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Why is it harmful to argue in front of your children?

On Behalf of | Apr 11, 2023 | Divorce

Many California couples who get a divorce claim that fighting was a major cause of the breakdown of their marriage. Some argue in front of their children without thinking about the consequences. This can be harmful to the kids for a variety of reasons.

Stress and anxiety

Children who witness fighting between their parents often experience a lot more stress and anxiety than their peers. When kids are exposed to their parents arguing, it can lead to fear of what might happen to their family situation after the divorce. The child can also suffer from PTSD as they relive the fights in their mind when they’re at school or in other situations, making it hard for them to focus.

Affects the child-parent relationship

When a child continuously witnesses their parents arguing, they might develop certain feelings about one parent versus the other. If one parent initiates the fights, the child may recognize that and associate them with such negativity. This can damage the child’s relationship with that parent as they might grow to resent them.

Behavioral issues

Children can also develop behavioral issues when they’re exposed to arguing by their parents. A child might become withdrawn and lose interest in friends and their favorite activities. They can also develop new, bad habits such as rule-breaking, aggression and even picking fights with other kids. Older kids may even gravitate toward smoking, early drinking or drug use.

Future problems

Kids who are constantly exposed to parental arguments often grow up to be adults in dysfunctional relationships. In some cases, they may not be able to hold onto a romantic relationship at all.

Parents need to be mindful while around their children. It’s best to avoid arguing in their presence before, during and after your divorce.