Your children tend to feel it when a high degree of tension exists between you and their other parent. The higher the degree of conflict that exists between you, the more likely your children are to feel the effects. However, there are certain steps you might take while working your way through your divorce to minimize the strain it places on your children.
Psychology Today notes that it is parental conflict that impacts kids in a negative manner, regardless of whether a child’s parents remain married or decide to separate.
How parental conflict impacts children
Studies show a strong link between parental conflict and a child’s sense of self-esteem. When you and the other parent fight regularly, self-esteem takes a hit, and so, too, might your child’s sense of self-concept. Kids whose parents fight often also tend to perform less successfully in school and have a harder time finding solid, meaningful relationships as they age.
How to minimize conflict between you and the other parent
Science argues against “staying together for the kids.” Research shows that when you and your child’s other parent have a contentious relationship, your child is better off when you split up, rather than try to tough it out. When you do split up, you may find that putting together a detailed parenting plan helps prevent major disagreements from developing by outlining, in clear terms, everything you and your ex agree to do when it comes to your child or children. Agreeing to communicate exclusively through a certain method, such as through email or text message, may also help matters.
Remember, too, to try to prioritize the needs of your children, rather than your own, as this may also help reduce parental conflict.