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Managing Conflicts as Parents: How to Fight in Front of Your Child

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Every couple will have their issues, no matter how happy they may be overall.

Every relationship is going to have its fair share of arguments. As parents, you will end up having some disagreements in front of your children, and that can be alright. Many parents are terrified of traumatizing their children for life by arguing in front of them, but if the argument is handled correctly, a child can actually learn better social skills and more empathy from witnessing it.

Children Know When Something is Wrong

Children pick up on even small emotional cues. If you and your partner are angry at each other, but avoid conflict altogether, your child is still going to know something is wrong and will be worried. Talking through your feelings and having constructive arguments in front of your child is better for them than trying to pretend like nothing is wrong. Remember your child is always learning from you; if he or she sees you avoiding problems, he or she will copy that behavior. If your child sees you and your partner calmly working through your issues, they will learn to do the same.
Instead of denying that you had an argument, help your child process what they saw. There’s no need to go into detail, but a basic explanation will help them to not worry about anything. Tell your child that mommy and daddy were angry, but they talked about their feelings and that helped make things better. It’s just like when they tell their friends they are upset about something. Adults do the same thing.

Remember – It’s All About the Love

Remember that a home environment’s overall emotional tone is more important to your child than a few incidents. The occasional argument is fine, as long as it is balanced out with happy, loving times together. Children just need to know their parents love each other and them, no matter what. A few disagreements won’t damage your child’s perception of their parent’s love as long as they are handled well.
No child is too young to be affected by a fight that does get out of hand. They may not remember specific incidents when they are older, but their emotional makeup will be affected all the same. Learn how to de-escalate and handle disagreements early, and don’t be afraid to let your child see how her parents can talk through their anger together.

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