Living with conflict

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.


15 Aug, 2013

4 thoughts on “Living with conflict

  1. I grew up in a fairly peaceful home. Yes my parents disagreed occasionally, but there wasn’t any abusive language or physical threats. They didn’t shout or anything.

    In my first marriage, my spouse and I had huge arguments. He was abusive verbally and occasionally physically, but he grew up in it. His home life as he was growing up was very abusive. He and his sisters were put in the closet while the parents fought.

    When I would argue my daughter was in the middle and witnessed it all. The last night we were at our home together we had a huge argument and he ended up punching holes in our walls because our daughter said she wanted daddy to leave, so I got our daughter and left the next morning and didn’t go back.

    Unfortunately my daughter now is argumentative. She was 5 when my current spouse and I got married. We hardly ever argued and if we did the kids weren’t around to see it. Our arguments are mild though and we don’t shout or ‘throw punches’ at each other.

    I agree with you. I think it runs in families, but I’ve always heard that if you grew up in an abusive family you should stop it before it goes to the next generation.

    1. Any form of conflict must be stopped in its tracks, absolutely Lisa. I’m sorry you had to go through that kind of conflict (abuse) yourself, but it’s good you got out.

      I am pleased things are good for you now.

  2. I was raised in a home where conflict and spousal abuse happened with regularity, because my mother was a verbally abusive alcoholic in my childhood years.

    My father assumed the role of both parents for a very long time and did a wonderful job raising his children to become productive citizens. When my mother put down the booze, the conflict and abuse subsided.

    Living with conflict is a reality for many families these days. Abuse will leave a psychological imprint on a child way into his adult years.

    1. Tim thank you for being so honest and open about your upbringing. It’s a credit to your father for keeping everything together for as long as he did.

      There are no rules on how a parent should deal with abuse, but I agree with you that any kind of abuse leaves its mark on children well into their adult years.

      Sorry you had to go through it.

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