We often argue with friends and family members when we are angry, frustrated, or upset about something. Do you ever wonder of arguing in front of your children might negatively affect them? Perhaps you think fighting in front of children could adversely affect their mental health or even your child’s social skills. Maybe you think if children observe their parents fighting, they themselves will become more aggressive. There’s no need to worry.
Arguing in itself is not inherently dangerous for your child to observe. It actually presents an opportunity for you, as a parent, to demonstrate to your child how to resolve conflict successfully with the proper social skills – by arguing and coming to a resolution, by working out successful compromises, and by showing a willingness to change your behavior and consider another’s perspective.
By harnessing your own social skills, disputes between family members can teach children that although two people love and respect each other, they do not always agree. It’s important that children see their parents as united in basic child-rearing principles and common values, but they also need to see them as unique individuals with their own opinions.
Fighting is easy. Fighting fairly is not. You may go into an argument intending to resolve conflict quietly and easily, but in the heat of the moment, you can’t seem to stop yourself from getting defensive, lashing out, and saying hurtful things. If this is hard for you as an adult, imagine how challenging it is for your child, who is still struggling with self- control issues and learning to express feelings with words through social skill development, not actions.
At In Step, we are able to interact with children in group and individual settings to work on social skill development as well as conflict resolution; both of which go hand-in-hand with one another.
Continue to read helpful guidelines on how you can help your child obtain successful conflict resolution skills.