When parents of a child don’t see eye to eye – Part 1
Posted on: September 21, 2018.

Author: Mrs. Radhika Mohan, Educational Consultant

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Children never like when they see their parents at daggers with each other. They somehow want their parents to behave in a mature fashion. They hate to see them making hurtful comments about each other. If a conflict infested scenario happens very often at home, the child who is a witness to this could very likely suffer a strong negative impact on his/her current and future well-being.

Well, it is not abnormal or uncommon for two parents to have differences in their views, opinions, values, and ideologies. These differences could be easily ironed out by using appropriate communication skills that could lead to healthy, conflict-resolving strategies. Respecting each other is of prime importance. If not, they are bound to be caught again and again in chronic parental conflicts, often erupting at frequent intervals and in the same patterns.

This harmful play of hostile emotions can range on a continuum from yelling, blaming, put downs, criticism, mocking, sarcasm, and ignoring, on one end of the spectrum, and, at the other end of the spectrum, intimidations, frightening threats, and exhibitions of physical violence—throwing and destroying things, grabbing, shoving, slapping, hitting or kicking or any other form of physical assault.

Now, where is the child? He/she would be standing pathetically and silently, watching everything happening right in front. Their whole world is their family. They are pulled into a vortex of fear, confusion, insecurity, and anxiety. They can’t even name it. A huge negative impact is created in the child’s mind. Psychological destruction is what is happening to the child.

Research says that children are resilient and highly adaptive in general demand can cope with difficult situation. But continuous chronic parental conflicts will leave a severe emotional scar in their minds, resulting in emotional and behavioural problems, anxiety, depression, sleep problems, low self-esteem, school problems, and a number of other setbacks, even later in their lives.

Family environment gets disrupted as it gets rampant with tension, chaos, confusion, and unpredictability, replacing the conducive environment of safety and security, much needed for children in their growing up years. Otherwise, they become anxious, frightened, and helpless. A child’s imagination is powerful. He/she gets caught up in the fear of being harmed or abandoned. They get worried about whose side to take as they’re torn between the two parents, both of whom they dearly love. Pleasing both of them becomes a nightmare and so they worry, which gets decidedly worse if they align with one parent.

Also, children imagine or think that they are the ones responsible for the conflict among their parents. This happens when they hear parents arguing over differing parenting styles, school issues, financial issues related to them. Hence, they’re eaten up by profuse guilt. How to get along with others, and how to communicate and resolve problems in a healthy style is what children learn from parents at home. Parents serve as their role models here. Parents, therefore, have to really watch out how they behave and respect each other amicably.

If parents are highly stressed due to rising conflicts, their parenting skills go downside. Then they begin to impact in a negative streak…

…continued in the next part

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