Parenting : Do’s And Dont’s While Arguing In Front Of Kids

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Hi, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody for the overwhelming response to my earlier posts in this platform. Being a newly promoted mom, I am always anxious to share the nuances of my new journey with you all.

The festive season is just around the corner and people are busy shopping, planning and…… debating. Yes, you heard it right; there goes my topic of the article- wanted or unwanted arguments about the smallest of things which create the biggest of confusion.

How many times have you and your partner reached a consensus on each and every topic? Not very often I guess.

I personally go through these stages before we end up the worst level:

Discussion

It is very important in any relationship. It is quite healthy to keep discussing issues or normal things to keep the communication going. I try to stay quite calm in this phase, but start building a virtual fortress for defending my point of saying. But still I am ‘open to discussion’ and ready to listen to the other person.

Arguing

It is healthy as long as it is constructive and provides a solution in the end. Arguments are necessary to put a point forward. But in cases in ends in a brawl leading to unpleasant consequences. Once I start arguing, I just want to make sure I am heard completely  which always doesn’t happen. But I try my best to pacify and not move to the next phase by diverting the topic, but that also doesn’t work at times.

Fighting

This is one of the worst kind of outcome that can happen between two people in a family. Heated arguments can also lead physical repercussion and mental trauma. We consciously or unconsciously move into a mode where we want just want to ‘fight it out’. I am not very good at this and always end up in a mess. My voice rises along with my temper and then I tend to lose track of what I was fighting about.

Fighting in front of the kids:

This is the possibly the worst it can go from a family perspective (barring all other possibilities). However, we try not to fight in front of our kids, it always sparks up – from some remark or comment or disagreement. Yesterday we fought in front our infant and felt so ashamed later. With my daughter as a silent and baffled spectator, me and my hubby was at a loss of words to say to our little one after a verbose exchange.

It is very difficult to evaluate the exact reason for fighting or list down possible cause or say that we will not fight in front of the kids. The human mind is tuned with basic human instincts to love, hate, care quarrel and lot more. Hence we might at times pick up a fight in front of kids even though we want to avoid. I am sure many of us feel it is most un-appropriate thing to do, but what to do when the damage has already been done?

Sharing a few of those do’s and dont’s about fighting in front of your kids:

1) Vent it out:

It is better not to hold back your anger or disappointment because your kids are watching. It might have worse consequences on your relationship. It is better to let it out and finish what has been started. Else kids might fill in the unspoken words with their wild imagination. According to Dana Dorfman, Ph.D., a psychotherapist and family counselor in New York City, “Unspoken tension can be more stressful than actual fighting.” (I did a bit of research since is a sensitive topic).

2) Make it a fair game:

We might fight on some petty issues or a serious one, but avoid using dirty or demeaning words, swearing on something harsh or even name-calling. It is very difficult to control anger in a fit of rage, so you might want to take a break, walk away and calm down. Physical confrontation should be completely avoided. Kids need the assurance that their parents love each other even if they are fighting now.

3) Make them understand:

It is a good idea to follow-up with your kids later an assure them that as couples, they might have fought, but as parents they both love them and love each other. Though my infant would not understand, I made up a story that mommy and daddy had a play and so they were practicing. It might be a good idea to tell them a nice story to cover it up as long as they are not old enough to understand.

4) Don’t make them the subject of the fight:

It is not a good idea to fight about kids in front of them. One parent might be taking their side and another opposing them. It might give them the wrong notion. They might start feeling someone likes me more and someone doesn’t. They might feel they can ask for anything from someone and hide from another. Moreover, they start feeling an emotional disconnect.

5) Make even:

If your kids see you fighting, it is better to see you make up too. You might have patched up but it is equally important that your kid also see you do ‘the bhab’ (a Bengali term for patch up). It should appear more like a friendly end to a misunderstanding and a key for good parenting.

The best way to ensure a healthy environment for a growing child in their formative years is to avoid any kind of verbal and physical confrontation between parents. But in the worst of situations, the above pointers can help you to manage the aftermath better.

You must be thinking why the topic of fighting amid all the happiness of festivals. Actually sometimes a dent in the mind of a child during such times can leave a long lasting effect.

What is your mantra to make up after a fight in front of your kids? Share with us.

So always keep up the spirit of your family and give your child a healthy upbringing. Happy Parenting!!

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