“Arguing within earshot of their children is something many parents don’t feel secure doing.”
How should a husband and wife handle arguments between them when the children are around? First of all , I suggest you start letting your children hear some of your arguments. Second, I advice that you never allow them to interrupt you while you where in the midst of an argument.
Disagreements are a natural , inevitable aspect of human relationships. As intimacy within a relationship increases, so does likelihood of disagreement. You can’t have marriage without disagreement, but you can have have marriage without argument, which is the confrontation of disagreement. Unfortunately when two people don’t confront the disagreements they face once they married, their relationship stands a good chance of never growing.
Children need to learn the arguments come with marriage. They they need to learn the arguments don’t destroy people. Finally, they need to learn how to engage in constructive disagreement with other people. If they don’t learn these things from you, who are they going to learn from?
I said your children should hear some of your arguments. Obviously, there are certain topics children should not overhear their parents discussing, whether they are arguing or not. Then, too, if you want them to learn that arguments aren’t necessarily destructive, you are responsible in conducting your arguments in a civilized, constructive manner. This does not necessarily mean that you don’t raise your voices now and then, but it does mean that you don’t slander r belittle one another.
You should respect one another’s point of view through to active listening, look at options other than those you each brought to the discussion, and try to reach a win-win resolution. There are times when you should save your disagreements for after the children are asleep. But they are probably more times you should have your disagreements with them awake, even perhaps in the same room. If you choose to have an argument in front of them and they attempt to interrupt you, you should say something like,
“We are simply disagreeing with one another. If you don’t like it, you may leave. If you stay, you may not interrupt us or cry. If you do, we will send you to your rooms until our discussion is over.”
If you start arguing and your children suddenly appear in the same room with you, it’s because they want to make sure that everything is going to be alright. It’s probably best, in those situations, to reassure them that you are both alive and well and then send them from the room.