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Mansi Khandelwal

JWB Blogger

Psychiatrist Anita Gautam Explains How A Fight With Your Partner Affects Your Child’s Behavior

  • JWB Post
  •  November 15, 2016


Parents are our first school of learning. It is generally said that children are like sponges who are constantly absorbing the world around them.

A lot of times we hear and address the expectations parents have for their children. But this time, we take a moment to understand the behavioral roles of parents and how they affect the lives of their little ones.

We spoke to our favorite psychiatrist Dr. Anita Gautam from Gautam Hospital and Research Centre, Jaipur. We asked her:

“What impact do the conflicts between partners have on their children?”

“Parents must know that they are the first medium of education for their children. Everything that they do and say has a direct impact on their kids. So this transfer of knowledge and energy from parents to kids creates both a negative and a positive impact. Fighting in the presence of the children leads to behavioral problems. These problems can be both physical and mental. Generally, young kids do not know how to vent out their emotions so they generally end up saying they have a headache or a stomachache and as parents, we blame on their eating and living habits. But sometimes we need to identify the real cause behind such issues. They can even suffer depression and might create social adjustment problems for them.”

What is the impact of disrespecting elders (in-laws, relatives etc) in front of the kids?

“This is a very common trait to be seen among parents. When we are angry and disturbed, we don’t really take notice of who’s around us. So if children see their parents disrespecting their elders, they will learn the same. They will not learn or believe what their parents otherwise teach them because their minds learn and adapt from what they see instead of what they are ‘theoretically taught.’”

What will the kids learn from parents who criticize others behind their back?

“Well, not just parents but nobody should ever do this! This kind of backbiting results in a lack of trust among children. They learn to become negative and once they start behaving the same way as their parents, it creates problems among their friends. They even at times get insecure about their own trust with their parents.”

What do kids learn from the way the housemaids and other helpers are treated?

“As elders, parents should be careful the way they treat their helpers. Since children spend most of their time at home, they learn and absorb the act and nature of their parents. So if the parents do not treat the helpers well, they go on to re-enact them in their own relationships when they reach adulthood.”

How do trust issues between parents impact children?

“When children sense something is wrong between their parents, it often increases their anxiety and perpetual worry. Though children are obviously less mature than their parents, they often feel they must take care and are responsible for the emotional needs of everyone. This undue pressure can leave a child feeling depressed and stressed.”

One tip you would like to give to parents.

“The only thing I request to all my patients is to spend as much quality time as you can with your kids because no book or school can teach them the value of lives the way parents can. But this in itself shoulders great responsibility on the parents. They have to watch their deeds to make their kids better human beings.”

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