Family conflicts, if not handled constructively, can have negative consequences for both parents and children. Children growing up in a conflict environment often experience social, behavioural, and emotional problems. Continued conflict between parents can also impact a child’s sense of belonging and security, because parents caught in the cycle may pay little attention to their children. In some cases, they may blame them. The situation can lead to maladjustment problems which affect a child’s cognitive, educational, and psycho-biological functions. The child’s education usually suffers due to poor concentration.
Even a child as young as six months feels the impact of parental conflict. This impact is manifested in several ways. The child’s distress might be revealed through expressions of fear, irritation, sadness, and anxiety. In some cases, health problems such as disturbed sleep may result. Older kids in conflict homes may express hostility, aggressive behaviour, vandalism, and delinquent behaviour in their communities and towards others around them.
If children internalize the conflict, withdrawal and depression may ensue. Relationships with siblings, ability to handle stress, and coping mechanisms can suffer. Parents and children caught in unending conflict can benefit from the guidance of professional counsellors and family therapists.
If you are concerned about the way your family conflict is affecting your child, there is help available.
Family Counselling Services, Ontario
Windsor-based Wendy Limarzi’s Depression and Relationship Counselling Services offers psychotherapy services to individuals and families in conflict. The centre focuses on a number of areas: anger management, stress management, depression, addiction, and mutually agreed couples counselling to prevent divorce. Get in touch with our kind and caring counsellors at (519) 253-1519.