Bitterness and conflict can quickly get in the way of co-parents putting their focus on raising their kids together and move it towards arguing and hurting each other.
What co-parents in this situation may not realize is that when their focal point is not centered on finding ways to cooperate and parent together, their conflict is affecting their kids negatively.
Putting kids before conflict is an important parenting strategy to practice.
Understanding how kids are affected by parental disputes and working to improve communication can help to support co-parents in doing so.
The Effect of Parental Conflict on Kids
While it's true that all parents face moments of friction now and then, conflict handled with hostility has a different effect on kids when compared to disputes dealt with in a cordial manner. In a situation where parents are constantly at odds with each other and the conflict spills out in front of the kids, the adverse effects that this may have on the children include a range of both behavioral and psychological issues. Aggression, anxiety, depression and fear are just a few effects of parental conflict taking place before kids. Externalizing these emotional effects is common, and they may manifest in all areas of your child's life like at school or in their friendships. It's also common for kids to carry these experiences into adulthood. Feelings of guilt and insecurity can tamper with a child's ability to make and maintain healthy relationships later in life.
Strategies for Putting Kids Before Conflict
Whether or not you find yourself consistently in conflict with your co-parent, it is always important to always put your kids and their needs before all else.
So what are some ways in which co-parents can put kids before conflict?
- Working to improve communication is one place to start. Agree to keep your kids away from conflict. It isn't healthy to put your kids in the middle of your arguments; even allowing them to overhear or oversee what you're saying can be harmful.
- Keep communication well organized. Disorganization can quickly lead to confusion and frustration, which could just lead to more conflict.
- Make relevant information available. Hoarding vital details about the kids like medical or insurance information can be harmful, especially when important details are not accessible in an emergency situation.
- Enlist help from professionals. When co-parents cannot end the conflict on their own, a professional may be able to help. Someone such as a third party neutral third party professional could help to teach co-parents problem-solving and better communication skills.
Putting kids before parental conflict is important on multiple levels. Beyond how it can help save kids from experiencing emotional turmoil, having strategies in place to improve communication will make it easier to keep information clear and organized while also shielding kids from any conflict that may arise.
Should you be in the midst of a divorce or contemplating divorce, contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar either through email or telephone 978-844-4095 to schedule a FREE one hour no obligation consultation.