Do you fight in front of your kids?
Before we even had kids, Josh and I talked a lot about how we grew up and how we want to raise our kids. One of the issues we talked about before we had kids was actually about whether or not fighting in front of the kids was okay or healthy.I think we can all agree that aggressive, volatile, or physical fighting is always negative. However, I think whether or not healthy arguments in front of kids is okay is still up for debate and depends on each family. So here’s how we look at it, and what we decided was best for our family.
People argue and disagree, even people who love each other very much. It’s just a fact of life. To never disagree would mean that one of you was totally suppressing your feelings and just being a doormat. Nobody wants or respects that. But there’s a big difference between healthy fighting and unhealthy fighting. And I do think it’s important that kids learn to understand the difference. One of the best ways for them to understand that is to witness it. For example, Josh and I will have disagreements and debates in front of the kids. But any big issues, arguments, or heated discussions, and any that involve something related to the kids, we really try and do after the kids are in bed. At least while they are young. I’ve actually noticed that Maddox understands and can comprehend whenever Josh and I are having an argument or disagreement. There have been times when Maddox interrupted us and said “Guys take turns!” And I admit at first this shocked us and made both Josh and me step back and talk about whether or not this was good. But we ultimately decided that this was a healthy thing. We don’t want the kids growing up thinking that healthy relationships mean there’s no disagreeing or arguing. People who love and respect each other can still disagree. I think that to never show this side of a relationship would portray a fairytale that isn’t real or obtainable. I don’t want them growing up thinking that people don’t fight, but I want them to learn how to argue with respect. That means no name calling, no belittling, no violent words or actions. They need to know the healthy boundaries of how to argue.
So we do our best to demonstrate healthy discussions/arguments. And while there will definitely be times that we will slip up and have an argument in front of the kids that we should probably have kept to ourselves- we are only human. And whether or not you choose to hash everything out in front of the kids or behind closed doors is totally up to you and your family. But this is just the decision that we’ve come to for our family.