Parenting Trap #8: The ‘For the Sake of the Children’ Trap

Many parents in unhappy relationships feel like they need to stay together for the sake of the children. However, this can only be beneficial for children if parents are both committed to working on their relationship and do whatever they can to reduce conflict. Otherwise, staying together can create more harm than good.

Serious relationship problems should not be ignored. Children who live in families where there is a lot of conflict are more likely to develop emotional and behavioral problems as a response. Conflict can cause inconsistent parenting too, which can make child behavior problems worse.


What to try instead:

  • Work together to solve problems: While children who see their parents arguing and fighting often learn inappropriate ways to deal with conflict, letting your child see how you solve problems calmly is a great life lesson. When discussing disagreements in front of your child, avoid issues that cannot be easily solved and issues that involve arguing about parenting or discipline.   

For more parenting tips and tricks, follow the Exchange Family Center on social media (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn).