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Is It Right To Fight In Front Of Your Child?

Yesterday my husband and I were arguing over some topic. We started it when Vibhu, our boy, was asleep. We thought it was the best time as our 3-year-old was sleeping and he would not be able to witness the tiff. However, during our little-heated discussion, he woke up. He came to us in the next room and sat next to his father. When we were silent for few minutes, he said  "Baat karo aap log, mai baitha hoo yahi.." We both burst into laughter. So, we continued our argument. And when I raised my voice a tone above, Vibhu interrupted me saying "Mumma, Papa ki baat mano.."  Strangely, he took it absolutely positive.

Most of the posts on the topic "Is It Right To Fight In Front Of Your Child" state that argument in front of kids is a big NO NO. It emotionally damages them. They feel scared when they find their role models, their parents, fighting with each other. Kids who witness anger, heated emotions and battles between their parents, are most likely to go into depression and low self-esteem in their later life. I agree with this theory. But I also stand by expectations of this matter. Marital conflicts can be constructive and destructive, both. And it is very obvious that constructive arguments help the relationship. Whereas a couple should avoid destructive arguments. As per a few research, fights between parents can be helpful for kids. Researchers say it’s not the amount or intensity of fighting that matters but how parents fight. If the fights make them feel less safe, it’s bad. But if the conflict doesn’t threaten their emotional safety of kids, it might be good. So, not all the fights affect kids.

I also feel the same. I have grown up seeing my parents fighting on diverse matters. And most of the fights stopped on a happy note. Either my father or mother realized the cause of the conflict and then corrected it also. When I grew up, I started playing a mediator. Sometimes, two people, who are fighting, don't acknowledge each other's valid points. And a third person can play a useful role in making them realize what is right. I used to help one of them understanding the viewpoint of the other. There are many things that I learned from their fights only. And now I am applying them in my married life.

Conflicts are obvious. Most parents hide their conflicts. They want to present a united front, and they don’t want kids to worry. However, hiding disagreement is creating a false impression for the kids. Our kids need to learn the value of thoughtful disagreement. They need to understand that conflicts are part of life and they can think differently with other people at any point in their life. Sadly, many parents teach kids that if they disagree with someone, it’s polite to hold their tongues. The best way to make kids ready for conflict is to show disagreements openly in front of them. When parents disagree with each other, kids learn to think for themselves. They discover that no authority has a monopoly on truth. They become more tolerant of ambiguity.

Howbeit, parents should also keep in mind that their disagreement never makes kids feel unsafe. They should accept their conflicts as "thinking together" rather than presenting it as a friction in front of the kids. Make it a debate, listen to the other partner in between, watch your words and gesture, and create it a positive disagreement. Kids should know that their parents can think different but the key to happiness is thinking together and coming to a common point even if it needs an argument.

This post is for #MONDAYMOMMYMOMENTS and linked with Deepa and Amrita.
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Comments

  1. A balanced post.Thoughtful disagreement is a valid point indeed.Children need to learn how to habdke conflict.Totally agree .#MondayMommyMoments

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