Children, while growing up, encounter many situations where the parents argue about decisions of their child’s life. It becomes a burden for both the parents which eventually affects the child. Sometimes the conflict between the parents continues as a power struggle between couples as they both are trying to influence and dominate the child’s life. But as grownups, it is essential to comprehend how much the conflict affects the child’s psyche. Children develop a sense of attachment and trust in their parents. Therefore, conflicts at home disturb the child’s overall growth and development.
Some Facts About Parenting
Let’s look at some significant points about parenting. In Psychology, Parenting Style is something that is discussed majorly. According to Baumrind (1971), a famous psychologist, “parenting styles are parents’ attitudes, values, and behaviors that portray their parenting and ultimately reinforce their parenting practices.” According to Maccoby and Martin’s (1983) and Baumrind’s (1991), parenting styles are classified into four major types:
All these parenting styles have their pros and cons—the culture influences parenting patterns. Depending on the cultural practices, parenting patterns, or skills are adopted by the parents. For example, in Indian culture, parents are keener to practice the Authoritarian parenting style, which may be more beneficial for toddlers and preschoolers as they grow up. But shifting from authoritarian parenting to permissive parenting may help the child in developing self-esteem.
1. Why These Conflicts Happen Between The parents
One does not need to have very deep analysis to understand that people do differ from each other.We all grow up differently under various circumstances that shape our beliefs, attitudes and philosophy of life. As a couple, two people tend to overcome their differences as they grow in their relationship. It is similar, in the case of parenting. With experience and time the parents learn the skills that are required for parenting. It is also worth noting that we should not stigmatize ourselves or others if we perceive a difference in their beliefs about parenting.
2. How Conflict Between Parents Affect The Children?
Children will feel abandoned and can suffer through different behavioural and emotional problems like anxiety, depression which can lead to severe developmental and psychological disorders (i.e. Compulsive disorders, Eating/sleeping disorders, Acute stress disorders, Major depressive disorders, ADHD etc.)
If the conflicts between the parents escalate with physical, verbal and emotional abuse to each other or towards the child, it can cause severe trauma to the child and affects the growth and pattern in personality .
Children will feel unwanted and they can also blame themselves for the conflicts between their parents. It can provoke them to make serious decisions like leaving their home, giving up on education, abandoning all social contacts such as peers, engaging in self-harm and even attempting suicide.
How can parents resolve conflicts between them?
Conflicts have to be resolved effectively. Parents might differ in their opinion about parenting. These differences often lead to a conflictual situation.
We can keep certain points in our mind to work that out:-
- Listen to each other
- Remove the “I” as much as you can and make decisions together
- Keep your focus on your child’s betterment
- Once you both agree on something, act according to it
- Do not argue in front of the child.
- Do not vent your emotions to the child
- Do not tell negative things to your child about your partner
Working on the differences and mutually agreeing to certain ideas can be bumpy, confusing, exhausting and sometimes scary too. But if this is the only way to do the best for the child. Then by setting a goal in mind and trusting the partner to share that same goal, can help the partners to overcome these conflicts and work for a better future for the child.
*Must Read : Ensuring Optimal Growth and Development of a Child