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  • Writer's pictureRose Faquir

How parental argument affects children

What happened between parents often affects children's mental wellbeing, self-confidence and future relationships.

While conflict is inevitable at times, parents who frequently argue in front of their children, consistently withdraw or give each other the "silent treatment", affect the children's sense of self, beyond their childhood.

Parents who use their children to act as their messenger during the "cold war" will cause the child to feel responsible for the parents' conflict.

The children then become anxious for any sign of parental arguments and highly critical of themselves whenever something goes wrong.

Parents must refrain from arguing or shouting against each other in front of their children. They must also not triangulate their children or asking them to take sides during the conflict. Instead, parents should resolve their differences in an amicable manner by negotiating their differences. They are also to seek counselling where necessary. Children learn how to handle conflict by observing the way their parents resolve their dispute. Parents who positively address arguments demonstrate to their children lessons which will help the child to navigate their own emotions and relationships beyond the family circle.

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