If you’re married you know that it is inevitable that you will fight with your spouse. Lots of people will tell you to never fight in front of your kids. But really, how feasible is that? I will be the first one to raise my hand and admit that my husband and I are guilty of fighting in front of our kids. It’s not intentional, we surely don’t set out thinking that we will argue let alone argue in front of the kids.

The thing to remember when your kids are present is that they are always watching and learning. This can be a good thing. Watching mommy and daddy argue is how they will learn to argue with their spouses, and their friends, and any one else they have a disagreement with. Therefore it’s important to keep it fair. Our rule at home is that we can’t yell with the kids around. If either one of us feels like yelling is on the horizon we “pause” the argument for later. The worst thing about that is that usually if we pause we sit on our anger for a longer time. What this has done for my husband and I is we are far less likely to lose our tempers, with or without kids around.

Another thing to watch for, is to make sure you are both listening. It’s only a fair fight if both sides get to voice their opinions. And finally, it’s extremely important for your kids to see you and your spouse reconcile. When it’s over, they need to see you hug, kiss, hold hands, whatever it is that you would do had you not been in a disagreement. this way your kids learn that’s it’s okay to disagree with someone, but there are right and wrong ways to deal with it. And in the end it doesn’t change your feelings for the person you were arguing with.

-Stephanie Wright

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