One thing I told myself I wouldn’t do even before my baby girl was born was to argue in front of her. It’s easy to forget when disagreements arise, or when you’ve just had a bad day and are already in one of those annoyed moods. Nevertheless, arguing over something trivial might not seem like a big deal, but it can be to a child.
One thing I remember from growing up is relative peace of being raised by a single parent. There simply wasn’t another parent there to have an argument with for my mom. Sure times were tough and we barely had enough money to get by, but my mom managed, and made sure I always had what I needed. Now that I am married and have a child of my own, I don’t want my daughter to grow up without a parent like I did. Keeping her safe and secure, growing with confidence in a home where she knows 2 parents love her is the goal.
I realize that arguing can have a detrimental affect on that feeling of safety.Like any couple my wife and I get along well, but have things throughout the week that we have our own feelings and opinions on. In the past my little girl wasn’t there so we spoke freely at home all the time. Now it’s a different story, and we find it challenging sometimes to hold back our tongue until we can talk through matters after we have put her to bed.
Here are some practical tips I picked up online from Care.com in their interview with Dr. Tina B. Tessina, author of Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting about the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage. These suggestions have been a great help for me. They are simple, yet good reminders to put into habit.
- Refuse to participate in the argument. If you refuse to reply back with words that fuel the fire, but instead look for a temporary solution to a situation while in front of your children, then you can wait til a more opportune time later when things are more calm.
- Have a discussion about recurring problems before they get out of hand in front of the kids. It’s better to be on the same page with decisions so confusions doesn’t add to the stress.
- Make sure you and your spouse understand where each other is coming from before resolving a problem. We all have a different view, and a different take on things in life, so better understanding that from both sides helps resolve issues much easier.
- If family has objections to decisions you plan to make, discuss how those can be handled as a couple so there is unity with your decisions and with the way you respond to objectors.
It’s a fact of like that there are going to be disagreements in a marriage, but knowing how and when to deal with them can go a long way in making the home a more pleasant environment for the kids.