Parents may have disagreements but as responsible beings, you must understand the negative impact of continuous fights in front of your own children. Arguing with your spouse with kids in presence can adversely affect the mental and emotional well-being of your child. In the long run, it can even leave permanent emotional scars on their psyche.
Here are some of the harsh effects of parental arguments done in front of children.
1. Guilt and Shame
Kids often believe that they could be the reason why their parents are fighting, and thus end up feeling guilty. For toddlers, such arguments can result in them becoming highly unstable and they may burst out crying. While they may not upfront react as being guilty, so as parents, you may even not know what is going on in your child’s mind right away. However, the feeling of shame and guilt can be emotionally distressing for your children.
Children consider their parents as their idols and home is supposed to be one of the places that give them a feeling of care, love, and safety. If parents fight in front of their teenagers, it can result in a chaotic atmosphere, where your child may often feel tensed, helpless, and frightened. This feeling of insecurity in your child can have a long-lasting effect and lead to serious behavioural issues in the future.
3. Low Self Esteem
Feeling of shame, guilt, and insecurity together can make your little one feel unworthy and unwanted. It can, in turn, result in low self-esteem in preschoolers, which leads to permanent damage when it comes to maintaining long-term professional and personal relationships.
4. Behavioural Problems
Because of the mental stress, conflicts, low self-esteem and other issues, the child may grow to be an introvert and rebellious at school. Today, CBSE schools have special counselling session for students where any problem the student could be facing can be discussed with a professional. Kids who often see their parents arguing and fighting in front of them are also prone to substance abuse once they grow up. Such addictions and abuse can be physically and psychologically detrimental for them.
5. Degraded Performance in Academics
Children who witness chronic parental fights often find it difficult to concentrate, including concentrating on studies even if they are part of one of the top schools in the city. The child may even show health problems. If your child is suffering from low grades in academics, then arguing with your better half in front of your kid could just be one of the reasons why the child was not able to concentrate during exams.
6. Future Poor Parenting
Children learn from what they observe, especially in their formative years, they learn almost everything from their parents. As role models, if you set a wrong example for preschoolers, they may end up doing the same thing when they grow up. In fact in their early years as well, they may become argumentative with peers and elders around. Risks are high that your child will grow up to become a sloppy role model for his/her children as well.
7. Confused and Nervous
While wanting to please both parents, children can get stressed about taking sides, which causes inner conflict in them. This situation is quite stressful for toddlers and teenagers. Such children may naturally become confused with taking any other decisions in their life when they cannot deal with the conflicts of opinions. They will be then unable to reach any sensible decisions. They may remain overly nervous throughout until a decision is reached, causing emotional turmoil and even frequent emotional outbursts.
Things to Keep in Mind about Parental Fights In front of Children
- If in front of kids a fight happens, make sure you explain and apologize to your child that he/she was not the one who was responsible for the fight, and such arguments shall never happen again.
- Keep any disagreements private. Use a separate room to discuss out things with your spouse, especially if you think that things can turn loud.
- Write down your feelings and thoughts on a piece of paper and take it up later with your spouse, if you think something important has to be talked about.
- In case the above steps do not work, you can ask for family or spousal counselling or similar professional help.