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Thread: Parentís fighting affects children

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Default Parentís fighting affects children

    Spouses often disagree on one issue or another, which is quite normal. But when they start fighting to resolve their conflicts in front of the children, it leads to a negative impact on kids. Quarrels between parents can cause detrimental effects on children’s emotional and overall health and their relationships with others later in life.

    Fighting spouses should understand that they should be mature enough to handle their disagreements in the right perspective and manner, so that they can deal with their differences in a peaceful way. But this hardly turns out to be the case; spouses often blame each other for having initiated the quarrel, and ultimately repeat the vicious cycle.

    Children, who often are silent witnesses to these unpleasant scenarios, may find it difficult to adjust and cope with the situation. They deserve to be brought up with happy parents and an integrated family.

    When kids witness their parents fighting
    Imagine how draining and frustrating it is for both you and your spouse to scream and yell at each other. Now imagine how difficult it is on you, as a parent, to discipline your child when he is stubborn or goes on crying. And finally think about and imagine the converse: how difficult it is for the child to see two stubborn parents, fighting uncontrollably, while the child is at a loss to understand what to do.

    A small child observes that her parents, who are the center of the universe for her, aren’t stable and reasonable. For the child, nothing seems to remain trustworthy and stable and the child’s sense of security dies.

    Children become physically and emotionally upset when they see their parents fight. They become scared, may cringe, cower or hide. Some start crying while others may become badly scared.

    Many children blame themselves for their parents’ quarrel, thinking that somehow they might have been able to prevent the blow up, even when it wasn’t triggered by any action of the child.

    If the situation was preceded by involvement of the child or even a discussion about him/her, children think that if only they had been “good,” their parents fighting wouldn’t have happened. Children internalize the problem and develop anxiety when parents fight.

    Even though children are helpless to change the circumstances, the fear clings on to them, doubts and insecurities fill their world, and they begin to suffer from low self-esteem.

    Constant fighting traumatizes children
    Children, who are brought up in houses where parents quarrel very often, cannot recover from the memories of their parents fighting with each other. Lasting images of particular fights can traumatize children and stay with them forever.

    Physical abuse in the home, in particular, creates a permanent scar on the memories of children. Living in a home where parents are fighting and violence is a part of “everyday” life is like living in a war zone. Children in these circumstances can suffer all sorts of problems—from lack of concentration to bed wetting to learning disabilities to recurrent illnesses to stomach aches and ulcers. Children living in such circumstances suffer tremendous amount of stress.

    Children learn what they see
    Quarrelling parentscan only teach their children the same. When children grow up with parents fighting all the time, they either come to think of that as “normal” and become fighters themselves or they recognize this as abnormal and do anything to avoid it. They may become bullies; this stems from the need to have everything under their control. On the other hand, they may become completely unassertive; giving in whenever there is a conflict or disagreement because they would rather keep the peace at all costs than risk having an argument.

    This takes away a very important aspect of their learning—how to resolve conflicts in a calm, peaceful manner through effective communication, because they don’t have a role model to teach them these skills. Children learn by example—and the children of parents who are always fighting—struggle with their relationships with others all their lives because they never learned how to communicate, compromise or assert, and get along well with others. The role models that were meant to be positive had, in fact, served as negative role models.

    Long-term effects of parental conflict
    There are parents who don’t physically brawl with each other or consider their relationship abusive, rather fight a “cold war”, keeping mum and not speaking to each other. They feel that their children are unable to notice and recognize their fight. But they don’t realize how much of an effect it has on their children. While they can easily see how the extreme circumstances in other people’s homes could traumatize children, they fail to see that their own seemingly unapparent arguments may be impacting their own children.

    When children grow up in a home where the parents fighting every now and then, the child’s security is snatched away and the child feels out of control of anything in his or her young life. The child fails to learn effective discipline techniques, including self-discipline. The trauma from the memories of the fighting can cause the children of fighting parents to fear and avoid relationships or marriage because they fear they might repeat the cycle. In other cases, when they do enter into relationships, they tend to repeat the cycle of their parents.

    Even in families where parents’ fighting is not at an extreme, parents should remember that what they do and say, and how they act towards one another, influences their children, their children’s self-esteem, and their children’s short- and long-term emotional health, as well as their future relationships.

    It’s never too late to say sorry
    When parents recognize how badly their fights are affecting their children, they should make every effort to reverse the losses. The first is to set a healthy example for their children: stop fighting, apologize to each other and resolve their conflicts in an amiable and peaceful way. They should do this in front of their children.

    However, if parents cannot see each other eye to eye, they should go for counseling in order to develop more effective communication and conflict resolution techniques, at least for the sake of their children.

    Keywords: quite normal,stubborn parents, fighting uncontrollably,badly scared,Children internalize ,suffer tremendous ,amount of stress,discipline techniques, including self-discipline,influences children, children’s self-esteem, children’s short, emotional health, future relationship
    Last edited by sherlyk; 06-08-2011 at 06:27 AM.

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