In an ideal world, children will grow up without conflict in their lives, but for many children that doesn’t always happen. I have seen through the eyes of other children, what it was like to live with parents who didn’t fight, but those weren’t my experiences. I was no stranger to conflict.
Of course, it’s normal for parents to disagree, but part of being successful at resolving conflict, is being able to use appropriate communication that allows each partner to express him or herself without conflict. Unfortunately, when parents don’t communicate with each other or communicate appropriately to resolve conflict, the results can be catastrophic.
It’s normal and healthy to disagree, but disagreement is only healthy, as long as it is appropriate and doesn’t involve either of the parents yelling; blaming; bickering; using sarcasm or put-downs, or other physical types of conflict.
We tend to copy what we see with our own parents and extended families. We may often use the same patterns we’ve seen in childhood and these will play out in angry confrontations, which are repeated over again, but with different issues thrown in for good measure. No resolution is ever reached, the conflict continues and if children are present, this is what they see.
We don’t live in a world where parents agree all the time, that’s a given, but parents need to compromise and children must see that. When disagreement spills over into abuse and blame that’s when children begin to live with continual fear. Conflict not only impacts families, but families who go through separations.
From my experience conflict can run in families, unless we’re lucky to separate ourselves from those causing the conflict and that’s near to impossible.