Have you ever been so upset with your spouse you completely snapped without regard to who else was around? We’ve all been there. No one can get under our skin more than the ones we love most. It’s easy to get caught up in a heated moment. Unfortunately during a disagreement with tempers flaring, yelling and being hurtful sometimes come quite naturally. It never feels good when we respond or react on impulse without thinking it through. It leaves us with regrets. Imagine the magnitude of regret when our children are present and we were unable to handle our emotions maturely.
As parents, our role as mommy and daddy is never ending. We never get to turn off being a parent. Even when we’re stressed and feel completely depleted, we’re still on. Parents don’t get to select moments when it’s okay to simply be an adult and not a parent when our children are around. When we do and choose to show up as less than a grown up there are consequences. The behaviors our children witness remain with them well into their adult years. They learn how to be husbands, wives and adults, just by observing the adults around them. It is a must that we are extra careful with this major responsibility.
Our relationships should be the one great example our children see. It won’t be perfect and we don’t necessarily have to aim for perfect. Truth and honesty should be our ultimate goal. Children don’t need to see a fairy-tale, but what really occurs when Adults disagree. Our disagreements are a learning opportunity for the entire family. Our children should definitely be a factor during these times, but not for the reasons we think. We shouldn’t avoid disagreements because of our children, but we should disagree responsibly for their sake.
We should use every opportunity to teach them what should happen when they have a dispute. Seeing a healthy conflict between their parents could have certain benefits for children. Explaining to them what they witnessed and why we disagree as well as answering their questions equips them for the real world. We must also show them how we create solutions as a couple and how we make up. In addition to feeling loved, children need to also feel safe. They need to know their parents are okay and that some challenges are normal parts of relationships and can sometimes be healthy. As parents, we must always keep in mind the life lessons being taught and how they will shape the futures of our babies.
BMWK, How do you handle disagreements in front of your children?