Family relationships are at the heart of everyday life in the home. Sometimes these relationships are agreeable and other times disagreeable.
Impact of parental and family disagreement on children
Disagreements are a normal part of family life. However, when disagreements between parents become destructive they can have a negative impact on parents and children. It is important to recognise that children are vulnerable to the impact of disagreements and conflict in family relationships.
Parental conflict places children at risk of:
- negative relationships with friends in their community and school affecting academic outcomes
- early involvement with drug or alcohol misuse
- poor future adult relationships
- future lower employability which can lead to financial difficulties
- increased risk of poor mental health in children, and into adulthood
- negative impact on child development processes, which in turn affect children’s emotional development, leading to conduct disorder, poor attachment and risk-taking behaviours
- children are also at risk of a range of health difficulties including sleep disorders, digestive problems, abdominal pains, fatigue, headaches and reduced physical growth.