Arguments are inevitable between parents. Arguments in front of children are also inevitable. Unfortunately, the stress of the pandemic has called for more arguments. Child specialist and parenting coach Beth Proudfoot notes that these arguments are not only attributed to the stress of the pandemic, but to political polarization, climate concerns, and of course the economy.
Everyone around the world has been arguing more since Covid-19 plagued our planet. “We are all on edge,” says Proudfoot. It has come to no surprise that divorce rates have increased drastically. People are emotionally exhausted. With the constant shutdowns, individuals are unable to find a form of release. This leads people to become far more irritable, and easily pushed over the edge. With less available ways to reduce stress it only leads to more arguing.
All of this arguing is having an impact on children. With less privacy due to the shelter-in-place orders, kids are constantly witnessing arguments between parents. It begs the question: is it ok to fight in front of the kids?
Experts have come to conclude that it’s not necessarily that you argue but how you argue that impacts children. An argument that has no solution and exponentially grows in hostility can be harmful to the development of a child. However, an argument that has a solution can serve as a wonderful lesson when they witness adults solve problems together.
What often happens is an argument breaks out in front of the children but is not resolved in front of them. Some kids may continue to worry about what they witnessed, which causes them stress. It is extremely beneficial, however, for kids to witness parents coming to a resolution; benefiting the child’s current state or well-being and future development.
So, argue better.
For the sake of your children, it is imperative to learn how to argue better. We should recognize that disagreements and arguments are another form of communication. Arguments should be embraced as a part of life. The key is learning how to keep arguments healthy. Enough research shows that hostile parental conflict can have a detrimental impact on a child’s mental health which can lead to future relationship issues, behavioral problems and increased aggression.