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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do you and your DP deal with disagreements and frustrations in front of your children?

DH and I rarely have big fights (and sometimes we miss being able to have a big blow-up-getting everything out at once!). We tend to have little simmering frustrations throughout the day. Or we disagree about how the other person has dealt with a discipline situation. How do you handle this stuff in front of your kids?

We tend to say, "Let's talk about this later". Or someone apologizes for their behavior. Or we stew a bit. Sometimes, like lately since we've been dealing wtih lots of behavioral stuff with our older DS, we've been "showing" more of our frustrations with one another.

I actually think it's OKAY and downright healthy to have disagreements with your partner in front of your children. But I find that when we're going through a particularly challenging time with DS, we fight more. How do you remain on the same page parenting-wise with your partner during stressful times? How do you resolve conflict in front of your kids?

TIA
 

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It varies greatly according to the situation. I'm not against intervening with a "you need to have a time out in your room while your father and I decide how to handle this." to the offending kid. Kid gets the message that this is a partnership, and that it's important to us to do the right thing, be on the same page, etc.
 

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We usally do like you said putt it off till the kids are sleeping... i have a bad temper sometimes and me and dh tend to get into yelling arguments that we "get it all out" we both feel better after we do that. My parents use to yell all the time with me and my sister around and i still to this day remember it all, and i don't want my kids to be like that... oh my parents are also devoiced to so i really don't want to be like that....
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Plantmommy&Becca-Thanks so much for your replies. I'm interested to hear how everyone handles this. I really try to put off our arguments. And maybe this is more of an anger management issue. Like, yes, we can wait until later to "have it out" or discuss or whatever. But how do you keep your anger under wraps, or at least on hold until a later time?

Becca-My parents fought all the time too. I hear ya
 

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I can not put off till later. I stew and stew and will make mean comments etc. So I'll pop a movie in for the kids and haul him out to the garage or the bathroom etc. We keep the room monitor with us so we know no one is getting killed.
If the kids seen one of us blow up we BOTH apologize, each owning up to what we did to contribute to the blow up and acknowledging our childs feelings of fear etc. If they didn't see a blow up but it was pretty obvious that we were pissy with each other then we make sure they also see us being lovey dovey. We make sure to hug and kiss and tell each other we love the other in front of the kids. If there wasn't a big blow up and the arguement doesn't involve the kids sometimes we'll just argue in front of them as long as we can remain civil.

I agree that it's healthy for kids to see thier parents argue. It's a normal part of relationships and I would hate for my kids to have this unrealistic expectation that thier going to have an arguement free marriage. But it's also important that they see the loving part and also the conflict resolution. We think it's important for them to see how we compromise and come to decisions.
 

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I agree the kids should see solving of small conflicts, misunderstandings.

But for heavy decisions, I think they should get a childhood free of worrying about bigger things.

For instance, my son asked to play "hookey" today (I call em mental health days). I waited until he was out of the room to discuss it with my dh. I want to be a unified strength w/my dh about decisions my kids don't need the stress of making.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thmom-Thanks for your reply. We try to do what it sounds like you do. We will try very hard to "make-up" in front of the kids. And we always remember to kiss each other and say I love you even after we've been stewing and he needs to go to work or whatever.

mountain-Thank you. You are right about not burdening the kids with parent stuff. I think I forget this sometimes. We talk about $$, and other issues in front of our kids. And your post reminds me, especially as they grow, that we need to be more aware of not putting anything on their shoulders that we need to carry ourselves.
 

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Dh and I try not to argue in front of the kids.
Most of the time it can be put off until they are asleep, and then I have calmed down and thought some too, so I don't say things I don't mean, which I tend to do if I start arguing right away.
Sometimes, though, it can't wait, and then sometimes we do and almost every time I've regretted it because since it can't wait it usually means it's pretty bad, ynwim?
But I don't think it'll happen again, or at least if I can help it, because last time, the day after Thanksgiving, dh and I were having quite the conversation, ds was asleep, but dd was around, and dh started crying and she kept asking what's wrong with daddy? It about broke my heart, because all I could tell her was that daddy made a big mistake.
Want to write more, but dd needs me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
isosmom-thanks for the reply. I am getting a lot of inspiration from this thread to keep as much as possible under wraps in front of our kids. You are right about saving arguments until later. It's so hard to bite one's tongue, but I think it is necessary sometimes.
 

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I just wanted to vote for not keeping all arguments a secret. With a few exceptions, my parents kept all arguments, fights, etc. from me even when I was a teenager. Then, when they told me they were splitting up, it was a TOTAL SHOCK!!!! I had no idea anything was wrong with the marriage and was very angry with them. Some argument is healthy, and I don't believe it's right to pretend everything is OK between parents when it's not. The latter is what is happening with my BIL right now and he's really confused and upset.
 
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