Do Your Kids a Favor: Argue in Front of Them

Okay, I know at first glance it seems strange to have a therapist suggesting that you argue in front of your children – but that’s exactly what I am suggesting, WITH some caveats. Fight fair. This means:
* Argue about what you’re arguing about (not about issues from the past)
* No below the belt
* No yelling
* No name calling
* Listen
* Behave respectfully
* Obviously no hitting or throwing things
* Keep the argument between you and the person you are arguing with (don’t bring other people into it)
* Take a break if needed (when your anger thermostat gets too high)

Now that the ground rules are set, go ahead and argue in front of the kids – on occasion. Children need to see that normal couple’s argue. That’s right, I said it. It is normal for couple’s to argue on a regular basis and children need to see the appropriate way to deal with conflict. If mommy and daddy never argue in front of them, they may grow up with unreasonable expectations that happy couple’s never fight. Just to be crystal clear: yelling, throwing or hitting is also known as domestic violence and is never appropriate – especially in front of children.
~Frank Clayton, Licensed Professional Counselor

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