A child who is affected by parental relationship distress (CAPRD) is a child whose parents are experiencing intimate partner distress, violence, acrimonious divorce, unfair disparagement of one partner by another, or parental alienation. Any type of conflict between parents can be damaging to children, even if it does not involve violence.
Parents going through a divorce, or who are caught in a vicious battle, often have no idea how to shield their children from the resulting emotional distress. Unfortunately, the children of these parents often suffer in silence. This can have long-term consequences for them as they grow into adulthood.
In this blog post, I will explore what CAPRD is, and offer some tips on how to help children who are struggling with this condition.
Child Affected by Parental Relationship Distress – what is the impact?
There are many ways in which children can be affected by their parents’ relationship distress. They may witness the conflict between their parents, overhear negative things said about the other parent, or feel caught in the middle of their parents’ disagreements. They may also worry about their own safety or the safety of their siblings or other family members.
A child affected by parental relationship distress will often feel scared, confused, and helpless. They may have trouble sleeping, lose interest in activities they used to enjoy, or have trouble concentrating in school. They may also act out in angry or aggressive ways, or withdraw from friends and family.
The effects of CAPRD can be devastating for children. They may experience anxiety, depression, anger, and a range of other emotions. They may also have difficulty forming relationships themselves as adults. It is therefore important that parents take steps to protect their children from the negative consequences of parental relationship distress.
How to protect your child who is struggling with CAPRD
If you are a parent who is experiencing relationship distress, there are things you can do to help your child.
First, it is important to try to keep the conflict between you and your partner as calm as possible.
Second, be sure to spend time with your child and let them know that you love them.
Third, talk to your child about what is going on and explain things in a way that they can understand. This will help to provide a sense of security for the child.
Finally, parents should seek help if they are struggling to cope with their own emotions. There are many resources available, and talking to a friend, family member or mental health professional can be very helpful. The most important thing is to remember that the child’s well-being should be the top priority.
It is also very important to ensure that the child has a strong and stable relationship with both parents. This can be difficult if the parents are no longer together, but it is essential for the child’s well-being.
How to protect yourself if you are a child who is affected by parental relationship distress
If you are a child who is affected by parental relationship distress, there are also things you can do to help yourself.
First, it is important to talk to someone about what you are going through. This could be a friend, family member, teacher, counsellor, or therapist.
Second, try to take care of yourself by eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, and exercise.
Third, do things that make you feel good, such as spending time with friends, listening to music, or reading.
Finally, remember that this situation is not your fault and that you are not alone.
In conclusion, CAPRD is a serious issue that can have a profound effect on children. If you are a parent experiencing relationship distress, there are things you can do to help your child. And if you are a child affected by parental relationship distress, there are also things you can do to help yourself. The most important thing is to seek help if needed, and to remember that you are not alone.
For Further Reading
You might also want to check out the following posts about narcissistic families and the impact of childhood trauma:
- SoNM (Sons of Narcissistic Mothers)
- SoNF (Sons of Narcissistic Fathers)
- DoNF (Daughters of Narcissistic Fathers)
- DoNM (Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers)
- ACoNs (Adult Children of Narcissists)
- Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers – What You Need to Know
- Daughters of Narcissistic Fathers (DoNF) – The Struggle of Growing Up in a Narcissistic Family
- The Narcissistic Family Golden Child
- The Narcissistic Family Scapegoat
- The Narcissistic Parent and the Enabler
- Narcissistic Family Roles: The Complicated Dynamics of Narcissistic Families
- Breaking the Intergenerational Cycle of Family Abuse
- Emotional Abuse as a Child Linked to Adult Chronic Pain
- CAPDR – Child affected by parental relationship distress
- Adverse Childhood Experiences and PTSD: What’s the Connection?
- The Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on Puberty
- Learning how to Trust and Love after Adverse Childhood Experiences
- Parentification: The Role of the Parentified Child in Narcissistic Families
- What is Codependency and how to overcome it
- Resilience – the ability to bounce back after adversity
- Is the Golden Child destined to become a Narcissist?
- Secrets and Shame: The Corrosive Impact of Family Secrets
- How to Deal with a Narcissistic Sibling: Tips for Navigating Family Drama
- Going through the stages of grief for my lost childhood
- 10 Symptoms of Daughters of Narcissistic Fathers
- 10 Symptoms of Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers
- The Narcissist Mother – How to Identify and Deal with this Personality Type
- How to Deal with a Narcissistic Mother-in-Law: Protect Your Relationship
- How does a narcissistic mother behave?
- What Happens to Children of Narcissistic Fathers?
- How to Recognize and Respond to Emotional Abuse from Parents
- The Negative Impact of Growing Up with a Narcissistic Parent
- Do daughters of narcissistic mothers become narcissists?
- The 6 Survival Strategies used by Narcissistic Family Scapegoats
- Parental Alienation: The Destructive Impact on Parents and Children
And finally, this is my story. I was the scapegoat daughter of a narcissistic father.
E. Child Affected by Parental Relationship Distress. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2016 Jul;55(7):571-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2016.04.018. Epub 2016 May 13. PMID: 27343884. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27343884/
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