The Price Kids Pay for Watching Their Parents Fight

Two guests who grew up in a household watching their parents fight all the time say they still feel the effects 15 years later. They explain to Dr. Phil some of the traits they see in themselves that they believe stem from living in a war zone:


  • Being clingy
  • Insecurity
  • Low self-esteem
  • A lack of belonging, feeling lost
  • Guilt and shame
  • No impulse control
  • Feelings of helplessness
  • Exhibiting aggressive behavior themselves
  • Yelling at their own kids
  • Feeling fearful, unsure of the future
  • Embarrassed to bring friends over
When there are vague and ambiguous things in a child's life, they tend to fill it in to their detriment. "Somehow, this must be my fault," they tell themselves. Kids also think that it's their job to fix things. "Imagine how terrible it is for them to hold themselves responsible for something over which they have absolutely no control," Dr. Phil says. For more information, read: Stop Fighting In Front of the Kids and Action Plan to Avoid Fighting in Front of the Kids

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