Quarrels between parents are common issues. When two people are staying together for entire life, differences in ideology are bound to occur and eventually lead to quarrels and arguments. But the grey part of such quarrels is the impact it creates on the children in the house.
Children are much more sensitive than parents. They have a tender heart and are emotionally more reactive. Quarrels and arguments can thus leave a dreadful impression on their minds, the results of which will be apparent only once they enter their teenage and adolescence period. In this article, I would like to throw light on the psychologically harmful effects these quarrels can have on the minds of the child.
If we try and analyze a child’s psychology, he is most attached to his parents in his early stages before he starts interacting with the outside world. In the arms of his parents, he feels secure and safe. And thus naturally he would expect a love and caring attitude from its parents. From parents’ point of view, their ideological differences and lack of will to understand and compromise is becoming a major cause for the increasing intensity of quarrels and arguments. And the surprising thing is that majority of the instances are such where the dispute is related to minor household stuff and things which are not that important.
The impact on a child’s mind due to such fights and disputes is something which directs his future growth process in terms of his developing mindset and values within him. With an idea of creating awareness amongst parents, I would like to highlight the short-term as well as the long-term effects of these issues on the child. In such an environment, the child:
As I mentioned that the child feels safe and secure in the arms of its parents. When he sees his parents fighting and arguing he starts developing a feeling of insecurity and starts fearing an arrival of an unpleasant action or event like a divorce or physical fights. Looking at his loved ones fighting over petty issues opens up that boundary in which it ever felt safe.
A child, especially one who has seen his parents fighting becomes increasingly sensitive, high enough to decide which parent of the two is responsible for the quarrel. It thus develops bitterness towards that parent which slowly reflects in his behaviour and attitude towards that parent.
A child when feels unsafe in the family and when it does not find that unity and love in the family, his mind starts wandering outside. He gets more and more involved in outward activities with friends and colleagues. He starts losing involvement in family affairs. You would find such a child attracted towards every such event that keeps him away from family life. It is because mentally he gets detached from the family due to constant fights and unhealthy environment in the family.
We keep reading and hearing that a child learns from the attitude and behaviour of parents. The same is valid in this case too. Looking its loved ones fighting over small issues develops bitterness and negativity in child’s behaviour. You would find such a child getting cheeky and annoyed at different instances. That bitterness clouds his mind to the extent that he develops an aggressive behaviour. Research shows that such children find it difficult to sustain a healthy and a loving relationship or a marriage due to such nature.
Children of quarrelling parents would often find themselves unable to express their feelings completely. Having grown up in a mentally unhealthy environment, they restrict their feelings within their own self and thus become unable to express themselves even to their parents. It is because their parents fighting refrains child from bringing his own issues at the front.
This is the worst after effect or a long-term effect of a quarrel. Children being emotionally more sensitive can easily fall into a deep and a negative contemplation which can eventually lead them into a state of depression. One can figure it out with the outward behaviour of such a child. Child starts losing interest in daily activities like studying, playing, going out with family and friends. Depression can create a lot of problems for the child, especially in his teenage and later periods.
Seeing his parents constantly fighting and quarrelling, the child sometimes starts fearing relationships. Initially his bonding is with parents only. But during the growth period, he finds it difficult to adjust with and maintain a number of other relations such as the ones with other family members, friends at schools and colleges and later with spouse and children. Thus in general his own social and family life gets into a similar state as his parents.
The idea behind pointing out these after-effects is to alert the parents about what effects their differences can have on their children. Parents do care for the children but unknowingly they might direct the lives of their children in wrong direction. Quarrels will always be there in a family life. But there has to be a way to tackle things. With proper understanding and realization of above mentioned facts, parents must start working over resolving the differences or rather handling them in a way which will be beneficial for themselves as well as their children.