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When families argue in front of children

When parents argue a lot in front of their children, it can make the children feel upset and worried. Children also learn how to handle disagreements from their parents, so it's important for families to try and talk things through calmly, so their children can learn good ways to solve problems and get along with others.

Bickering, arguments and conflict can be part of everyday life but if it's happening more often, and not getting sorted out then it could be a sign you are experiencing unhealthy conflict.

What are Healthy & Unhealthy Behaviours?

These are healthy ways to work through an argument.:

  • Staying calm
  • Listening to each other
  • Compromising
  • Coming to some sort of agreement or agreeing to disagree

Unhealthy ways to deal with an argument are:

  • Aggression
  • Sulking or giving silent treatment
  • Walking away
  • Not letting the argument go
  • Holding grudges

Putting the children first

There are lots of benefits to letting children see how parents deal with conflict in a positive way. Communicating in a healthy and respectful way with your partner or ex-partner can help children to: 

  • Improve their mental health
  • Improve their physical health
  • Sleep better
  • Improve how well they do at school
  • Have better relationships with their friends
  • Improve their future life chances
You may think that your child is too young to notice arguments, but children as young as six months old can understand

Unhealthy conflict and domestic abuse are different.

When domestic abuse is involved, one partner is often fearful of the other. The 'perpetrator usually holds the power in the relationship. 

Domestic abuse isn’t just about being violent; it can be:

  • Frequently checking your phone
  • Withholding money
  • Isolating you from family or friends
  • Controlling behaviours

If you think you are experiencing domestic abuse, IDAS can help. To find out more about IDAS including how to contact them click here.

Find help online

Below are some helpful tools and websites.

See It Differently Website
When we argue with our partner or ex-partner, we can get caught up in the heat of the moment. At times like these, it’s difficult to find a way forward. Click here to access the website and see how other parents have changed how they handle conflict

Click Relationships
Click Relationships are an organisation that offer free relationship advice. Check out their webpage here.

Getting on Better Cards
Use the Getting on Better cards to help you think about your relationship with your partner (whether you are together or separated). They are simple reminders to help you remember what's really important in building our relationships. 

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