Should parents argue in front of their children?
Many would say that parents should avoid conflict if the kids are nearby. But let’s be honest, that’s nearly impossible.
Why? Because you live with your children, and conflict is a natural part of marriage! In fact, allowing your children to witness your disagreements can actually be beneficial for them. If you and your spouse handle conflict in a healthy, graceful manner, your children can learn how an honest, real relationship can stand firm in the face of adversity.
That being said, are there topics and phrases that should be avoided in front of your children?
This is the question we asked Kathy Koch during an exclusive audio interview inside Kirk Cameron’s The Campfire. Kathy is an author, speaker, and founder of Celebrate Kids, Inc. She has years of experience teaching and coaching people of all ages, equipping families with tools to help them love and serve each other in a God-honoring way.
What is the first thing Kathy says parents should always avoid discussing in front of their children?
“In the heat of the moment, pray for self-control to guard your tongue and your heart so that you don’t say things like, ‘I wish I never married you’ or ‘I wish we didn’t have kids,'” Kathy shares.
She goes on to say that even saying something like “I’m done with this” can be damaging for your children to hear. While you may simply mean, “I’m done right now, I need to leave and cool down,” your child may hear, “I’m done with this marriage. I’m leaving and not coming back.”
Another important topic you should avoid in front of your children is talking badly about your parents or in-laws. Even if the statements you’re expressing might be true, it’s not beneficial for your children to hear you slander grandma and grandpa. Kathy explains:
“You are modeling what they are going to think about you when they are adults. They’re learning from you how to relate to a parent when they become adults.”
Listen to a clip from the interview below:
To hear more about how to handle conflict in front of your child, listen to the full audio interview with Kathy Koch by signing up for The Campfire.