Skip 
Navigation Link
Child & Adolescent Development: Overview
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
These Sports Are Most Likely to Send Young Americans to the ERNature Nurtures KidsClimate Change Will Hurt Kids Most, Report WarnsTough Childhoods Can Leave a Lifetime of Harm, Experts SayMany U.S. Parents Can't Find a Psychiatrist to Help Their ChildAnti-Vaxxers Find Ways Around States' 'Personal Exemption' BansMake a Plan for Gardening Next Spring With Your KidsCheck Those Halloween Treats So They're Safe to EatFast-Food Outlet in Neighborhood Could Mean Heavier Kids: StudyAntihistamines Linked to Delayed Care for Severe Allergic Reaction: StudyPain Twice as Common for Kids With Autism: StudyPediatricians' Group Calls for More Research on Artificial SweetenersExperts Support Weight-Loss Surgery for Very Obese KidsHalloween Can Be Frightful for Kids With Allergies, AsthmaLawn Mowers May Be Even More Dangerous for Rural KidsHow Young Is Too Young to Leave Kids Home Alone?Skiing, Snowboarding Injuries Most Severe Among Younger KidsKids' Trampoline Injuries Take Another Bounce UpwardsCan More Exercise Improve Thinking Skills in Cancer Survivors?Secondhand Smoke May Harm Kids' EyesScientists Spot Signs of Virus Behind Disease Paralyzing KidsHow to Keep Halloween Fun and SafeFor Kids With Genetic Condition, Statins May Be LifesaversNone of Top-Selling Kids' Drinks Meet Experts' Health RecommendationsChildhood Risk Factors Can Predict Adult ObesityA Parent's Guide to Managing Kids' Asthma During the FallFarm-to-Table Movement Goes to SchoolAHA News: High Triglycerides Caused a Diet Change – at Age 10Kids + Gadgets = Less Sleep and More Risk for Unwanted WeightCause of Paralyzing Illness in Kids Remains ElusiveHealth Tip: Preventing Backpack InjuriesFor Kids With Asthma, Depression Makes ER Visit More LikelyFor Poor Kids, Less Time Spent on Reading, Exercise: StudyTrain Tracks Deadly for Kids, But Many Parents Underestimate the DangerAll That Screen Time Won't Hurt Your Kid's Grades - MaybeDoes Parents' Smoking Raise Future Heart Risks for Kids?Anemia During Pregnancy Tied to Higher Odds for Autism, ADHD in KidsParents, Throw the Garden at Your Picky EaterA Good Night's Sleep Is Key to School SuccessHealth Tip: Helping Children Adjust to a MoveKids Often Prescribed Drugs 'Off-Label,' Raising ConcernsExperts' Guide to Trampoline SafetyDon't Let Kids Wander Alone in Parking LotsMost U.S. Parents Say Vaccination Should Be Requirement for School: PollIf a Child's Schoolwork Slips, Don't Rule Out Hearing LossNurturing Childhood Boosts Odds of a Happy Adult Life: StudyKids in Poor Neighborhoods Face Higher Odds for Obesity as AdultsA Prescription for Medicating Your Child SafelyIs a Charter School the Right Choice for Your Child?Health Tip: Mental Illness Warning Signs
LinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses
Parenting
Child Development & Parenting: Infants (0-2)
Child Development & Parenting: Early (3-7)
Child Development & Parenting: Middle (8-11)
Childhood Special Education
Child Development Theory: Adolescence (12-24)

What Happens to the Children When Parents Fight?

HealthDay News
by By Len Canters
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Jul 25th 2019

new article illustration

THURSDAY, July 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- "Don't fight in front of the kids."

Sounds like familiar advice that's been passed down from generation to generation. But as it turns out, it's not always the fighting, but rather the way you fight that can have a negative -- or a positive -- effect on your children.

Researchers E. Mark Cummings and Patrick Davies have studied this topic for decades. They say hearing parents argue in a positive, constructive way can actually boost a child's development, from learning better social skills to doing better in school.

On the other hand, whether you go behind closed doors to fight or argue in front of your kids, if you do it in a mean-spirited way, you create a stressful environment that can affect their psychological development. It can also lead to behavioral problems, especially if kids are drawn into the arguments. Kids also get the wrong message when one parent tries to stop fights by giving in, especially if he or she is resentful or simply shuts down communication.

Taking a positive approach to arguments is better for kids and your relationship. Rather than having the mindset of an adversary prepared for battle, look at the situation from your partner's point of view to understand his or her perspective. If both of you do this, it will be easier to find solutions. Whether the fight is over a transgression or a difference in opinion, resist being critical and show kindness, an important behavior to model to your children that teaches them how to handle difficult situations in their own lives.

More information

The Urban Child Institute has more on how stress can affect children from a very early age.