When parents feud

People often think that the only time children have to resist the temptation to act as an intermediary between their parents is when their parents go through a divorce, but speaking from experience it doesn’t start there.

What we don’t always see or realise is that every issue we can’t agree on that ends up in a disagreement, also becomes an issue for children who will sometimes resist the temptation to get involved. It’s easy for children to get caught up in their parents’ disagreements.

It’s hard enough growing up, without children having to navigate or scoot around their parents’ behaviour. My parents didn’t divorce, but my experiences were very similar to parents who should have gone through a divorce. Feuding parents can be feuding parents in the home. Feuding parents don’t have to go through an acrimonious divorce for their arguments to have an emotional impact on their children.

Children should always be encouraged to stay out of their parents’ disagreements and for parents to resist the temptation to bring their children into those disagreements. It’s important for parents to find middle ground on their arguments. As children grow up, they need to continue to maintain healthy relationships with both their parents, just as parents need to work at maintaining healthy relationships with their children.

From my own experience it’s not only important for children’s emotional health but for their physical and spiritual health and wellbeing too.

16 Nov, 2012

6 thoughts on “When parents feud

  1. I don’t remember my parents arguing, hardly at all or having disagreements. I grew up in a fairly peaceful home.

    My daughter on the other hand was put in the middle unfortunately. My ex would start arguments especially when I was holding her and there she would be in the middle. Then he suggested that I go put her in bed and I disagreed with that because it would have caused her more stress behind a closed door with her parents arguing.

    My ex was put in a closet when his parents argued so he grew up in a mildly violent atmosphere with alcohol involved among other things. We were raised two totally different ways.

    My daughter acts like her father some but she has started realizing it and is changing her ways.

    1. I’m so pleased for you Lisa. It makes all the difference when we grow up in a fairly peaceful home.

      That’s not always easy with two people coming from totally different backgrounds, but I believe anyone can change their perceptions on the different issues we have to deal with, with a little compromise and give ‘n’ take.

      No one starts of their lives together feuding. I think sometimes life just gets in the way and is stressful. Feuds happen on the back of stress.

  2. I had one case where my parents both said to the other in full view of me that they wanted a divorce. It was after my Grandmother had died and my father had retired, within days of one another.

    I left the house for about 3 days to force them to talk to one another. When I returned they had worked it out. I remember my dear Mother saying to me ‘Don’t you ever do that again,’ but it worked.

    1. Wow Randy, that was a very grown up thing to do. You clearly were sending a message out to your parents, even though your mother was less than impressed with your methods. I understand them, but what a traumatic time you went through.

      Although your mother got your message loud and clear with you leaving home for 3 days, did things change for the better when you got back?

      I think that sometimes if we try too hard to make things work, they tend to go the opposite way. I hope that your mother and father sorted out their problems. A very brave move from you Randy and very insightful!

      1. Yes it solved the problem and everything was better from then on.

        Never fight in front of your kids. It does more harm than you realize.

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