Married couples with children might need to consider the effect of their arguments even on their very youngest child. According to Time, a new study published in Child Development finds that marital stress or instability when a baby is nine-months-old can be connected with a baby's sleep problems when the child becomes just a bit older.
The study suggests that even babies can detect when there is parental strife. With this study, marital stress was assessed through questions asked to married couples, mostly to middle-class, white, educated individuals. If a couple had a great amount of marital instability in their relationship based on the questions, they were more likely to report that their children had sleep problems. Examples of these problematic sleep habits can include falling asleep, staying asleep or frequent night wakings.
"Even if they're not able to cognitively comprehend what's going on, if there's some level of stress, it can still influence an infant in some way," Anne Mannering, an instructor in human development and family sciences at Oregon State University, said in Time. "It's important for parents to be aware of. We certainly don't want to stress parents out, but we know that within families, different relationships can influence others."
So if you want what's best for your kids, perhaps you should discuss issues that arise regarding divorce or separation with as much reasonableness as possible. Parents will often each hire their own attorney so that a peaceful resolution can be established when it comes to splitting up. Together or apart, what's most important is that both parents have the child's best interest at heart.