It can be very stressful and difficult for children if their parents can’t get along well. The situation can become more difficult, because some teenagers could respond improperly. For teenagers, it can be quite hurtful to see their parents in constant fight. We all know that parenting is a big challenge and it can be quite difficult if parents don’t have the same standard.
If not solved, this conflict could lead to more serious consequences, such as temporary separation or even divorce. This situation will represent an even bigger stressor for children.
Parents are human too; they can get sad, frustrated, angry and hurt. In these situations, emotions can be high and it is critical for parents to not let their children get affected. There are children who need to be treated by mental health professionals, because they are extremely confused with things that happen in the family. Parents may argue constantly and say disrespectful, rude and negative things to one another.
Children tend to keep all their emotion to themselves, especially if there’s no one who can talk to them about this situation. Not all children are lucky enough to be accompanied by other adults, such as relatives and mental health professionals.
There are three things arguing parents could do to minimize negative effects:
1. Speak only when children are not around:
Parents who know that they can get charged emotionally should speak to their spouses only when children are not nearby. It doesn’t mean that they can fight when children are at some distance away, but they should discuss about resolutions to the problem only with their spouses. Negative things parents say can cause mental damage that last for years among children. This can significantly impact our children’s ability to have a trusting, healthy relationship with parents.
2. Don’t assume the role of “good parent”:
When we think ourselves as the “good parent”, we could think our spouses as the “bad parent”. Children don’t want to see the competition between good and evil in the house. They need parents who can maintain rule and structure while working together to achieve common goals. Assuming that we are the “good parent” could lead to blaming wars.
Some parents may even ask children to take sides and this would be very difficult for children to do. They want to take side with both of their parents in a truly happy relationship.
3. Don’t tell bad things about our spouse to children:
Some parents say some awful things about their spouses and this could be hurtful for children. There’s no benefit of telling bad things about our spouses to children. Kids respect their parents and by saying these things, we could make children become very confused. Teenagers are often resentful to parents who often bad mount the other, especially if parents constantly tell them to talk nicely to others.
Children will sense an aura of betrayal inside the house and this is a bad situation for their mental development. If we can’t say good things, it is better to stay quiet for the sake of our children.