Posted: Aug 03, 2012 6:00 AM
 
Juggling parenting and an adult relationship can be challenging, so it’s natural that an argument or two is bound to arise. But is it OK to fight in front of your kids when tempers flair? From how parents can fight fair to laying out the ground rules before you argue, learn when and how it’s OK to fight in front of your kids.

Resolve your issues

It's OK to argue in front of youngsters so long as the argument ends with a resolution. Showing kids that even though parents fight, they can still come to an agreement and love each other despite differences.

Avoid blame

Keeping statements focused on your own feelings during an argument can help both parties fight fair when children are around. Utilize those "I" statements and resist the urge to cast blame to reinforce the fact that expressing feelings is acceptable without the worry of scarring your children for life.

Lay down the rules before an argument arises

Long before feelings of frustrations boil over, parents should sit down and decide how arguments can be handled when in the presence of a young audience. Agree to avoid being abusive, refrain from asking kids to pick sides and even agree on a code word that lets the other partner know that an argument is getting out of hand.

Watching parents argue can be scary for children, but seeing them resolve their difference in positive ways can offer a great deal of security,

Short of yelling loudly in front of your infant or toddler, parents can know that having an argument in front of children is acceptable and normal. "Watching parents argue can be scary for children, but seeing them resolve their differences in positive ways can offer a great deal of security," advises Kathleen E. Finnegan, MA LPC. "If children can learn that couples and families can stay together, even through heated times, they will have a much easier time in their lives." Just commit to paying close attention to children's stress levels. It is OK to fight in front of your kids so long as you fight fair, but know when to table an argument for later.

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