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Do You Argue In Front of Your Children?

Updated on June 12, 2014

Don't Hurt Your Children

When you and your spouse or significant other have an argument, do you do it in private, or in front of your own children?

When I was a lot younger, my soon-to-be ex-husband and I were nearing divorce. We had two very small children, and one night after I'd gotten them tucked away in bed, he and I started arguing. What we didn't realize was that our oldest child, who was around three at the time, was still awake, listening to every heated word.

At one point, she started crying, saying "Mommy, Daddy, please stop!". My husband and I looked at each other in shame as I got up and went in to console her, holding her until she finally stopped crying and fell into an exhausted sleep.

That never happened again. I never wanted my children to go through being that scared and hurt just because my ex and I couldn't get along anymore.

Aren't They Worth The Effort?

Aren't the faces of smiling children worth trying a little harder?
Aren't the faces of smiling children worth trying a little harder?

What Do You Do?

Do You Argue In Front of Your Children?

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Look at Your Children--What Are You Subjecting Them To?

I see so much of this, even out in public. And I see the looks in the eyes of their children--the uneasiness, the embarrassment, and most of all...the sadness. Why, if parents love their children as much as they say they do, do they continue to subject them to this?

Honestly, I just want to say to these people "LOOK at your child--look at what you are doing to them with your raised voices and fierce hatefulness towards each other!".

Put yourself in your children's place. Try to see what is going on through their eyes. I never wanted to see that look of fright and sadness on any of my kids' faces again--hopefully you will feel the same way. And hopefully you will think twice the next time you and your spouse disagree on something and begin the hateful vitriol in front of them once more.

"What They Both Mean To Me"

A Child's Point of View

I remarried later, to the most wonderful man in the world. Arguments ceased, peace became the rule, not the exception, in our home.

One day I talked to my new husband about what happened with my daughter that fateful evening.

This song is what came from that conversation. It's been over 25 years since he and my daughter recorded this, but it still brings a tear to my eye. I can still see her little face, begging her father and I to stop fighting...


Please don't let this happen to your precious children. If you disagree with each other, go to another room and hash it out. Ask your kids to go outside and play--anything other than to be in the same room with you.

Put yourself in their shoes--it's not hard, and I guarantee that you will think twice next time you put them through that. We're all human and we make mistakes, but it's never too late to rectify them.

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      Rhiannon 4 years ago

      I don't know what it's like to grow up not watching my parents argue. They fought each other and after divorced they fought their significant others too. It scared me then and made me defensive and overprotective of my little brothers. It has caused many trials in my marriage as well. I have seen successful relationships, but only from a distance. My husband and I struggle not to fight in front of our son. We still do on occasion and then we apologize to each other and our son and allow him to talk about how it makes him feel. My hope in this is that it doesn't pass on to another generation. I don't want my son to struggle as I have with relationships. Disagreements are one thing, but true arguments with yelling and fighting should not happen in front of children. If they do though take the time to discuss it with them and let them know they are loved. Give them the opportunity to tell you the hard truth on how your behavior effects them. No one is perfect, but you should always do your best to make sure that your kids come first.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 4 years ago

      I never had children. However I have heard there may be some benefits to having disagreements in front of them from time to time.

      Ideally it's not the type of arguments that involve yelling and name calling. Some therapists believe it's healthy for children to see they're parents resolve their disagreements.

      I suppose in some instances where children never saw or heard about their parents disagreeing it may cause them to believe unrealistically that marriage does not require work from time to time to overcome differences. When they get married and don't experience the "smooth sailing" they witnessed as children they might be more incline to give up on it much sooner.

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