It may make you crazy that your husband can’t tell the difference between the floor and the laundry hamper when it comes to his dirty underpants. You may wish your eyes came equipped with laser beams while you’re glaring at him for not standing up to his mother’s overbearing ways yet again. However angry he may make you — and he does make you angry from time to time — you have to watch it in front of your young children. Your fighting has a myriad of negative effects on the development of your toddler or preschooler. You may drive one another crazy, but don’t let your fighting make your kids crazy, literally.
Understand that your little one knows what’s up. Don’t assume that he’s not smart and completely aware simply because he doesn’t know how to pee in the potty yet. Children are extremely sensitive to their parents’ feelings, and that sensitivity starts at least as early as their first birthdays. They can tell the difference when you resolve your problems and when you do not. When you don’t resolve your conflicts, your child has a greater chance of suffering attachment issues. He may be overly attached to you or your husband. When a child suffers from attachment issues, he will suffer developmentally. He will find it difficult to be away from home, which will affect his desire to join teams and clubs later in life or to spend time with other family members and friends. His future schoolwork, relationships and personality will be negatively affected.
You’ve heard that you should never go to bed angry, but you probably never considered the effects that your fighting has on your toddler’s sleep pattern. If you fight constantly, the result is sleep problems for your toddler. She may not sleep well at night, she may be restless when she sleeps and naps and she may be extremely drowsy during the day from her lack of sleep. Children who do not get enough sleep are irritable, have problems focusing and behaving in daycare and are more likely to get sick.
When a preschooler is exposed to too much fighting and unresolved conflicts, he might find it difficult to trust others. He may not trust you when you say that things are fine because he can see that they are not. This will cause him not to trust you when it comes to other things in life, which will only make his trust issues worse. Trust issues greatly affect a child’s development. Children who do not trust their parents, friends and future spouse might suffer from depression, anxiety, anger or many other developmental issues. They do not have a healthy outlook on relationships of any sort.
Positive Effects of Fighting
Not all fights are negative for toddlers. When you fight constantly and do not resolve conflicts, there are negative effects. When your fights feature constructive criticism, problem solving, compromise and affectionate expressions, you are actually showing your toddler that fights are not necessarily unhealthy. These kinds of fights show her that it is a realistic expectation that people are not always in agreement with one another, but when disagreement occurs it doesn’t mean anything bad. Fights of this nature teach your child about compromise, kindness, and healthy disagreement. This will help your child to develop into a well-adjusted young person with a healthy expectation of relationships and disagreement, as well as effective problem-solving skills.