When we consider the life lessons we wish to impart to our children, things like doing the dishes, keeping the house tidy, and managing a bank account may spring to mind. However, a top priority on that list should be learning how to disagree civilly.
On the subject of arguing in front of children, there are two schools of thought. Don’t do it, one bunch. How could you ignore the other? As we open this Pandora’s Box, there are a few things to think about.
Friends of mine have remarked, “My parents never fought in front of us.” Others, however, have experienced emotional trauma as a result of battles and disputes that resulted in damaged emotions or worse. There could, however, be another choice. The issue with the first is that many people could assume there is a problem with their relationship if they quarrel if they have never seen it done correctly. The latter may create long-lasting wounds that may complicate your children’s relationships in the future.
Fighting and debating may be distinguished from one another quite clearly. Fighting often comprises harsh language, teasing, shouting, and other behaviors. It may also be accompanied by the want to list all the ways in which I am right and you are wrong. These conflicts are pointless, destructive to your marriage, and set a bad example for your kids.
Contrarily, debating is an expression of disagreement. It may include a contentious but controlled conversation, differences of opinion, and a hidden desire to reach an understanding. The latter, in my opinion, is something we need to voluntarily do in front of our kids. And this is the reason we will clash with other people in life. As they mature, your children will experience conflict with their own families, peers, employers, and other adults.
Our ability to handle marital disagreements maturely and healthily as role models for our children will have an effect on them far beyond their early years. A valuable life skill that some people have not been taught is how to disagree or dispute in a civilized manner. We should set an example for our children.
There are cautions and things to look out for while teaching this life skill. Here are five suggestions on how to disagree in front of your kids.