Monday, 23 May 2016

Parenting: Why you should never argue in the presence of your children

My husband and I are like most couples going through life.  When the going gets tough, friction rises and that causes us to argue more.

Thankfully, with our unrelenting commitment to our marriage (plus my unforgettable reality being a marriage coach J), we are able to overcome our issues relatively quickly and get back to the business of building a beautiful life together.  We are also learning the extremely difficult lesson of not letting the hurt caused by these issues to fester, as letting this happen prevents us from being vulnerable with each other. Vulnerability, we have learned, is a key requirement for a healthy marriage.

However, there is one slight problem – we have young children and spend quite a lot of time with them.  This means they get to experience quite a few of our arguments, no matter how much we try to shield them from it.  Arguments start in the car, while driving home from a wonderful family outing.  Some arguments happen in the kitchen while I’m attempting to make dinner or when we are in the living room hanging out. Most times, even if the kids are not in the same room, they are certainly within earshot and can hear our raised voices, since we don’t exactly live in a mansion.

Recently we had one of those car arguments, which we resolved relatively quickly.  However, when my husband was putting my daughter to bed, he noticed she looked worried.  Upon further inquiry (after her beating around the bush claiming to be worried about a homework deadline), my daughter gave us a response that shook us to the core.

“I’m worried for you guys!” she said.

She couldn’t even articulate what she meant by that but deep down we knew exactly what she was referring too. As an eight-year-old living in a world where divorce is on the rise, a world where parents going their separate ways is not an abstract concept to her, she thought we were headed down that same path as well!  We know we are not, but unfortunately, she is too young to realize this.  This made us both realize that even our little heated conflicts, impact our children a lot deeper than we realize.

This is why as much as it’s within your control, avoid arguing in front of your kids.  I’ll add a caveat to this statement by saying I do realize that this is extremely difficult in certain situations. However, that said, we must adopt a conscious mindset not to do it, no matter what.  We tend to act on things we make a focused effort to be conscious of.  This has led to my husband and I making a pact to not argue in front of the kids no matter what.

No matter how hard you try, you are still likely to slip up every now and again.  When you do, fix your children first and your problems later.  Your problems might require some time to fix, but as a parent, you have the responsibility to reassure your kids that everything is going to be ok.

One of my favorite scriptures is from Psalm 127:3 and it says, “Children are a heritage from the Lord.” We must focus on preserving our heritage at all costs.  No matter our issues, they are not as important as our heritage.  I wish you all the best as you re-dedicate yourselves to preserving the hearts of these little ones and leading them through some of the tough realities of life.

I’d love to hear from you! Ask your questions, share your views, comment, like and share this article with a loved one who might need it. You can also read my post “The One Key Ingredient Discovered In Awesome Marriages” to give you further insight on how healthy communication makes a marriage thrive.

ZeeZee is a certified Relationship and Marriage Coach who believes her life’s purpose is to equip couples with the right tools for a successful relationship. Through her website and YouTube channel she shares practical tips and principles that help couples understand the inner workings of a healthy marriage.

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