No matter how mature your relationship is, there are bound to be a few conflicts. That’s normal, and disagreements aren’t always a big deal. Mature conversations, keeping it generally out of the kids’ view, and refusing to name-call show that your child has the tools they need to deal with disagreements healthily like parents fighting. But when arguments become more serious and emotional — such as if one person gets mad — it can seriously impact children’s emotional well-being.
Toxic interactions are a common problem in the lives of parents and children. They are triggered by a toxic person who attempts to get their child to “fit in” by engaging in physical altercations, insults, or tactics such as being “overly nice” or “snobby” to gain favor with them.
Why Parents Fighting Is a Problem
Fighting between parents is emotionally damaging for kids, regardless of their age. It may even affect the health and development of their brain. This damaging effect can continue for years after the fighting stops, so it is crucial to prevent this behavior in children as early as possible.
Children of all ages are impacted by their parent’s choice to handle their differences. Depending on the level of conflict, it may affect a child’s mental health. The research shows that high-conflict marriages take a toll on a child’s mental health.
It can cause insecurity
Children exposed to a lot of fighting can worry about divorce or wonder when one parent’s silent treatment is going to end. It can make it difficult for them to have a sense of normalcy in the family since fights may be unpredictable. Fighting undermines kids’ sense of security about the stability of the family.
It can affect the parent-child relationship.
When parents fight, it can affect the parent-child relationship. Kids will see their parents as less approachable and caring than they want to be seen. And the quality of the relationship may be affected as it may be difficult for parents to show warmth and affection when they’re angry and upset with the other parent.
It can create a stressful environment.
Hearing frequent or intense fighting between adults and children can be stressful for kids. Stress can take a toll on their physical and psychological well-being and interfere with normal, healthy development.
Long-Term Mental Health Effects
The parents in this study were asked to talk about a difficult topic, such as finances, and researchers looked at how critical the partners were of one another. They found that marriage conflicts became more severe over time and that they tended to increase when couples were financially stressed.
More than seven years after the initial study, researchers were able to follow up with the families. They found that while the kids did not have any differences in their emotional or behavioral health, they did report high levels of family fighting.
Constant fighting between parents can have many negative effects on a child. Research has shown that parental fighting can have a lasting impact on children, including an increased likelihood of depression and anxiety disorders, increased behavioral problems, and reduced quality of life.
The more you interact with unpredicted violent arguments, the more likely it is that your child will imitate those behaviors in his or her relationships. When your kids see you fighting, they might feel discouraged from separating or correcting other problems.
This information is designed to educate families and caregivers about the relationship between parental conflict and children’s behavior problems. Parental conflict can have long-term consequences on our children’s behavior, cognition, and emotional health.
Eating Disorders and Physical Issues
Kids who are exposed to high levels of parental discord should also be attentive to their eating habits. Children who live in homes with unhappy parents or who see violence at home may have an increased risk of developing health problems, including anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.
Repeat after me: Conflict in the home is a bad thing. The more conflict, the more likely the family may be to engage in risky behaviors like smoking and binge drinking.
Negative Outlook on Life
Studies have shown that children who are raised in high-conflict homes are more likely to have negative views of their family relationships. They are also more likely to view themselves negatively.
When Fighting Becomes Problematic
All parents fight with their children, but some fight more than others. Fortunately, there are several ways to make sure that the fighting you do have does not damage your children.
You might be surprised to know that the importance of fighting conversations can be seen first in your kids. They notice how you handle disagreements and learn problem-solving skills, emotion regulation skills, and conflict resolution skills from you.