Children can usually cope with and adapt to difficult situations such as separation and divorce, but bitter, unresolved, hostile conflicts can severely damage a child emotionally. The longer the conflict continues the greater the negative impact on a child’s mental health.
Conflict brings tension, chaos, disruption and unpredictability. Children feel anxious, frightened or helpless, rather than safe and secure. They worry about taking sides and often feel responsible for the fighting. This leads both to emotional distress and feelings of guilt.
Shielding children from hostile interactions and modelling mature, respectful communications will mean your child is less likely to become argumentative and untrusting later in life.
If your relationship is in conflict, please see the links in the further information section for ways to help yourself and your children, including how and where to seek professional support if necessary.