We’ve all been there. Emotions bubble up and reactions get going and you find yourself arguing – sometimes very heatedly – in front of the kids. Their eyes are wide, they might be showing some signs of distress, or you might just think that they’re busy on their iPad. Whatever it is, it does affect them, but I’m not here to make you feel guilty about that. I’m here to tell you what to do if that does happen.
I’ve got a four-step process for you (I like those four-step processes) but before I get into that, I want to just define arguing and fighting because many couples do it different ways. One is the typical yelling and arguing where things are very loud and obvious. Other couples fight in other ways like shutting down and getting quiet, and there’s just a lot of tension and lack of intimacy and affection between parents. So, just so you know, there’s different flavours of arguing.
Say for example, you’re arguing about housework. Things get really heated and escalated and there’s a lot of reaction going on. Don’t sneak off to the bedroom or try to hide it from your kids. Let them see that couples can have arguments, and that’s okay. The other option is to just not do any of this in front of the kids, but that’s also damaging because then they’ll get into a relationship and get married, and then they’ll be like, “Well, we’re arguing. What’s wrong with us? My parents never did this, so there must be something wrong with our marriage.” Right?
So you want to give them a realistic picture of what it’s like to be in a relationship and have differing opinions, but also acknowledging that you’re their foundation. Your kids need to know that their foundation still loves each other and that things are okay. So if they don’t see you resolve things in front of them, make sure you circle back and let them know, “Mommy and Daddy still love each other, and we’re going strong. We came to a resolution and everything’s okay.”
Even if the argument is not about them in particular, children have magical thinking, and they really do think the whole world revolves around them, which makes it seem like every single topic has to do with them. That’s why you have children whose parents are divorced, later down the road saying, “I really thought it was about something I did or said that caused my parents to divorce.” So second step, reassure them that it has nothing to do with them, that you’re just human and that you have different opinions, and you’re just doing your best to try to sort things out. You know? They know it. If they’re going to school and they’re on the playground, they understand that sometimes it’s really challenging to figure things out.
This will be a beta, so it’ll be very cheap, just $97 for probably about three or four group sessions. You get one on one support with me, which is insanely cheap for that price. If you’re interested, I’m only filling about six spots. Send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and you’ll get on the list. And then you can learn the most powerful tool for stopping arguing and increasing intimacy in your relationship. This is something that you can do yourself! If your spouse isn’t really interested in doing coaching right now, this is a perfect opportunity for you, because I will show you how to do it if it’s just you alone and your husband isn’t interested.
Have a great day everybody, and I hope you can put these four tips into practice!