I am right and you are wrong! Shall we ask the kids?
A fight with your partner. Never fun. Both of you are angry and you want the other one to know that you are right. Angry words are everywhere. Before you know it, this can lead to an even bigger argument, in which forgotten words and pain from the past return. Before you know it the fight goes to another level …and hiding it from the children will be difficult.
A ‘healthy’ quarrel is not the end of the world and children could learn from this. However, when a parent starts shouting: ‘We are going to divorce’ and in anger asks the child: ‘Where do you want to live, with daddy or mommy? ‘, you will end up in a very negative environment that has a long-lasting effect, longer than that one moment in which the quarrel takes place.
You may think your child will forget it all, but unfortunately, the opposite is true. All these memories are stored in the brain of the child and as soon as the tone and atmosphere change in the house, the fears and memories of the previous quarrels come back. Or these fears can show up in other parts of their lives, such as school or friends. If your conflicts keep coming back and they are not solved in a healthy way, your child will become more and more vulnerable.
When you are in a fight you are no longer able to respond well to the needs of the children and the quality of your parenting deteriorates. As an angry and fighting parent, you do not respond to your child as you would normally do. Your child misses the feeling of safety in the house and can become insecure. Chances are that your child no longer knows how to handle his own feelings. You may start to notice that your child has problems handling his anger or maybe he or she is very quiet and goes to his or her room more often.
Not only the quality can change but also your way of parenting your child. You may become more strict because you are trying to keep control within your marriage and home and you respond with less warmth to your child. Or the whole situation is taking so much energy from you that you have no energy left for your children.
I do not have to tell you that all these ongoing fights have an impact on your child’s life and future days. You don’t want that for your child. Yes, it is okay to be angry; it is an emotion that comes with someone crossing your boundaries. Yes, it is okay to have an argument with your partner, because you are two different persons with different opinions. And yes, if you show your children how to resolve quarrels in a healthy way, that can be a good learning opportunity. Even when you can’t resolve it right away, let your children know that both of you are working on it. Your child knows then that mom and dad are trying together to make it work. However, do not drag your children into your fights. This is your argument! Children should not be part of this.
In summary; When mummy and daddy quarrel and find a solution in a healthy way, I feel safe again. Dad and mom are so strong that they can deal with difficult situations. However: keep me out of it! I am neutral and love you both. You are adults and you need to solve it as an adult. Not me. And if you can not find a solution: Find help!