Children and adolescents are the ones who bare the brunt of unhealthy marital relationships. Fathers, in particular, who are in supportive relationships tend to be more sensitive and attentive and less hostile and negative with their children. (Click here to see Responsible Father Spotlike Facts).
While at one time or another you may parent an adolescent who slams the door at you and screams with passion “I hate you” when you enforce a rule or deny them a privilige, if this is not a one-time occurrance but a sentiment that is felt on a continual basis, it may be worthwhile to explore how the father-mother relationship is faring. If you feel isolated from your children and can’t seem to connect with them, don’t just assume that it’s an adolescent hormonal stage, evaluate your marital relationship. Children and adolescents have an uncanny ability to pick up on parents’ distress and may resort to assuming passive aggressive attitudes and acting out behaviors that can test your patience and all of your established boundaries. They feel the tension in the home and this spills over to their school work, social relationships and coping skills.
It’s interesting from the statistics noted that it’s not only adolescents and children that may feel like responding in a rebellious way, but fathers as well. When fathers do not feel connected with their partners, the tendency is for them to pull away from their children. So now you have fathers who alienate themselves from their children and children who respond aggressively and in negative ways. Why do you think that fathers do this? That when their marital relationships suffer – commonly they also pull away from their children’s lives? Why is that even though, children are not at fault, they are the ones that pay the penalty for unhealthy marital relationships? Whatever the reasons, what we do know is that fathers who have healthy relationships are more responsive to their children. This is a HUGE reason for why we need to invest in healthy relationships – ultimately we are investing in the lives of our children.