It is common for parents to argue. Parents don’t always agree on everything and that is accepted. But what happens when parents continually fight, bicker, or even try to point score?
Having been there myself, it’s almost too painful to watch, but what parents don’t seem to understand that for each fight, for each crossed word, for all of their point scoring, it’s the children that come off worst. Sadly, where a child might be expected to sympathise with one parent, they will be expected to side against the other.
It is made all the worse of course, when a parent tries to win over a child to make the other parent look bad. Where parents continually fight, they may use one of their children to do their bidding. Not a lot of thought is given to what’s said or received by either parent, but when the gloves are off, there is usually no holding back.
When children leave home and their parents’ lives move forward, the dynamics to the relationship often change. Without the distractions that come with raising a family and having time on their hands for them to look inwards, parents may often see their lives differently. But fighting is not only unhealthy for the parents, but also unhealthy for children and where children get caught in the cross-fire, emotionally they will begin to struggle.
Where there is continual conflict by the parents and the conflict is centred around the children, the children will internalise and make their parents’ issues about them and that then becomes a mental health issue.