Dispute between parents can have long-term impact on kids

Dispute between parents can have long-term impact on kids

By KORAL DASGUPTA | | 16 July, 2016
Conflict is an unavoidable part of everyday experience.
Personal differences can sometimes lead to minor conflicts and arguments between parents, but it’s important not to allow this negativity to colour our children’s perception of the world.

Conflicts between people are very common in everyday life. There’s practically nothing that we can do to impair the interpersonal differences that appear when two people are born and brought up with their own unique sets of values. Challenge arises though when there is a baby in between and two different personalities from diverse backgrounds have to reach a common ground zeroing in on what kind of ethics and merits and habits they would like their child to take forward. Behaviour and personality of the child gets shaped according to what they see around them. An important factor in consideration here is the relationship between his or her parents.

Parents are the first zone of reference for the child. She tries to emulate them, learn most of the first-time things from them and evaluate themselves as per the standards set by the parents. Their tender minds tend to look up to the parents as ideals. They pay close attention to the emotions reflected with the family, trying to interpret from there an understanding of safety and security. While it is extremely important that parents keep a check on their expressions every time there is a conflict between them, it is equally necessary that the conflict doesn’t register in those soft brains as the end of affection.

Conflict is an inevitable response to unmatched sensibilities. As our children slip out from the safe shelter we try to offer, they will develop their own conflict situations with those they’ll interact with.

Whenever there is a serious disagreement between parents, both people involved must ensure that they don’t use insulting or regressive words against each other while discussing their issues. Such words usually leave a long term impact even when the dispute is long dead and buried. Also it questions the basic respect that two people staying together must have towards each other. Even in a conflict when love, affection, respect and concern shows as the foundation of the relationship between two people, it generates an ambiance of positivity for the family.

Conflict is an unavoidable part of everyday experience. So parents fighting sometimes is not a big deal; at least no more as today everyone is pretty vocal about voicing themselves clearly without any hesitation or inhibition. But how the conflict is handled and resolved, and at what level the argument is taken, leave their consequences for children. If parents can resolve difficult problems tactfully, without allowing them to cast ill effects on their children, then they can grow up better. It’s not desirable that difference in attitude or thought process of parents stay hidden to them. Rather, if they grow up knowing that their parents think differently on a number of issues, their personality picks up that message of inclusivity. They tend to understand that two people disagreeing are not necessarily enemies; two people making parallel choices that suits them best aren’t always clashing with each other. That sense of togetherness in spite of interpersonal differences helps them shape and maintain their own equations with people in their lives.

Irrespective of the status of a conflict, parents must never shy away from expressing their affection and respect towards each other. Apologise unconditionally, if something has been meant or said unfairly, or when there is a misunderstanding resolved. Allow the baby to experience that her parents are quite fond of each other and that they value each other in life. Affection, as given to the baby and others around him play a huge role in securing his comfort zone.

Conflict is an inevitable response to unmatched sensibilities. As our children slip out from the safe shelter we try to offer, they will develop their own conflict situations with those they’ll interact with. It might be as small as sharing the ball in a playgroup. As they grow up, the nature of the conflicts will only be more and more complicated. As parents it is hence a vital responsibility to set an example for them, helping them adapt preferable behavioural responses, and not get hostile with others. Keeping calm, maintaining poise, exhibiting right values even in moments of disagreement are things they must learn at the basic level. If they don’t get the required support from their parents, their psychology and personality will suffer a collateral damage which will be too difficult to correct in the long run.

Let us behave, and help them behave. Let bitterness or rudeness not be our language of expression, neither should it be for generations to come.

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