The way parents are found arguing in front of the kids can help or harm them say parenting experts.
It’s a fact acknowledged by most that to fight or argue in front of the kids is a big no-no. After all, it's setting a bad example, right? Yet parents do it all the time!
In the heat of the moment, it is natural for most to lose control and let emotions take over. It is indeed challenging to stick to our good intentions when egos are at stake or tempers are flaring.
But parenting experts, Warren Cann and Jodie Benveniste suggest that it's not fighting in front of kids but the way parents fight in front of their kids and that affects them negatively.
Hostile home climate
Warren Cann, CEO of Parenting Research Centre, says that the impact of parental conflict on kids depends on the severity and frequency of the conflict, and the way it is resolved.
"[The] parents’ relationship creates the emotional climate for a home," explains Cann. "When that climate gets stressed and hostile, it affects a child’s development. Not just loud fighting; even prolonged, unspoken anger can cause distress. These lead to emotional and behavioural disorders in children with long-lasting effects."
Becoming parents leads to conflicts
When couples have a baby, their personal relationship together tends to go on the backburner. Research also shows that parents' stress levels rise significantly immediately after a baby is born. With so much stress in the equation, conflicts are inevitable between a couple who then may end up in a fight in front of the kids.
It’s how parents choose to manage conflict that can either be helpful or harmful to kids. So make your relationship with your spouse a priority - it is as important for your children as it is for you.
Read on the next page how arguing in front of the kids affects them.