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Fighting in Front of the Kids

Posted on in Parenting

fighting, parents Arlington Heights family law attorneyAs a divorced parent, you understand how difficult it can be to deal with your ex-spouse at times. No matter how amicable your split may have been—and may even still be for the most part—you are going to have disagreements from time to time. It is simply a part of life. Perfectly rational adults can have different viewpoints on certain issues, especially when it comes to what may or may not be best for children. Along those lines, you have probably been told that it is always a bad idea to fight in front of the kids; but that may not necessarily be the best advice. In fact, fighting the right way can even offer your children some insight into responsible problem-solving.

Of course, nobody is suggesting that a knock-down, drag-out fight between parents is a good thing for a child to see. On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with letting your child witness an occasional—and rational—exchange of differing opinions between you and your ex-spouse. It is important, though, to keep a few guidelines in mind to be sure that your child is not adversely affected in the process:

Set Topical Boundaries

There are many subjects that are reasonable to discuss in front of your child, but there are many others that are completely inappropriate. For example, if your ex is struggling with alcohol or substance abuse, your child is not likely to grasp the real problem, and such a conversation is best had behind closed doors. Similarly, arguments, however logical they may be, over romantic partners are apt to confuse your child more than anything, as he or she is not equipped to understand adult nature of the situation.

Not About Them

While it may be difficult, you and the other parent should always strive to present a united front to your child, at least when it comes to rules and decisions about him or her. When your child sees the two of you disagreeing over issues related to bedtime, homework, or even earned privileges, the "more strict" parent can quickly become the bad guy, and cause other problems in enforcing discipline. Arguing over your child can inflate his or her own perceived role in the family structure and undermine your authority as parents.

Visible Solution

Perhaps the most important thing you can do if you decide to argue in front of your child is to so respectfully and with a resolution as your goal. Do not fight for the sake of fighting. Present your opinions reasonably and allow your ex the same opportunity. Then, work to find a solution, even if compromise is needed. Your child needs to realize that your discussion is a goal-oriented process, intended to solve a problem not to further animosity or discord. Both you and the other parent should be clear that you have reached a resolution, and that you are satisfied with how the matter has been put to rest.

Many disagreements between coparents can be resolved with a little cooperation and great deal of patience. Some, though, may require legal action or court intervention. If such is the case between you and your ex, contact an experienced Lombard family law attorney for assistance. We will help you understand your available options and advocate on your behalf every step of the way.

Sources:

http://www.womansday.com/relationships/family-friends/a6493/arguing-in-front-of-children/

http://www.babble.com/kid/family-conflict-resolution-fighting/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/mother-tongue/10902735/Should-parents-ever-argue-in-front-of-their-kids.html


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