Arguing in front of kids: The myths unfolded
For the longest time, in the consciousness of good parenting, arguments and disagreements between the parents were better kept under the wraps, behind the closed doors and post the kids’ sleeping rituals. A lot of researches have proved time and again; that there is a direct impact of frequent arguments and parent fights on kids’ mental health. The ill effects can range from difficulties in social situations to issues in making friends to complexities in developing trust in relationships and so on.
Argument is a bad thing and its disrespectful to argue with adults. This is so equal to saying that disagreeing to someone is bad manners. While this has beautifully been knitted in Indian culture and value systems under the veil of respect , times are changing faster than you and I think. Kids today do have a mind of their own and they are ok in putting across their points too. Disagreeing to anyone, arguing constructively and respectfully are the skills that the parents need to instil in their kids.
Changing the existing paradigms, Breaking the status quo, Thinking out of the box, creating a positive impact on the world are the skills which are direly needed and can help kids lead happier, and successful lives ahead. They undoubtedly would be the most valuable assets of their personality tomorrow.
So then, we all agree that there is a pre determined need to solve complex issues of this dynamic world. Ranging from scarcity of water to ecological imbalances, from gender equality in workplaces to increasing role of father in parenting, from cut throat competition to cooperation in building businesses; respectful arguementing would definitely be the key skill for the leaders of tomorrow.
How can then parents having arguments in front of kids prove to be a big wrong in this entire picture of positive parenting.
Now let’s understand, what separates a constructive disagreement from a bitter fight. The baseline is that any disagreement that makes the kids feel unsafe or less safe is better avoided to be held in front of the kids. And any discussion or argument that does not target the emotional safety of kids will definitely help kids become better thinkers and problem solvers of tomorrow. Infact Family is the first playground where kids see, understand, learn and imitate the problem solving mechanism. And if parents do it the right way, so will the kids learn. It is absolutely ok to have a difference of opinion, however how its managed and communicated is all what matters. Day today differences offer perfect opportunities for kids to question the set rules, look at the issue at hand from a fresh perspective and offer solutions which are competitive and more effective. Creativity is an art and a skill which grows more when practised.
So for the numerous times I have been given an advise that kids should see both parents as having a common opinion on all the important and not so important things. And for infinite researches that pointed out the fights , arguments and spats between parents as one of the critical reasons of kids developing mental issues. I have this one answer – Argue in front of the kids. – do it the right way. Model the respectful discussing habits and show them how to reach the ideal solution. For the world is full of different people coming together from different backgrounds, with different thinking habits and patterns, from different countries & cultures and it’s virtually impossible to have same opinions unless you are dealing with your alter ego in a closed walled room.
Make your kids future ready. Equip them with the right skill sets.
Argue because Arguing is healthy. It cleans the air!!
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