotional abuse may become an “everyday” thing for your child. Even if this type of behavior is somehow acceptable at home, this can be difficult for the child when dealing with unexpected issues in the future.
He Will Have Troubled Relationships.
Fighting can already taint the relationship between the child and his parents. The patterns and the perspective of the conflicting spouses can negatively affect the child’s relationship with friends and significant others since it influences their social skills.
Learn to discuss things with your spouse in a non-yelling match. If you are both angry and hot, stay away from each other until you cool down. The kids are watching, and they are learning from your every move.
If you have this problem, contact a child psychiatrist immediately. Your kid needs all the help especially if he has mental health issues. There’s a treatment for your child’s issue, so hold on and stop fighting in front of him.