Why Arguing in Front of the Kids is OK

It’s snuck its way into cheesy family soap operas like “Full House.” It’s in parenting books and parent’s mouths generation after generation. Before I even had children I had heard the warning, “don’t fight in front of the kids” from plenty of sources. I get the point of such as advice, really I do, but I disagree.

It’s like shutting the windows every time it rains to convince your kids life is nothing but sunshine. The rain is still there, and someday they’ll be standing in it wondering how the hell they got so wet. Healthy couples fight and argue. Couples that don’t fight and argue aren’t expressing themselves to one another or if they are they aren’t being honest– plain and simple. I don’t want my kids to grow up and start dating and expect there never to be disagreements in their relationships. I don’t want them to feel like it isn’t love when it very well could be just because there are arguments. I don’t think it’s healthy to feel the occasional fight is a bad thing. All of the above are why I argue with my husband in front of my kids. I don’t go out of my way to start disagreements of course, but if they erupt I don’t quell them for the little ears and eye’s sake. Even so I do think there are some things you shouldn’t do in an argument in front of your kids.

Be disrespectful.

I know we’re all human, and sometimes when someone is really annoying you, its second nature to treat them like dirt, but you should try your best to stay respectful to your mate in front of your kids even if you’re fighting. This takes what most people feel is a no-no infront of children, and turns it into an opportunity to teach relationship skills, and the idea that two individuals can fail to see eye to eye without poking someone else’s eye’s out. Not to mention remaining respectful shows respect for your partner.

Don’t call names.

When we get angry enough we all revert right back into second graders. I know I’ve slung some not-so-appropriate names at my husband in heated conversation before. Not only can such names be hurtful to your partner and leave you with the I-didn’t-mean-it blues, but they teach a horrible lesson to your children. Name calling is disrespectful and doesn’t help a discussion get anywhere but angry. When a simple disagreement evolves from argument, disagreement or small scale fight into shouting, yelling, and general extreme unniceties, it’s time to take a cool down and continue the discussion later. By doing so you give you and your partner time to calm down so the disagreement may actually lead to something besides someone sleeping on the couch, and teach your kids while anger is OK and it happens, there’s a right way to handle it. Violence, for example, is never acceptable in a disagreement with your mate, kids present or not.

Use common sense.

The advantage of letting your kids see you disagree or argue with your partner ends when the discussion’s topic becomes more harmful than those benefits. There are some discussions that have no place being heard by wee ones. Use your common sense to pick out which topics should only be brought up when your kids aren’t around.

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