A child at an early age spends maximum time with its parents. The basic schooling of a toddler occurs at home. Parents become their first teachers. Therefore, a child observes all the happenings under the house’s roof.
In marital relationships, an argument between partners is much more common. No wonder how the healthy relationship between parents and the sophisticated environment of the house is, things do not remain the same always.
Sometimes, a harsh conversation takes place between partners. In such actions or disagreements, parents themselves are first in harm. But, a child also does not remain immune to such events at home.
Being an observer and a learner, a child is deeply impacted by parents fighting at home. It is observed that a toddler as young as six months old can be negatively impacted by parental fights. From mental health and self-security to social relationship-building, these arguments badly affect the child in the short-term and long-term.
Parental Fighting: A Common Phenomenon
Husband and wife spend most of the time with each other. They share numerous things and care for their children’s better living. Due to their long attachment, it becomes common among them to argue on any issue. Such arguments can be worse sometimes. Verbal aggression, physical aggression, and silent tactics are among the common methods.
In some occurrences, the disagreement between them leads to separation or divorce. Thus, fighting between them directly impacts their relationship status and the house’s ambiance. Consequently, such a fight can negatively affect anyone living in the house. Children are also among those that are badly impacted.
Researchers believe that not only toddlers but young adults up to age 19 can face issues from parental conflict.
Following major effects of a parent fighting on a child:
1. Weaken Parent-Child Relationship:
From birth, a child is too attached to its parents. Each act is aligned with the parents, and the parents know well its needs and desires. The conflict between parents weakens the bond between a child and parents.
Parents become indulged in their issues and distracted from the child. As they are under stress, they do not heed the needs of the child.
A stressed-out parent will not be able to act politely with the child as he/she does. Therefore, the parents fighting destabilize the relationship of a child with them.
2. Hinder Cognitive Development:
The long-term fight between parents makes a child live in a tense situation for a long time. A child’s independence of thoughts is impacted. It becomes silent as time passes. It would not think of any critical thing due to a sense of fear in its mind.
Its language becomes filtered, and his speech should be in broken form. In a nutshell, this condition hinders the child’s total cognitive development that remains till the elder age.
3. Stressful Environment for Child:
The conflict or intense fighting creates a stressful environment in the house. In frequent overhearing, the child experiences hardships in the form of stress, anxiety, and depression. The child does not feel free to talk or share something. It fears talking with parents and becomes quiet in most cases.
4. Raise the Feeling of Insecurity and Fear:
Parent fighting exhibits instability in the house. The sense of security among children is threatened as they lose the attention of both father and mother. The feeling of loneliness arouses, and a child fears to share what he feels. Also, his trust in his parents’ availability as a sign of security becomes weak in this situation.
5. Compromised Performance :
When a child’s competence is hurt by parents’ conflict, one cannot expect better performance from them. Studies show that the ability of a child to solve problems and address any minor issue remains under threat.
The continuous pressure created inside the house affects the performance outside. Not only is this, but the child’s performance in school is also compromised due to parents fighting.
6. Social Relationship Problems:
It is a natural phenomenon that a child starts learning from its own home. Each habit and trait that it experiences inside, it tries to practice. When a fight between parents occurs, they treat kids with unwelcoming behavior.
So, there are chances that the kids may threaten others with such behavior or even hostility sometimes. Such behavior of a child creates problems in its relations with people.
7. Experiencing Physical Issues:
Not only social skills and mental abilities but the physical disorder is also an effect of a parent’s fight on a child. Many studies have shown that children’s eating disorders, including anorexia and bulimia, are much more common during high parental discord. Parents’ fighting can sometimes worsen, so a child may face stomachaches and sleep problems.
8. Behavioral Changes in Child:
Stress, aggression, and offenses inside the house change a child’s behavior. The parental conflict can make a child aggressive and reactionary. It will face conduct problems too. Studies observe that most children with antagonistic nature are impacted by domestic issues like parental discord.
9. Negative View of Life:
It is not a surprise to view a child with pessimistic thoughts when he encounters domestic issues. The same happens during parents’ fight, a child leaves, envisioning a better and happy future.
Research published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence highlighted that the kids who witness parental conflict are more prone to suffer from low self-esteem.
10. Effect on Academic Progress:
During parental fighting, parents sideline the study and academic progress. Parents take the least interest in a child’s schooling, and its academic activities go unseen by them. So, the child, too, feels no responsibility to fulfill schooling needs like homework and daily or weekly tasks.
Helpful Tips to Protect Child from Effects from Parent Fighting:
As mentioned above, parental discord creates problems for children mentally, socially, and physically. Therefore, the following are helpful ideas to keep a child away from the effects of parental conflict.
- Discuss the issues privately.
- Remain concerned about child’s health
- Value child’s ideas and emotions
- Better schooling of a child
- Keep child away from fights
- Protect a child from any sort of abuse
Parental fighting severely impacts a child’s mental health and overall development. Any sort of parental conflict put effects on a child in the long term. Therefore, for a better nourished and healthy child, such discords should be resolved privately, and the child’s physical and cognitive development should be given due consideration.