Have you ever had an argument with your partner and regretted it later not only because you fought but also because you were fighting in front of kids? Of course, you have! I have been there too. It is not uncommon for even the most loving couples to argue and at times, in the heat of the moment, we fail to realise that our child has grown up and is at an impressionable age. If it were a utopian world, we would never argue in front of the kids. Since it is not, it is important to know how to ensure that it doesn’t hurt the children and actually becomes a lesson that teaches them a thing or two. Sounds too good to be true? Maybe but it is achievable.
Out of my own experience, which I don’t know is right or wrong but is definitely working, this is what my husband and I follow.
Be mindful of the words
It is very difficult to manipulate the tongue when it is no mood to listen and just wants to lash out the meanest and sharpest possible words but a little practise and being mindful of the child’s presence can help tone down the pitch and select words better. Name calling is a big no-no and try not to go too far back into the past and sling accusations when you argue.
Make the children witness the resolving bit too
If you ended up fighting in front of kids and then decided to send them off to their room to resolve it with your partner, you are committing a huge mistake. Your children saw you argue and if they do not see you make up, they will end up believing that you both only argue. Let them witness that arguments can end in happy resolutions and that things get to normal afterwards.
Let them know arguments are not bad
Arguing is not a bad thing and children need to know that. It is the ugly face the argument can easily take if words are used mindlessly that we need to keep them away from. Teach children that adults may not always agree on all issues and healthy differences and arguments are constructive. Argument is an art that the children need to learn as it will help them when they grow up.
Ensure that fights are temporary
Although the children themselves fight and punch each other one moment and hug the very next, parents fighting in front of kids, their minds get confused. It is important to ensure them that fights are just temporary and mom-dad love each other a lot. Strangely, in our country, parents fight in front of the kids but will never kiss in front of them! Displays of affection for your partner in front of your children make them understand that you both love each other too and give them a sense of security. If you are too ‘uncomfortable’ doing that, go out as a family and spend quality time together, laughing!