Sophie's World Blog

How to fight (not fight) in front of the child?

How to fight (not fight) in front of the child?

It could happen to all of us at any time when we just simply can’t behave and we start to shout at our partner in front of the child. Is it wrong? How can we handle our relationship conflicts when the child is there, and we don’t want to terrify them?

Every family deals with the same conflicts more or less, the only difference is how we can handle them. It may depend in our upbringing, our family model, experiences from earlier, our personality, our value system and of course, our current relationship.

A well-functioning, accustomed couple can easily handle the insignificant situation and leave the more important topics for later, between four eyes, when the child is sleeping or not at home. Maybe they can go away for a few days just to settle their ranks, where they can concentrate only on each other and for the problem they have.

But what is happening with those who can’t work out their problems that easily? The child can be wounded? We just could not say that clearly.

For that, we need to count on other facts:

  • How often do the quarrels and arguments occur?
  • What causes them? Do they also involve the kids?
  • How long do they last? How do they end?
  • What is the child doing during conflicts? Watching TV, sitting there with you, sleeping in his room, or playing?
  • How does the kid react during the argument? And after? Does he become defiant? Or impracticable? Sad? Lacks appetite? Have bad dreams? Repeats what he has heard and seen?

The parents’ behavior always affects the children’s life.

When the parents are arguing, the kids get anxious: they don’t understand what are their parent are debating about, why are the so mean and rough to each other. They’re frightened, because they like both of their parents, and sadly, sometimes we involve them in the argument, and asking them who is right or who is wrong?

If we continuously have an argument in front of the child, it’s going to eventually appear in their behavior.

  • Their academic record will go down; attention problems may come up; hardly motivated
  • Sleep difficulties: can hardly fall asleep, bad dreams, sleepwaking
  • Peeing in their sleep
  • Eating problems, nail chewing
  • Behavioral problems, aggression, defiance, and straying.

Most of the time, the child will blame himself about what happened. If one or more of above mentioned syndromes can be observed, it’s highly suggested to visit a psychologist and handle the distress and solve the family arguments.

How to quarrel well:

  • Try to argue not in front of the child where he can see and hear you.
  • If there are a lot of problems in a family, try to explain to the kid what is going on, try this in his own language, to help him understand clearer. If we assure them that we are working hard to solve the problem, but we need a little more time, kids will accept the situation and will give less attention to the problem.
  • If the arguments ends with a compromise and reconciliation, that is a good example for them: they can see, how we may not agree in everything but we still love each other.
  • Don’t involve them in the argument! Don’t ask them to take sides because that will just increase their anxiety; they love both of their parents.
  • Communicate the truth, our valid and real feelings, what we really think about the issue. Otherwise, the kid will be confused, and won’t understand if we smile while we shout, and cry.
  • Tell your child about your feelings, if you are sad, angry, pained, confused, or why we can’t play with him now. We are not angry at him, and we love him.

It is quite hard to argue nicely, but it’s not impossible.

The main thing is, if we can try to see each other’s opinion well, we can move through each conflict. Learn to overrule our emotions and try to communicate well about our feelings and thoughts. And always take care of the child; never forget to calm and reassure them. They understand everything if we talk to them with care and attention and of course, with a big, big box of love.

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Copyright: Zsófia Michelin-Corporatum Oy, Content pictures copyrigh: Shutterstock, Development: e-Com