Your children can be incredibly sensitive to you and your spouse’s moods. When your attitudes escalate to open hostility, it can be detrimental to your children’s mental and emotional health.
According to Good Therapy, children’s behavioral problems most often stem from their parents’ ability, or lack thereof, for conflict resolution.
How are we affecting our children?
When you and your partner are in conflict, it can have a wide-ranging effect on your children. Even if you are working hard to minimize fighting in front of them, it could still leave you emotionally distant when they need you.
Parents can frequently get lost in their emotions during conflict, thus making it difficult to be impartial with their kids. You may find yourself being less tolerant and issuing harsher punishments than you ordinarily would. Plus, your kids can pick up your negative attitude towards your spouse, leading to alliances and alienations that could further damage the family dynamic.
What do our children experience?
When parents lose objectivity entirely and begin to blame their kids for their problems, it is common for children to become depressed and anxious. Often, they worry almost constantly about when the next fight will be and how it will affect them.
If your children feel that they are losing your attention to your partner and your issues, they could start acting out just to get your notice. They may also have a hard time understanding that the way you are treating them is not their fault and could begin to resent you and your spouse.
When you start to see your conflict manifesting in your children’s behavior, it can be vital for you and your partner to take any necessary measures to limit the damage. Make sure they know that they are not the reason for your dissatisfaction with your relationship and begin efforts to resolve your conflict.