April 26 2019. You could be forgiven for thinking it’s just another regular day. Coffee, followed by work, broke by some coffee, followed by work and finished with a nice glass of wine or a lovely cup of tea…

Except that it wasn’t just any regular day.  It was the day Taylor Swift’s newest single dropped. And with a new song comes a new music video.  In case you haven’t had the chance yet to enjoy her newest creation here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuXNumBwDOM

Whilst admittedly it is no “You Belong with Me” or “Blank Space” video (because what can compete with them really) it did resonate with me, for one main reason (not including the fact that the male protagonist gifts Taylor a cat).

The pivotal moment happens at about 30 seconds in.  Taylor is arguing with the male protagonist in a language I certainly didn’t recognise (thank goodness for subtitles).  Amidst the arguing and chaos Taylor throws her arms in the air and exclaims “and in front of our daughters!”

Anyone who is a fan of Taylor will know she does not have children in the usual sense, but rather two adorable fur babies, Meredith and Olivia.  This is them:

Cute right?  People probably say the same thing about your children.  But no matter how cute they are, exposure to parental conflict can still do irreparable damage to children.  Arguments and conflict are unavoidable in relationships, and can become particularly heightened at the time of, and just following, separation.  But at the top of every family lawyer’s list of things to not do, is exposing your children to the conflict.

Parental conflict can have serious impacts on children’s emotional wellbeing, their mental health and their development.  It can effect their physical health and impact their day to day functioning, including their relationships with others, and their progress at school.  Children exposed to parental conflict are at a greater risk of developing emotional, social and behavioural problems, as well as difficulties with concentration and focus, and as a result, academic achievement.

Children who are regularly exposed to conflict in their home environment often develop insecure attachments, adjustment issues and anxiety issues.  They struggle to feel safe and secure in their home environment.

Not only can it effect your children’s wellbeing, it can severely and detrimentally impact your relationship with your children, particularly if they are older children.  Children who are placed in the middle of parental conflict by their parents often have poorer relationships with their parents than those who aren’t.

It is therefore, of vital importance that children have a home environment, or in some situations, two or more home environments, where they feel safe, secure and loved. And to achieve this means, keeping them out of the conflict.

The Family Court has created a fact sheet on children being exposed to family conflict.  It is worth a read for everyone, whether you think it applies to you or not.

The fact sheet can be found by clicking on the following link: http://www.familycourt.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/9760678b-1fb7-4a68-bfc0-0d1bfa4fab4a/FS_ParentalConflict_1113V2_web_a.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CONVERT_TO=url&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE-9760678b-1fb7-4a68-bfc0-0d1bfa4fab4a-lLd3bjs