Tips to Avoid Arguing in Front of Your Children
By Randi Morse
Even if you have an extremely strong relationship with your spouse, there will definitely come a time when you get into an argument. If you have young children around, arguing in front of them can have a devastating lifelong effect. Some experts say that you should never argue in front of children while others say that arguing in front of children helps teach them a healthy way to argue and resolve problems. Whether you agree or disagree about whether you should argue in front of your children, there are a few rules you should put in place with your significant other.
Never Argue About the Kids
It's almost impossible to put an argument away until the kids are safely tucked into bed and sleeping. While it may not be extremely detrimental for children to see their parents arguing, it is never a good idea to argue about your children while you are in front of them. By doing this you're exposing them to conflict and guilt. They are likely to start thinking that all of the fighting is their fault, bringing their self-esteem and self-worth down dramatically. If you are going to fight about the children, always make sure that it is after they have gone to bed and are sleeping or that they are completely out of earshot.
Present a United Front
Parents who don't present a united front are much more likely to have disciplinary issues with their children. This is why it's vital to present a united front for the children. If your spouse is disciplining your children and you disagree with how they're doing it, wait until after the parent is done to address the situation. Unless, of course, they are employing corporal punishment or harming the children in some other way. Calmly pull your spouse aside and explain where you're coming from and why you disagree with their chosen method of discipline.
Stop Arguing About 'You'
When you're arguing with your spouse, try to avoid using the word "you." As in "you never help me out," or "you don't back me up." Instead, try telling your spouse what you need. "I'd really like some backup when I'm trying to get the kids to bed," or "I'm really falling behind in chores and would love more help around the house." By taking "you" out of the conversation you're making it less about blame and more about communication.
If you argue in front of your children, always keep it civil. Avoid using swear words or calling each other names. Remember that your children will mirror your behavior as they grow so teaching them how to resolve conflicts civilly is important.
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