Is It Okay To Argue In Front Of Your Child?

Sad girl listening to her parents arguing
Sad girl listening to her parents arguing

The life of a couple is not a long calm river, especially when you have children! Parents are first and foremost a couple, with ups and downs, and arguments sometimes break out. But then how to make your child happy despite the tensions that hover?

Here are some ideas to note:

Arguments are part of the couple and of family life

We will never find someone who looks 100% like us.  So sometimes, it happens that the two partners argue, that they do not agree on the education of their children, that they are too stressed and tired to take care of their couple … But that’s all quite normal, each couple goes through such phases. The power of a couple is to go through it all together, like a team.

What goes on in a child’s head when their parents argue?

The child sees his home and his parents as a real cocoon in which he feels safe. So at the slightest argument, he asks himself the question “will my parents separate?” “. This is all the more true as the number of divorces increases and as there are more and more single-parent families.  Arguments are part of everyday life: in-laws, financial difficulties, children’s education, work, the distribution of household chores … But a child quickly finds himself overwhelmed by his emotions, which confuses him. His primary fear is that his parents will no longer take care of him if they separate. He is also afraid of taking sides if his parents are arguing, which plunges him into real guilt. He, therefore, assimilates the argument to separation and imagines different scenarios. 

Ways to Handle Arguments In Front Of your Kids

Moderate your arguments to avoid disturbing your child

In an ideal world, it is best to wait until the time when the children are in bed and the two partners are alone to have a discussion and settle a conflict. 

Just like sexual relations and strong marks of affection, arguments related to married life are part of the couple’s intimacy. Parents must therefore have the modesty to isolate themselves during an argument, as they do when they want a hug. When he sees his parents in love, when he feels the communion, the complicity, the love between his parents, he feels safe. The love his parents have for each other is a sign of unity for him.

Reconciliation must happen in front of them

An argument can have a positive impact on children if it teaches them that it is possible to be reconciled. It is therefore important that, if the dispute took place in front of the children, the reconciliation also takes place in front of them. If the child witnesses an argument between his parents but the parents reconcile face to face, then they should explain to him that they are no longer angry. It is important for children to understand that even if their parents argue from time to time, it does not undermine their love and commitment to each other. Parents need to teach their offspring that arguing is not synonymous with war, hatred, or divorce.

Most importantly, parents need to exonerate their child if the child has witnessed their argument. They must explain to him that it is not for nothing that mum and dad disagree on a point but that they are looking for a solution, that there is nothing to worry about because this is normal and is part of life. Parents need to take responsibility and explain to their child that he or she was not the subject of their argument. They can show their love for him to make him understand that they still love him and that the conflict was not serious. And also inform her that her parents still love each other and that they are not going to separate. 

We must not allow the child to suffer from it

We must also understand that the child does not differentiate between a small argument and a big argument. It is for this reason that parents should not argue violently in front of children: no insults, no physical violence, no threats, no yelling, and screaming. Because this type of argument could really traumatize the child. If you feel the conflict is going to take a more violent turn, send your child to their bedroom. In return, the dispute is educational. The child, through a conflict between his parents, learns not only that an argument is not synonymous with war,

Your arguments as a couple do not make you unworthy parents. It’s up to you to explain these disputes, to take stock of things, and to temper to protect your little ones! To help you communicate better, discover the Fantastic Couple program to reconnect as a couple.

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