A few squabbles here and there are common in any relationship. However, if you and your spouse are always going after each other, it can have potentially severe effects on your child’s mental health. Children as young as six months old can be affected by parental fighting, and they can still be sensitive to conflicts as young adults. Below are just some of the long-term mental health affects spousal fighting can create.
Increased relationship problems: Children who are exposed to their parents fighting can potentially treat others with hostility throughout their life. Your children will solve their problems and arguments with the same tactics they have witnessed their parents using, which could create problems with their relationships. If arguments are constant in your household, they may struggle to maintain healthy relationships of their own.
Increased behavioral problems: Parental conflict can be directly linked to an increase in aggression and delinquency in children. If the problem starts while they are young enough, they may also have difficulty adjusting to the school setting once the begin attending.
Increased risk of substance abuse: Research has found that homes with high levels of conflict can increase the child’s odds of drinking, smoking, and drug use. The chances increase even more if one or more of these substances is already abused in the household.
If you and your partner are fighting far too much, consider family counseling in Westchester County, NY. Dr. John Gerson will help you and your spouse build a solid foundation both individually and as a couple.