Your growing child’s diary…
Dad and mom just spoilt my one day of peace of mind!
There is never peace in this house. Our own house is nothing like Seyi’s house because his parents are always happy with each other. But for the first time in ages, my parents were talking and laughing together today, and I was really excited. In fact, I think they had been happy the whole day, because I noticed they were happy together this morning. But just a few moments after I ran downstairs to finish up my home work this evening, I heard both of them shouting at each other angrily from their room. I became sad again. I went upstairs to knock on the door of their room but as usual, they sent me away and said “nothing is happening, we are fine”. But they continued shouting at each other. When are my parents going to become friends everyday like Seyi’s parents?.
It’s never enough for parents to tell their children that “nothing is happening”, especially when they are glaringly shouting at each other. Peace in the home, or the lack of it, goes a long way in making or breaking a child. Studies have shown that children in homes where the parents constantly quarrel usually struggle with their academics, self-esteem, and tend to misunderstand the concept of love and harmony in life. It is important that parents keep their little ones totally out of their quarrels.
If on the one hand a child is already aware of the issues between his/her parents, but the parents have settled, it is recommended that the parents minimally involve the child in a post-reconciliation conversation, as though reconciliation was just happening e.g. both parents may simply apologise to each other before the child. This would go a long way in managing the child’s sensitivities or any damaging impact of the memories; it may also help the child understand forgiveness.
If on the other hand there are seemingly irreconcilable differences between the parents, and the child has become aware, (whether the child is being raised by both parents or by a single parent), it will be important for both parents to handle the situation with maturity; protect each other’s reputations with the child; and totally keep the child away from being further involved. This will in turn protect the child from dealing with offence or retaining bad memories of either parent; and may also help eliminate/limit the extent of damage to the child’s mind.
In any case, the parents may need to seek professional help for the child depending on the impact of the issues on the child.