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Parents conflicts : Arguing in front of the children – how bad is that really??
Arguments between parents cannot always be avoided. Disputes should not be held in front of young children.
Sometimes it’s about money, sometimes it’s about who has more free time or does most of the housework: there is a dispute in every family. But how do you deal with conflicts when children live in the house? Or little children don’t even notice when their parents are in their hair?
Not at all: children are very sensitive to facial expressions, gestures and voice. "It is certainly not the case that children do not notice that the parents are arguing," explains psychotherapist Karin Kutz.
Better not to argue in front of young children
Parents should therefore generally try not to argue in front of small children up to primary school age: “Children so young cannot absorb the verbal content yet. You only see angry faces, maybe it gets loud, and that is extremely dangerous for small children, ”says Kutz.
But parents don’t have to swallow their anger either: you should simply arrange an appointment with the partner to continue the conversation at another time – if the child is not there.
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Roughly speaking, disputes can be divided into two categories: constructive and destructive. Different parties discuss in a constructive dispute about a Problem and together look for a solution. In the case of a destructive dispute, however, one tries to put the other down or to suppress it: "If it goes in the direction of swear words or insults, it is a dispute that only losers can get out of," explains family mediator Detlef Jahn.
Small children only see angry faces when fighting, which scares them.
Children first have to practice a culture of debate
If children observe constructive arguments, they can learn how to deal with situations that do not suit them – for example, unpunctuality. If a friend is late, the child can tell him about his anger. Basically, culture of argument is something you don’t born becomes. That is why it is important, that children practice this in a secure environment like family.
Children should also be aware that there can be different views: “Children learn most from the example. It’s good if they know how to stand up for their own opinion, ”says parent adviser Felicitas Richter.
Another aspect is the child’s role in the dispute. The child must not feel that it is to blame for the argument, nor should the child be drawn into the argument. "Parents should explain to their child in a fight: ‘Watch out, it’s not about you right now, we’re arguing about the clutter in the house," Richter says as an example.
Children should never be drawn into an argument
It becomes dangerous when a parent tries to pull the child on his side: "Because then the child gets into a conflict of loyalty," says Richter. In addition, no son or daughter is allowed to use leverage against the partner à la "You see, because you are never at home, the child has now stayed seated". That is a pity of psychological development.
Children must never be abused as a lawyer or as an advisor in a dispute, Jahn also believes: "I said extra abuse because it is an achievement that children cannot achieve."
If the parents realize that they cannot manage to settle their dispute on their own, couple counselors or mediators can help. Because in the long term, according to Kutz, children suffer more than one separation from long-term disputes between parents. (AP)
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