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Published On: September 17, 2018 01:27 PM NPT By: RIHA SHAH

Psychological Impacts of Parental Fights on Children

Psychological Impacts of Parental Fights on Children

Children have always been vulnerable to risks, abuse, violence and many more. Psychologists have always been suggesting that parents should not fight in front of their children. Parental fights have a lot of negative effects on child psychology. They possess a lot of threat to the young minds which has just started taking shape.

Parents fighting in front of kids cause chaos and tension, leaving the child frightened, helpless and insecure. Even more, the worst part is that this feeling can last even a lifetime. Children often believe that they are the reason for their parents fighting and end up feeling guilty.

Insecurity and feelings of guilt and shame can make your little one feel unwanted and unworthy. This, in turn, results in low self-esteem and low self-confidence. A lot of times there is this pressure to take sides that comes from the parents themselves, which is rather unfortunate. This puts the children under pressure which ultimately upsets them. 

With the fights going on at their home, children can’t focus on their studies which adversely affect their academic performance. Normalization of wrong deeds like verbal, physical or emotional abuse is another serious, often neglected consequence especially of parents physically fighting in front of the child. A child growing up in a household where parents are always calling each other names, or where one adult always gets his or her way around things might think it is acceptable to do such things all the time.

E. Mark Cummings, a psychologist, along with his colleagues at Notre Dame University, has published hundreds of papers over a span of 20 years on this subject. Kids pay close attention to their parent’s emotions for information about how safe they are in the family. Cummings says, “When parents are destructive in a fight, the collateral damage to kids can last a lifetime.”

In 2002, researchers Rena Repetti, Shelley Taylor, and Teresa Seeman at UCLA looked at 47 studies that linked children’s experiences in risky family environments to later issues in adulthood. They found that those who grew up in homes with high levels of conflict had more physical health problems, emotional problems, and social problems later in life compared to control groups. As adults, they were more likely to report vascular and immune problems, depression and emotional reactivity, substance dependency, loneliness, and problems with intimacy.

Try to avoid arguments in front of your children. If your children witness your fight, make sure they witness the make-up after the fight. 

Partners having disagreements is natural. But as responsible parents, you should avoid arguments in front of your children, understanding its devastating effects. It not only interrupts his joyous childhood but can also leave him with some permanent emotional scars.

abuse, violence, Children,

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