How To Argue With Kids Around - Asking For A Friend
We are not the only ones whose marriage after parenting hasn't always been romantic, quiet moments staring at our blissful baby. We try and address marriage often on Mother Untitled because as women, reconciling our marriage and lifestyle with our new roles and responsibilities as parents is a very real but less discussed dimension to this time.
One of the things Dan and I feel currently super conscious of is how we argue around Bodie because these little beings are more aware of the emotional energy in the room than we often give them credit for. So how do we address tense topics or hurt feelings without alerting our children? A combination of experts, therapists and friends have offered me the following:
One dear friend and wise mother of two little boys under five, swears by a weekly or bi weekly check in with her husband to address ongoing issues so that they don't trickle into family time.
Another suggestion is to exercise restraint - Dan and I are working on writing down the little things that irk us so that we can get them off our chest but then address between ourselves during naps or nighttime.
Friends of ours find taking the kids on a walk or a to a playground where they have space to play allows the couple to have the space to calmly address a pressing feeling in an open air environment (where there's also outside pressure to be respectful).
Marriage counselors suggest that if the issue is too heightened, take a time out from each other and take turns to care for the kids and come back together when tension is diffused.
Therapists do say that while children are affected by ongoing intense conflict between their caregivers, witnessing small conflicts and seeing resolution actually helps to build a child's understanding of safety. A friend with older kids, aged 8, 6 and 4, offers that having small conflicts that include apology and kindness can actually be a good teaching example for them but that if the couple is having a larger issue that the kids are picking up on, one of the parents will offer closure in the moment by saying, "let's address this during grown-up time".
Every parenting site (notably Parents) will tell you if conflict arises and voices get raised, as soon as you can muster it, offer each other and your little ones reassurance that everyone is safe and loved.
What do you and your partner do in these situations? I always love to learn from you so add your thoughts in the comments xo
Featured Image via HappyWedd