Handling Conflict in front of Children


No relationship is without flaws and nothing is perfect. But knowing when not to cross the line is the key is sustaining a healthy life-long relationship with your partner.Crossing the line can be a subjective term as every individual tends to set their own boundaries. But you need to get the basics right.

Researchers have concluded that fighting in front of kids can have a lifelong impact on them. Even when babies are asleep while parents fight affects them. They tend to suffer from stress in their adulthood.

It’s not like you have to portray a perfect relationship and exhibit a somewhat ideal situation all the time! Having healthy discussions and some level of argument can actually even be positive for a child as he understands that everything need not be perfect. But a conversation that escalates from discussion to argument to a full blown verbal splat should be a no-no.

Children are emotional and they are still learning on understanding their own emotions and how to cope with various situations. Parents who don’t get along with each other and their way of handling conflicts affects the child’s well-being adversely.

In a joint study conducted by Dr Cummings ‘s team and researchers at the University of Rochester found that parent’s relationship with each other, and their ability to handle everyday conflicts, are detrimental to a child’s well-being. In a healthy environment children feel secure and confident. “But frequent, unresolved fighting chips away at that confidence, triggering sadness, anxiety, and fear in children of all ages” Dr Cummings explains.

Therefore, it is imperative to provide a healthy environment which includes harmless arguments and even children need to understand the significance of talking about your feelings. They should not keep a façade and pretend everything is hunky dory but talk about what bothers them or hurts them as bottling up emotions can be intensely damaging.


  • Keep the name calling at bay. Do not be disrespectful or humiliate your partner
  • Abusive language should be avoided at all costs.
  • Physical assault is an absolute red flag.
  • Always resolve the fight and end it on a civil note.
  • Avoid indulging in everyday nagging or useless banter.
  • Give space to your partner and room for mistakes.
  • Belittling and attacking their parenting skills is an absolute no.
  • Never involve kids in your fights or ask them to be the referee.

The child can probably learn the skill of dealing in a stressful environment if you explain in simple language how it is ok to fight sometimes when you love someone but it’s also important to teach the child that resolving, accepting, respecting and sometimes retracting even when right is the way to work it out. They should not be in a position to take sides or be asked to do so.

Kids respond to a conflicted environment differently. Some kids bottle us their emotions and some may display signs of aggression. Constant unpleasant atmosphere at home culminates is many negative ways. Some become recluse, complain of headaches, stomachaches or increased appetite these are all the effects of the hostile environment they are living in.






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