When the relationship between you and your child’s other parent is highly contentious, you may have concerns about whether the negative feelings and emotions might trickle down and impact your shared child. Research suggests that if there is regular conflict between you and the other parent, your child may experience less anxiety and depression if you part ways, rather than attempt to stay together.
According to Psychology Today, the family conflict has the potential to impact your child in many negative ways.
How family conflict affects children
Studies show that family conflict, and in particular, parental conflict, has the capacity to negatively impact your son or daughter’s mental health. It may, too, hinder his or her personal and future relationships as well as his or her ability to succeed in school. Kids who live with parents who regularly fight with one another are also more likely to struggle with self-esteem than their peers who come from low-conflict homes.
How to reduce the strain family conflict has on children
You may be able to minimize any strain between you and your child’s other parent – and reduce how much the strain might impact your child – by limiting communications with the other parent. For example, consider communicating with your ex only by email, rather than over the phone or in person. Coming up with a parenting plan you both agree to follow and developing ways to handle future conflicts may also help reduce how much conflicts between you and the other parent impact your child.
You may also find that speaking to a therapist helps you manage and sort through your own emotions. This may benefit your child even if your ex fails to take similar steps.