Can marital discord make children nervous?
I have two children, one of whom is seven years old and the other is five. My husband, thanks to Allah, belongs to a good family, performs his prayers on a regular basis, and memorizes the Holy Qur’an; but he acts extremely violently towards me and our two children, and always quarrels with us. He also does not bear seeing the children quarrel with each other or make loud noise, whether through crying, laughing, or brawling.
Accordingly, he often beats them harshly and always curses his luck they are not as calm as other children. Also, he always blames me for their noise and asks me to calm them down, otherwise he will beat them.
I have tried to change their temper but it showed up that it is not easy to do this, as the children are not mature enough to understand what I want to say. The most dangerous thing now is that the old child (7) has been experiencing sudden bursts of rage that drive him to hit his head against the wall in a hysterical manner, which made me very confused.
Sometimes, I try to take them to my family’s home away from my husband so that they may calm down and he may also relax again, but as soon as we return, he flares up and starts to struggle with them again! I got tired and exhausted.
Noting that my husband lost his job 6 months ago, and he stays home all the time!
Are the differences between me and my husband behind the state of nervousness that my seven-year-old son has reached? Are their quarrels and violence with each other a reaction to our inter-family tension that we are experiencing? Is this state treatable? Is there a likely treatment for the condition that my older son has reached?
- Childhood is considered the most important stage in a person’s life, during which his personality starts to form. Therefore, the future of a person’s life depends on this stage: where he will be either a normal healthy person or a psychopath, given the fact that almost all mental illnesses arise from a misunderstanding of the nature and requirements of this age span. One of the main causes of occurrence of such misunderstanding is the marital discord between spouses.
- Children who live in a family that undergoes a state of marital discord, will inevitably be exposed to the negative impact of such conflict in one way or another to the extent that stress resulting from marital discord may hinder children's development of cognitive ability. A child who lives with two parents who are in continued conflict, always screaming at one another in every single situation, will surely feel that such conditions threaten his stability and calm. A child in these circumstances often feels greatly confused while he is watching quietly and silently all the ongoing events around him. This will eventually make a child feel unsettled and uncared for. Although he does not show any reaction, yet he stores these events in his memory, which will certainly have their impact on his personality later.
- Thus, the marital conflict and fighting between parents in front of their children badly affects the children’s psychological conditions, emotions and feelings.
- The conflict between parents has serious symptoms that may seriously affect children. The wrong behavior of parents and the family disorder that they cause will certainly have its impact on the behavior and personality of children. The serious effects of marital discord on children include the following:
1- Disruption in children’s commitment to rules and indifference towards parents’ directions.
2- Distrust of parents.
3- Impaired child growth: Some studies in Western societies indicated that the parental conflict before children may lead to disruption of the child’s growth due to emergence of problems such as child’s loss of appetite, or a slow-down in the function of digestion system due to an imbalance in the secretion of some glands. Parental conflict may also slow down recovery of ill children and restoration of health and well-being, and may also lead to other complications.
4- Deviant social behavior: The parental conflict and lack of mutual understanding may provide a child the favorable conditions that may drive him to commit a deviant social behavior.
5- Destruction of morale: the marital conflict leads to demoralization of children and deeply rooting anxiety and turbulence in them.
6- Children’s lack of security: At a time when the need to feel safe is one of the most important psychological needs that should be provided to the child, marital discord leads to failure to satisfy this need; because the child may lose those who take care of him as a result of their inter-parental differences. However, this bad effect doubles when the child becomes aware of the family social structure and his need to the existence of both parents in his life.
7- Distorting and even destroying the ideal image of one or both parents before the child: The inter-parental quarrelling hurts the child and distorts the ideal image he keeps for his parents, which leaves a negative impact on his life
8- Low self-confidence.
9- Children seem more nervous and disobedient at home.
Therefore, dear sister: The problem basically lies in the nature of the relationship between you and your husband. If the relationship between improves, the children will calm down, but perhaps this will not occur immediately or at once, as you will both need to provide some treatment to fix what has been broken in your children, and they will certainly be fine, Allah willing.
We cannot turn a blind eye to the issue of your husband's unemployment, as it is the cause of many family tensions, your husband’s bad mood and violence. Therefore, you should help him find a job through your relatives or acquaintances, or thinking about starting a small project to run, such as a small grocery store, a stationary shop, etc.
Also, you should quickly take your children to a psychotherapist to prescribe some programs and games that will help you in treatment of your children, Allah willing.