Parents are their children's models in good times and bad. Our children watch us and learn. When parents are in conflict children learn where the power is. If the child's father intimidates a more submissive mother, boys can learn that that's what fathers do and that's how mothers should respond. The same is true in whatever roles the parents tend to play with one another. Conflict warrants fear and until and unless the child learns to make sense of the situation by talking about it with someone who can help, the child takes in the fear and turns it into whatever power play suits that child's personality.
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