Do you have a tough married life? Does your partner argue a lot with you? Do you wish to raise your child in a peaceful environment but are having trouble at it? Let’s see how parental conflicts harm your child’s mental health and what you can do about it when a child has parents fighting all the time.
Couple conflicts are part and parcel of married life. No matter how much you try to stay calm, you can’t avoid arguing with your partner sometimes. But fighting and arguing in front of your children can have disastrous effects on their emotional and mental health.
When children see their parents fighting all the time, they may fall prey to various mental disorders. No doubt, parental disputes are typical, but having a child witness them can result in serious mental health issues.
Children usually blame themselves for fights between their parents. They feel insecure, depressed, and helpless. When they see their parents fighting all the time, they become vulnerable to emotional distress and psychological problems.
Why Parents Fighting All the Time Can Have a Negative Impact
Parenting has a significant role in shaping your child’s personality. Too much exposure to parents’ fighting at an early age can have long-lasting effects on your child’s behavior.
A child tends to behave like his/her parents by instinct. As parents, it is your responsibility to rear your child with perseverance, empathy, and tenacity. If a child witnesses his/her parents fighting all the time, he/she will foster a sense of insecurity and frailty. Therefore, the gentle upbringing of your child is crucial for his mental well-being.
According to a news report, one out of every ten children under 16 is exposed to potentially harmful levels of parental conflicts. These children are more vulnerable to several mental disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), anxiety, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Research suggests that these disorders can accompany your child throughout his/her life.
How Does a Child Suffer from Parental Conflicts?
Fighting or arguing in front of your child can hamper his/her social interactions. Children who grow up in abusive environments are likely to behave recklessly. They face difficulties in making friends and socializing.
Eating disorders have also been noticed among such children. Most of the children end up being anorexic or obese. They lack coping mechanisms and fail to put up with the daily disputes at home. They either become violent and obnoxious or quiet and withdrawn.
From a very early age, a child starts to exhibit distress when his/her parents fight. Such a child is more susceptible to a variety of mental health problems. He/she develops feelings of fear, anger and sadness, leading to disturbed sleep.
Moreover, he/she may give vent to these feelings in the form of aggression, hostility and non-compliant behavior. However, some children internalize this anguish that results in depression, insomnia, and dysphoria.
Furthermore, the abusive environment at home also leads the child to drug addiction. When children don’t get the love and care they need, they search for other ways to relieve themselves. Studies have revealed that parents fighting all the time are harsh and aggressive. Children living in such a tense atmosphere have poor interpersonal skills. They grow up to be socially incompetent and lack problem-solving abilities.
Domestic violence hinders their academic performance. Besides, it affects their mental capabilities. In short, children who get to see their parents fighting all the time perceive everything negatively.
Signs Your Child Is Mentally Disturbed
You don’t want to put your child in trouble, do you? You need to know if your child is getting affected by your heated conversations and verbal abuses. Listed below are the most prominent signs which indicate that your child is being affected by your conflicts.
- Your child may become quiet or withdrawn. This suggests that he/she is frightened by your behavior.
- Your child may look scared and upset. He/she may feel insecure about something.
- Your child will tend to stay alone at home. He/she may not get along with friends or quarrel a lot.
- Child may display abnormal behavior and feel depressed all the time.
- Your child will hesitate to talk to you on any matter.
- Your child will prefer to stay away from you and spends most of his/her time alone.
- Child is doing poorly in academics and co-curricular activities.
- Your child will be reluctant to express his feelings.
Also Read: How To Be A Good Mom?
What Do You Need to Do as Parents?
You must be wondering how you can avoid conflicts with your partner at all. The answer is: you can’t. There is no such thing as a relationship utterly free of disagreements.
All children see their parents altercate at one time or the other. But the point is: these arguments aren’t harmful as long as you relate to each other with respect and solve them calmly. However, things get worse when you yell and abuse each other. Children don’t want to see their parents fighting all the time. Here is what you can do to avoid such scenarios.
Solve Your Disputes Peacefully
No matter how serious the issue be, it can be dealt with a simple discussion. Sit down with your spouse and reconsider the whole thing. Don’t scream or shout in front of your children. Respect your spouse and talk to him/her in a civilized manner.
Avoid Dragging an Argument
Try to resolve your conflicts as soon as they arise. Don’t let a mere argument turn into an inevitable fight. Set a good example for your children by preventing disputes.
Never Involve Your Children
Always be careful not to create a situation where your child is forced to take sides. This can end up badly. Your child may blame himself for the dispute and feel torn. You have to make your child emotionally stable. So, don’t let him down.
Reassure Your Children
Make sure that you resolve your dispute in front of your children. Don’t blame your spouse for the agony. Bring closure and make your children understand that they are a strong family. Also, tell them that arguments happen sometimes. So, you must resolve them wisely.
Children are the product of their upbringing. The things they witness in their childhood become part of them for the rest of their lives. Moreover, it is far more challenging to get rid of a bad habit than to acquire it. So, seek out for help if you can’t manage to resolve your conflicts. Your children need to grow up healthier and happier.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to stop your parents fighting all the time
Constant quarrels between parents completely overthrow the peace of the home. Therefore, children are also not immune against it, and more often than not end up suffering mentally.
It is not easy to arbitrate for two grown adults, both equally bent on proving themselves right. Thereby, a solution that could guarantee an end to your parents fighting all the time does not exist. Nonetheless, there are some courses of action you as a child can take.
If your parents generally care for your opinions on your household, talking things out with them might help. Sit them down and try to sincerely express your concerns about their continuous disagreements. Explain to them that you are under great distress because of them. They might consider compromising for your sake.
However, if a personal discussion is off the table, you can also convince your parents to consult a marriage counselor. Professionals in this field deal with all kinds of marital disputes, and are likely to know the solution to your parents’ ones too. Free marriage counseling such as the one offered by churches is the next viable option, if your parents cannot afford paying one.
How to deal with your parents fighting all the time?
While resolving your parents’ issues is not a child’s responsibility, they can still try to at least minimize their effects on them.
If your parents fight all the time and have refused to seek help, here are some things that you can do:
- Stay away from them as much as you can. Be it staying in your room and avoiding their presence, or spending most of your time outside, try to lessen your encounters with them.
- Do not try to interject. It is only natural for argumentative parents be short tempered, so piping in might make you the target of their frustration and reproach. Do not approach them when they are in a mood, and certainly do not bring up anything surrounding the fight.
- Try to move out as quickly as you could. Sooner or later, to truly escape their toxic vicinity, you would have to leave altogether. Try accelerating this process. Work jobs and earn the money that would be required for you to survive on your own. This would definitely be tedious, but at least you would be out.
- Vent out your frustration and stress. Talk to a trustworthy friend or even school counselor and pour your heart out. Doing this would relieve your chest of all the burden.
How does parents fighting all the time affect children?
Physical and verbal altercations between parents have a huge impact on all members of a family.
Constant bickering drains children mentally and they seek an immediate escape. Verbal disputes that end up getting violent also induce a great deal of anxiety in the witnesses. Households with unhappy guardians are generally very toxic to exist in.
Moreover, the noise pollution that these yells produce also impacts children negatively. They might end up being highly temperamental, and even developing anger issues.
Parents who fight all the time are also usually negligent of their parental duties. They might so much as even ignore their children’s dietary needs, thus harming them physically as well.