Fighting - yay or nay?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2006
Fighting - yay or nay?
8
Wed, 02-09-2011 - 12:14pm

I was reading this post over on Ask Moxie (my new favorite blog!), and a couple of the commenters brought up whether you should fight in front of your child(ren). I kind of always thought it was a big no-no, but one of the commenters made a great point that fighting and making up in front of your children will teach them that just because you're mad at someone doesn't mean you don't love them.

Thought it was interesting! What are your thoughts on the issue?





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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2003
Mon, 02-14-2011 - 10:29am
Agreed w/ what Sarah said (although I haven't read the book). It's also important to let the children know that they are NOT the cause of your fight (and if you are fighting about them, or money, or sex - that's best done in private). Afterwards you need to re-affirm your love for one another and for them in front of them. As they get older you can explain to them about how and why adults have fights.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-29-2008
Sun, 02-13-2011 - 9:06pm
I read in Nurtureshock (awesome book!) that it's generally ok to fight in front of your kids-within reason, ie keeping it respectful, etc. The key is to let them also see you reconcile/apologize afterwords-it teaches them that disagreeing is ok, and how to end an argument in a mature manner.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-08-2007
Fri, 02-11-2011 - 1:13pm

I think it is fine to be open with your children about the fact that people don't always agree, and that is okay.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-26-2008
Thu, 02-10-2011 - 11:09am
I haven't read the posts from people, but here are my thoughts. DH and I have actually talked about this a lot especially with the therapy that we have been going through. OUr therapist has recommended that fighting in front of children is okay as long as it's healthy fighting. if that makes sense. DH's parents never fought in front of him and so he has a hard time when it comes to discussions and fighting because he doesn't know how to do it in a healthy way. Where my parents used to yell at each other but not healthy so that's what I know. Whatever your children see is what they will mimic when they are older. Dh and I were yelling in front of Gabby two days ago and we both felt awful about it. But I really want her to know that even though we fight we still love each other. That you can still love someone and be frustrated by their actions. Definitely an interesting topic.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-2005
Wed, 02-09-2011 - 6:25pm
I think content of the argument or fight is important. There are adult things that I simply would not fight about in front of my children, like money as an example. Kids just dont need to know the nitty gritty of money problems because it can make them feel that they are the source of the problem (maybe I shouldnt have these toys or go to summer camp, Mommy and Daddy cant afford it). There are certain issues I would discuss with DH after bedtime. Tone matters too...if I ever feel my tone rising, its time to put a halt to it until the kids are out of earshot.

There is really only one huge thing that DH and I regularly fight about and this is my (lack of) job situation. Its occurs about every 2-3 months and its big. Its always the same, it never changes but it sucks every single time. This fight will never be fought in front of our kids. Every thing else is petty and resolved quickly without too much hurt or nastiness.

Other minor disagreements, annoyances or debates are probably ok to display in front of kids....it shows problem solving, conflict resolution, negotiating, displaying appropriate emotions and regulation of emotions, and fairness.

I only remember ONE fight between my parents...they never ever fought in front of us and we were sent out of the house for this one (the only time I actually remember them doing that too, they probably argued when we were in bed). I remember this particular one because my mom was SO angry with my dad (he went to a strip club and she found out about it through the family grapevine in public) that the walls shook, she was slamming cupboards and I could hear her screaming even when were outside. I also remember my dad coming out to the yard and crying in his truck. It was intense and scary. No child should hear that, it just creates so much stress.

And fighting is sometimes a serious trauma (frequent fighting, abusive situations) for kids and trauma shapes the brain and fundamentally changes the way it functions. Trauma's effects on the brain are long-term and impact everything about a child and their future...and thats a whole other post, haha!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2007
Wed, 02-09-2011 - 1:25pm

Hi,

I'd say it's good to show children how to have proper discussions/disagreements.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2007
Wed, 02-09-2011 - 1:25pm

Hi,

I'd say it's good to show children how to have proper discussions/disagreements.

Lilypie Fifth Birthday tickers
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2005
Wed, 02-09-2011 - 12:57pm
I've already had fights with DH in front of Fede. I think that you said it perfectly... "just because you're mad at someone doesn't mean you don't love them". I think never fighting in front of them also teaches the kids a bad lesson about relationships, in the way that a marriage doesn't have conflict, or that if it exists, it should be "hidden under the rug". Another positive thing is that if you children are aware of your fight, that might help you and your DH tone down the conflict, and not get lost in the fight to the point of saying hurtful things and such. However, I suppose if the couple's way of fighting gets too violent, they should avoid fighting in front of children. (and probably go to couple's therapy....Maybe that could be a good indicator..."if you can't say it in front of the kids, then you probably shouldn't say it at all")

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