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May 23, 2011


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I think it depends but it's better the kids won't see parents fighting. It will reflects to them the atmosphere og their home if they're in school. It shows
of how they deal to their fellow kids.

This is so true, for their emotional health and the health of their future relationships. I believe it is very important to model a loving and respectful relationship so my child(ren) will know what a good relationship should look like (or at least one way it can look).

Sometimes our daughter knows we're mad at each other because of the way we are behaving, but we have told her before that we love each other very much and it's hard living with someone, that disagreements will happen, but everything will be fine.

I grew up in a house of yelling and door slamming so it was a long and painful journey to where my husband and I are now. This post resonates with me on a deep level.

I've lost my cool in front of my kids (I know, everyone has too) but at least now my husband and I try to fight "well and fair", I apologize when I freak out and yell for no reason or am unfair or unkind, and we try to set a good example for how to treat others fairly and with respect, and how to handle it when we are less than perfect. Any fighting that is about the kids or other private matters, hwoever, is done in private and quietly.

Thanks for the post, Kristen! Great, as usual!

This gives me an idea for my funny cute kid project I'm developing with my 6 year old nephew. . . Cute Kid: Mediator. :)


I like it very much, thank you .

Yes, we try not to fight in front of the kids as well. Sometimes our daughter knows we're mad at each other because of the way we are behaving, but we have told her before that we love each other very much and it's hard living with someone, that disagreements will happen, but everything will be fine.

Breaks my heart to think of how those kids must have felt.

This post had me thinking... a lot. I hadn't really considered this until now, with my son being "just a baby". I now understand how important it is for us as a couple to set these kind of ground rules you mention, so that we won't turn into 'that' couple in a few years.
Thank you!

My hubs and I always make it a point to never air our dirty laundry, although, we do feel that it can be healthy for children to see parents disagree and come to a compromise. This only works when I'm not having a pregnancy meltdown because the external hard drive looks messy under the tv...yeah. That was last night...


I hear what you're saying, Katie. We had everything we wanted, except parents that were nice to each other. My father had a temper, my mother was passive-aggressive, and if they weren't getting at each other in front of us, it was very loudly after we went to bed. We still heard everything. My sister and I both sought out husbands who were NICE. And while we of course have disagreements with them, neither household is full of bickering and nastiness. Yes, it's a lot of work to maintain our cool in front of our kids, and yes, we will disagree and discuss things in front of them. But we do it fairly. My parents have been married almost 50 years and still aren't very nice to each other. But at least now, if I'm at their house and don't like what I'm hearing, I pack up my daughter and leave.

So true. My husband and I have a very iron clad agreement that any fighting in front of the kids will be filled with recognizing each other's feelings, respectful words and all the other positive tools for resolving conflict that we know but usually don't want to use when we are really mad. We've been more or less successful...but we are big fighters, I usually cry a lot which is SUPER healthy. :)

I can't imagine fighting like you mentioned above in public, those poor children. What a horrible example of how to interact with the people you love the most. It's not always easy and I definitely get losing your cool, but geez oh man...you'd think someone would snap back to reality before they're throwing iphones or biting!

Did you see RHONJ's season opener? That freaked me out so much to see the kids watching the complete and utter craziness and swearing and punches thrown and ZOMG evil.

I tend to be more of the stone-cold, pursed lips angry type than the screamy fighter, but I hate that too---

I read that one of the best things you can do if you fight in front of the kids is to let them see you make up and resolve the issue.

my parents use to fight like that in public and it was down right humiliating. made you want to hide so nobody saw you. that kind of public embarrassment stays with you a long time. when you grow up you have to remember that your not going to be embarrassed anymore when your in public.
i think kids pay more attention to what they see then what we tell them, and that their surroundings pay a big part in who they become. though, i do wish all i had to do was tell my kids something and they take my advice, but it dont work that way.

Excellent post!!! Parenting is most definitely about how parents interact with each other and the rest of the world. My dad is fond of saying, "You can't teach them nothing!" Kids are sponges, and will do as we do.

And I'm with you - the thought that my kids would ever become complacent seeing arguments like that is terrifying.

I think it depends.
Letting children see that all people disagree is important. Even fighting, which we all do, is important to see.

Now, beating each other, screaming obscenities? That's best saved for after bed time.

Great, great GREAT post! Growing up, my siblings and I were given the world by our parents. We were chauffeured up and down the East Coast to all of our activities, gifts were abound every Christmas, birthdays were beyond extravagant, and we were cuddled up to and read to at bedtime. BUT, the parents fought, sometimes violently, in front of us. It made a lasting impression. I have a seriously hot temper at times, or can be a passive-aggressive bitch at others. I'm working HARD to check myself in front of the kids. I'd rather them have minimal spoils, and see the husband and I communicate with patience and love. And as you stated, it may mean I have to swallow my pride and apologize for losing my shit, hopefully it's a skill they can take with them into the real world.

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