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Dear Parents (of children of any age),
Children soak up everything they see, feel and hear. You may believe that you are giving your children all the love they need by sending them to the best school, buying them everything they put a finger on, taking them to expensive vacations etc. But you send a conflicting message when you fail to realize that your issues with your partner and problems in your relationship can cause longtime negative effects on the child’s growth.
When you argue excessively or occasionally, it leaves children feeling insecure and fearful. Even if it’s not your intention to cause harm, the ongoing conflicts threaten a child’s sense of safety. Truth to be told, you need to realize that children are vulnerable to mixed feelings in the middle of your arguments. The child sees itself as at fault. When the fights get huge, extremely abusive or physical, the very foundation of the family gets shaken in the eyes of the child.
Every child internalizes parental conflicts as a reflection of their own self-worth, in turn, they blame themselves for their parents fighting. You cannot just ‘explain’ the cause of your fight or expect them to ‘understand’. Your internal issues have an enormous impact on their emotional development, they need a sense of stability and security in all aspects of their lives and if there isn’t healthy emotional development, the child can have issues with attachment, becoming adjusted and trusting people.
There is a major confusion amongst the parents that their fights have no negative or any impact on the kids, most parents still believe that it shouldn’t even bother them as adults do have issues between them and they shouldn’t over think about it, in fact, the parents fail to realise that their kids are emotionally attached to them and they notice the slightest change in their parents behaviour and sense if there’s any tension between them.
From my personal experience, I believe that seeing your parents fighting occasionally and then resolving it within a day. Seeing them complaining about one another but getting upset when the other went away for work. Even when they won’t fight openly, the tension and anger would seethe beneath the surface. These contradictions play a powerful game in one’s head, leaving unexplained contradictions, one would end up explaining them to themselves with often incorrect conclusions.
Unable to understand the turmoil around myself, I would tend to internalize the pain and blame myself. The worst thing is growing up with the fear of being unprotected and always being scares of the mood changes within any adults as a child, has made adulthood harder than it already is. It really affects the whole way you look at life, you sometimes hate yourself for not taking a stand when you should have and you have to live with all the guilt building up inside you.
Eventually, the person affected with this grows up with very poor self-worth, difficulty in expressing emotions and most importantly having difficulty in managing anger. I can attest to all the problems one experiences as an adult.
a child trapped in an adult body suffering in silence.