When their relationships go sour, many married couples with children ponder whether it is better to divorce or to stay together for the kids.
While the latter might sound like the best solution, raising a child from divorced parents in a conflicted and unhappy environment can be just as damaging as divorce or even worse.
Long-term effects of parents fighting include an upsurge in aggression and hostility in kids.
When children witness their parents arguing relentlessly, it can lead to the development of low self-esteem and anxiety among kids. The adverse effects of angry parents on children include suicidal tendencies and depression.
The implications and effects of toxic parents are numerous and vary widely according to the situation, so think twice before making a decision!
Be objective and think beyond the now and here
Both situations present adverse divorce effects on children. It’s true that children raised by a single parent risk being subjected to more unfavorable circumstances than others.
From getting bullied at school over the fact that they “have no dad or mom,” or “mom and dad are fighting” to their sometimes difficult evolution into adulthood being influenced by the absence of a male or female figure, divorce can make or break a person!
A peaceful environment facilitates a healthier upbringing
Specific circumstances entail different responses.
For instance, there are situations in which a divorced couple focuses on the proper behavior towards the child and avoid bringing their personal issues in the manner in which the child is raised.
Even if it is challenging to raise a child on your own, maintaining a tactful relation with your ex and allowing the child to interact with his other parent and develop a natural relationship with him will enable a more balanced evolution.
The child might not understand at first the reason for which his divorced parents do not live together anymore, but that is not an excuse for implicating him in the personal problems between the two of you
Your son or daughter is neither your friend/parent, to whom you can complain about relationship problems nor is he your psychotherapist!
Neither is a child, the reason for which a relationship has stopped functioning!
In consequence, a child of divorced parents should not be burdened with these aspects and should be left to develop a loving relationship with both parents!
There are grave psychological consequences
One of which is personality development, involved in the manner in which divorced parents interact not only with the child but also with each other.
That is the main reason why how you treat your partner matters so much.
During their upbringing, it is easily noticeable that children tend to emulate behaviors and thinking processes observed in their parents.
Your words and actions weigh heavily not only on the person you interact with but also on your child, who isn’t mature enough to differentiate between favorable or unfavorable concepts they should appropriate.
Besides, this is a sensitive period in which precedents are easily formed for a developing individual, and these precedents can form unwanted involuntary behavioral patterns and beliefs.
When a person reaches adulthood, it is considerably more challenging to correct erroneous thinking processes or to manage exaggerated reactions, so why not avoid developing them altogether?
Your violent response towards your spouse or fighting in front of kids can be your child’s future violent reaction to a mistakenly similar interaction, at the very least.
If you always fight with your partner and can’t seem to be able to maintain a healthy and balanced relationship, instead of subjecting or involving your child into your quarrels, opt for separation and try your best for your little one without pulling each other’s hair daily!
Divorce is no excuse for bad parenting
For some, divorce is the easy way out.
Indeed, the fights and uncivilized behavior displayed in front of your child will be put to an end, but a quiet home does not guarantee a stress-free upbringing for your child.
Separation is hard for everyone, and there are necessary steps that must be taken to ease the transition for a young individual.
As long as you channel your efforts into providing a healthy and loving relationship for your child, the impact of not having one of his parents always around the house will lessen.
Just because you don’t want to live or interact with your partner any longer, that does not mean that your child should do so too.
On the contrary, a child of divorced parents should be allowed to see and build a steadfast bond with the absent parent as well as receive explanations and reassurances that his parents’ separation does not imply his separation from them.
Do not, for any reason, believe that your responsibilities for your child end once you have no responsibility left for your previous partner.
And, I am not talking about sending money or presents now and again, because nothing can replace a warm, loving bond or a steadfast education. Your presence, love, and guidance are necessary for your child’s upbringing, and living apart should not be an excuse.
Growing up with parents who fight scars children in a way that they face more social and emotional challenges than kids brought up in a happy household.
Parental conflict impact on a child and lead to serious problems like low self-esteem, guilt, shame, poor academic performance and a slew of health issues.
The physical effects of divorce on a child include a significant increase in asthma-related emergencies and more susceptibility to injuries.
As a child, how do you deal with fighting parents?
Avoid taking sides and remain neutral.
Try to build your healthy relationships, if your parents have not been exactly the most positive role models to look up to.
Most importantly, avoid blaming yourself. Wondering, “How can I stop my parents from getting a divorce?”
The simple answer to this is, you can’t. Seeing one’s parents separate is heartbreaking; however, what you can do is reaffirm to yourself that your parents love you, even if they don’t like each other.
Tips for divorced parents
For parents, wondering, “how do I stop fighting in front of my child?”, remember you are the safety net for your child.
Remember to draw lines when arguing, by learning to express your frustration in private and not making your children audience to your arguments.
Despite the discontent, it is essential to present a unified front to your children and give them the security blanket of love and warmth.
It is crucial to avoid the mistakes the divorced parents make and split if you must, without debilitating the children emotionally and mentally.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.