Larry James' CelebrateLove.com BLOG

Friday, April 23, 2010

Got Kids?

Filed under: Relationships — Larry James @ 6:00 am
Tags: , ,

Never use your children as an excuse to not work on you or your relationship. While it is true that you have an awesome responsibility to care for your children, if you put them first and you last, I suggest that there may be some confusion about your priorities.

If you forget to take care of you, you are not leading by example. It’s important to be a good example for your kids.

ArguingParentsSome will tell you to never air your disagreements in front of your kids. I disagree. Children are much smarter than we give them credit for. They know when you have misunderstandings and arguments. It all depends on the level and frequency of the conflict, and the way it’s resolved. The more parents argue, the more it affects the children.

Expecting two parents never to argue would be too much to ask. All marriages have their ups and downs. Your children should learn a sense of healthy disagreement. An occasional disagreement during which you treat each other with respect and move into problem-solving is actually a good thing for kids. It shows children that parents can disagree and settle their problems in a peaceful way. It’s a teachable moment.

Arguments in which you repeat the same points over and over, use foul language, throw things, or call each other names can be traumatizing for children. Please spare children the yelling, swearing and insults hurled at each other. These can have damaging effects on their emotional well-being. However, learning about the negative side of life is an important skill to develop as a child and take into adulthood.

Conflict can be particularly harmful if it involves abuse, threats or disputes about a child in front of the child. Physical violence makes things even worse. Things about your relationship, an affair, or sexual matters are certainly among them. Financial matters, issues about how to raise or discipline the kids, addiction or substance abuse among family members, and serious disagreements among extended family members require some discretion. Parents need to make a clear distinction between arguing and yelling. Arguing does not have to include yelling.

Children raised in households where there are “constant” arguments in front of them tend to be depressed, fearful and withdrawn. They may seem eager to please to their parents in an attempt to keep the peace. Children of unhappy marriages often end up in unhappy relationships themselves as teenagers and adults.

Children tend to think that everything is about them, so if a parent is angry the child will often think that they have done something wrong even when it is nothing to do with them or their behavior.

That’s why it’s often healthier for a child to see and hear their parents disagreeing in front of them. They will be more likely to understand what’s happening when it is out in the open.

Hands_Over_EarsWhen your children witness an argument, reassure them that it is not their fault. Reassure them that you love each other. Demonstrate to them that parents can be angry and still love each other while they are finding solutions to their problems. After an argument, apologize to each other in front of the children. The skill of teaching fair fighting or at least keeping the decibels at a reasonable level when expressing your concerns is key.

However. . . always arguing and raising your voices in front of the children is inappropriate. Most high-level disagreements should be out of hearing range of the kids. Whether or not you should argue in front of your children should also depend on the subject matter.

Parents can learn how to argue and resolve conflict in front of their children. That teaches children “constructive conflict resolution,” which they can then apply to their friendships and future romantic relationships.

Children are not born knowing how to handle conflict. Children learn how to handle conflicts and disagreements from their parents.

Strive for balance. Your home is a school. What are you teaching your children?

wingetKIDSBonus Read: Read, “Your Kids are Your Own Fault!” by Larry Winget.

Copyright © 2010 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and a nondenominational minister. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere.

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4 Comments »

  1. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

    Comment by Anonymous — Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @ 12:44 am | Reply

  2. share pretty

    Comment by ghd iron — Tuesday, July 6, 2010 @ 12:14 am | Reply

  3. Mr. Larry I am read your kind litter it’s my opinion Chlidren gift only from God to her!!!~

    Comment by Abush getachew — Saturday, April 24, 2010 @ 6:25 am | Reply

  4. Mr. Larry I am read your kind litter it’s my opinion Chlidren gift only by God to her or he so,any person was kid’s life passing the biologyical process must kept to grew in the world with out these process life is nothing!!!~

    Comment by Abush getachew — Saturday, April 24, 2010 @ 6:24 am | Reply


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