Tue 21 Apr
Your children mean the world to you, don’t they? Back to Blogs
You would do anything to give them the best social/emotional support and a sense of safety and security, right? Well, why then are you fighting with your partner in front of the kids?
You may think your child is so engaged in what they are doing and oblivious to the yelling and screaming coming from a different room but they are in fact listening to everything and their heart is silently breaking into a million little pieces.
The two people that mean the world to them and whom they are each a piece of are hurting one another. Children should never be made to take sides with their parents.
Frequent fighting causes children to struggle with anxiety, depression and behaviour issues from a young age and their home no longer becomes their safe and happy place to be.
All children deserve to live in a home that is generally loving and supportive of all family members. They want to see their parents displaying acts of kindness and love to one another so they can see what type of relationship they should seek when they are older.
Here are some tips for when arguments start:
1. Both partners need to keep their voices at a calm level.
2. Set a code word together that is used when you feel a conversation is getting out of control. This word can be said to remind each other to stop and continue the conversation later when the children are not around.
3. If your partner starts to argue, suggest you both have some time out until you calm down. If your partner continues to push for an argument then be prepared to go for a walk or take a drive until you have both calmed down.
4. Until you can continue the discussion without yelling, take notes of all the points that you want to make. This can help you have clarity and organise your thoughts. It can also help you to calm down.
5. Don’t feel like you have to “win” or be “right”. An argument means that the two of you have a problem to solve. Listen respectfully to each other’s points of view and see if there is a way that you can compromise.
6. Never, ever bring the children into your argument. Leave them out entirely.
7. If you have fought in front of the children, show the children how you have made up and apologise to them for having that argument in front of them. Explain that you are not proud of how you both argued and will do better next time to talk and compromise.
8. If you are really struggling to communicate without arguing all the time then seek professional help.
Having a disagreement in front of your children doesn’t have to be scary. In fact, if you keep the conversation civil then you are role modelling to children how to settle disagreements amicable or you are teaching them how to agree to disagree without it hurting the relationship.