Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Don't Argue In Front Of The Kids

This is something that I have heard over and over again from my mother. I heard it before I was married, before I had Aaron, while I was pregnant with Aaron, and of course, after Aaron was born. This isn't to say that my parents never argued in front of us. I guess there was nothing major since I can't remember any specific incident but I know they did.

Just like lots of things our moms tell us, we don't always listen. So here, I confess. I'm always the one that starts an argument with Aaron around. He's always around! I'm not proud of it but I'm being honest here. No, we didn't have an argument today. Its just a point I'm wondering about.

What am I supposed to do anyway? If its morning, I have to wait a full 12 hours before Aaron will be out of the way. And even if its something that happens at lunch time, thats still 6 hours for the fury to die down. Maybe thats the whole idea but whats the point then. It just ends up being another point to be harbored and dug up at some future explosion.

Occasionally, I'll have a grip on things and won't say anything. Instead, I send out evil text messages. LOL! Once again, not the same as just letting it all out and being done with it.

I Googled it - Don't Argue In Front Of The Kids. The first link is to a CNN parenting article and here is what it say:

Myth: Don't fight in front of the kids

When moms and dads fight, it's scary. Babies can tell when you're angry (and will probably get upset) and bigger kids will worry that the two of you are on the verge of a divorce.

What we say: It can be valuable for children to see their parents work through a disagreement with good will. Kids also need to learn that even people who love each other don't get along perfectly. "It's unrealistic to expect no conflict," says Smith. "If you never have a difference of opinion with your spouse, then you've obviously found someone who agrees with everything you think. How boring!"

In other words, it's fine -- even healthy -- for kids to witness your arguments. But there are caveats. (Aren't there always?) "When you argue in front of your kids, it's important to fight fair," says Reivich. "Instead of shouting 'You're a lazy slob!' say 'It really bothers me when you don't take out the trash.' Take issue with the action, not the person, and don't hurl insults." So if the fight is too intense, or there's no resolution in sight, table it until the kids aren't around.

You can read all about the other marital myths here.

Thats food for thought. I don't mind giving that a go. But first, I think I'll need some sort of dictionary to translate the everyday angry language that people normally use to the more issue oriented one.

1 comment:

Mike said...

Interesting article. But I'm sure someone will come up with an article to dubunk that article. You just have to live your own version of normal.