IMPACT OF PARENTAL CONFLICT ON A CHILD

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IMPACT OF PARENTAL CONFLICT ON A CHILD

Parents know how to keep their children safe from physical and psychological harm. They may control the books they read, the music they listen to, their movements and the TV shows they watch solely because of negative influence the environment and media can have on their development. Surprisingly, many parents don’t see themselves and their relationships as possible external influences on their children. They do not see the conflict between them as a negative influence to their child’ s upbringing.
Conflict is a normal part of everyday relationship. It could be characterized as verbal, physical, or both. Children derive security and stability from parental love, support and protection hence it becomes problematic when there is a high level of conflict and animosity between parents. It creates a tense environment which can affect the child’s psychology and education. It may even affect their relationship with their peers in school. Some become rebellious to school authority,become defensive and offensive to people around them. It is also becomes very possible when they are in trouble,they won’t share with their parents. More so, the essence and sanctity of the children’s security is broken when they witness one parent try to demean the other.

In our world today, we do have parents who consciously or unconsciously involve their children in the conflict by asking the children to carry hostile messages to the other parent or feeding the children’s thoughts with a negative reputation of the other parent. This causes children to be in a state of confusion with: Whom do they side? Will the other parent resent them for taking sides? What if they still love their other parent who is demeaned? Sometimes, the child might even take the role of protecting one parent they feel is at risk of harm or upset. This is a burden no parent should leave their children to carry, yet it happens often with little awareness of the consequences. The purpose Of this,is not to judge any parent because he who wears the shoe knows how best it fits. We all know, marital conflict is inevitable but what is most important is how conflict is expressed and resolved. The purpose of this writeup is to enlighten the possible consequences if such things are not checked. The purpose is for a more proactive and anticipating way of approach of solving conflict, for the greater good;your child.
When conflicts can managed well, it can be considered to be important for children to see their parents disagree and work through conflicts. Healthy management of conflict involves: taking turns to talk, actively listening to each other, validating each other’s feeling and perspective, not sharing too much information in the presence of the children.
The problem-solving that follows occasional conflict between parents can be a healthy thing for children to witness because it models how they should settle differences between they and their family members and others outside the home.
It is harmful for the child’s mental health to continuously witness unresolved parental conflicts. The child is at the risk of a range of negative outcomes including a range of emotional and behavioural problems like trouble getting along with others (peers and family members), increased anger and inability to manage anger, violent behavior, difficulty concentrating at school, depression, sleep difficulties and even poorer health. Parents should attempt to shield their children from conflicts that involve bickering and hostility or conflicts that are too much for them to understand. However, this is not to say that parents should completely ignore serious conflicts and leave them unresolved. Such conflicts unresolved only bring about resentment between parents which the children still notice. Indifference, avoidance or parents not talking to each other are no better than fighting. The right approach would be to take a time out when discussions become intense and settle their differences when the children are not around.Parents should be able to acknowledge if there is a problem and they can further educate themselves on how to resolve conflicts. I believe that there are couples in this world that may have gone through more conflicts than other parents but were able to resolve. Education does is not only for career purposes,it is for every aspect of life. Self education can improve every aspect of a person’s life. There are books with good information about parenting,which would be of great help.
Conflict is an opportunity for a couple to work on themselves, as a couple and as people. Studies have shown that constructive marital conflict, where parents express or engage in physical affection, problem solving, compromise or positive feelings, may actually increase children’s security.Try your possible best not to talk negative about your partner in the presence of your kids.

Break the cycle of mismanaged conflict and influence your child’s education through conflict management.

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