LivingArguing in front of the children: what should we...

Arguing in front of the children: what should we take into account

Although we know that life is not always a bed of roses, surely we all want our relationship to be harmonious and positive. However, and this is a fact of life, there will be times when we have differences with our partner.

Many times when this happens we usually wait until our children have gone to bed, but arguing in front of the children is not always a bad thing and even, with respect and good manners, it could be a valuable learning opportunity for them.

Arguing is not the same as fighting

Before continuing I would like to clarify that arguing and fighting are two different things. A discussion is a conversation in which two or more parties present their reasons and points of view , in order to reach an agreement or solve a problem.

In these discussions, disagreements and differences may arise, which we must try to resolve in the most respectful and friendly manner for all, through dialogue and establishing clear and effective communication .

It is important to point out that if during these discussions we make the mistake of pointing out the negative or saying ugly things to each other, as well as yelling or raising our voice, then we would be talking about a fight, something that we will definitely have to always avoid in front of the children , because It hurts them emotionally.

Is it bad that they see us argue?

Having clarified the above, we then talk about our initial doubt: is it harmful for our children to see us argue? The answer to this question will depend on various factors, and above all, on us and our attitude .

On the one hand, we have to take into account the topic being discussed . Is it something related to children? Is it some misunderstanding or couple problem? What themes or topics are being addressed in said discussion? There are subjects that it is simply better to avoid playing completely in front of them.

On the other hand, it is also important to be aware of and analyze the current situation at home . How has the atmosphere been in the last few days? Have there been other events or incidents that could influence the discussion? For example, if things have been tense or difficult and the issue in question can wait, it may be best to first try to resolve or improve communication and the atmosphere at home, and then discuss in a respectful and civil manner.

And last but not least, the age of our children . Depending on their emotional maturity, children can be affected differently by seeing their parents argue. Older children can see and understand that mom and dad aren’t fighting, but a younger child may be confused by not understanding what’s going on.

It can be positive, if we do it responsibly

As I mentioned at the beginning, arguing in front of the children, when certain conditions are followed and we do it correctly, can be a great learning opportunity for our children.

First, we show children that nobody is perfect, not even their parents: we can all make mistakes or have different ways of thinking and seeing things, and this does not necessarily mean that we will have to get along badly or end up fighting .

Also, by arguing in front of them in a calm and respectful way, we are showing them how to resolve conflicts and that despite having differences, it is possible to reach an agreement or understanding . This example will serve them when they have a misunderstanding with someone else, such as a friend or one of their siblings.

What we should do (and what not)

The most important thing and what we and them must always keep in mind is that we do not argue to see who is right, but to resolve a situation and reach an agreement.

The tone of voice, as well as our gestures and our words , are three key factors when arguing. Addressing the other person in a respectful way will help keep the discussion calm and productive.

It is also important to note that we must be sensible and have some common sense before having any discussion . If one of the two is visibly upset, it is best to wait until both are calm and thus approach the dialogue with a facilitating attitude.

Let us not also leave aside the circumstances in which the discussion takes place. In any serious conversation, it’s important to consider the time and place. Going in the car, for example, is not the most suitable place to have a discussion, because in addition to distracting the driver, external noises and images can divert us from the subject and make us not focus on what is being discussed.

Finally, among the things that we must avoid are all those in which our emotions look out of control and do not contribute anything to resolve the situation , from complaining, wanting to be right or not allowing the other to express themselves, to yelling or insulting .

And of course, we will never involve children in the discussion or use them in any way . An example of these mistakes that we will never make is trying to get them to take one side or agree with us.

Once the discussion is over, what we can do is talk to the children about what happened and give them space for any questions they may have , explaining that having arguments is something natural, emphasizing the importance of doing so in a respectful way.

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