This is one of the roots of “mental illness” and we’re all doing it aren’t we?
When we argue “mental illness” is hereditary don’t you think sick family dynamics might just possibly be one of the major problems??
And if we’re sensitive, don’t you think that even “normal” dysfunction can profoundly hurt and traumatize?? I think so. Absolutely.
But we are in a nation in denial. We do not own our dysfunction and happily pass it on to our children. Our whole society is set up to make our children suffer—then we grow up and suffer unless we choose to do the hard work. We need to wake up as a culture.
The family argument starts over something small. Your spouse promised to be home on time, and wasn’t. No apology followed. Resentment festers, and the argument escalates. Before long, it’s no longer about punctuality. It’s about respect. The volume goes up, the tone turns harsher, the wounds get deeper.
The kids are caught in the crossfire, just as you were when your own parents fought their wars of words. Or maybe you’re fighting with them, too, stamping out brush fires of teenage rebellion.
It’s just normal family tension, you tell yourself. But what if you knew the effect of such arguments could linger for more than a decade, clouding your child’s future?
There is new evidence that family arguing leaves a long-lasting imprint on children, diminishing their future happiness and ability to prosper in the world – even when the anger is verbal, not physical. The evidence comes from a landmark study that began more than 31 years ago in Quincy kindergartens, and continues with little fanfare today. The Simmons Longitudinal Study has followed more than 300 one-time kindergartners into adulthood, tracking them along the way, recording their childhood experiences, and matching that history against who they are in middle age. (read the rest here)