“Mommy what’s wrong?” “Stop it!” There it was. In our moment of heated discussion (I won’t use the word argument), a small squeaky piercing voice of reason halted both Matt and me mid-sentence. We were in the car, a small confined space with both our two-year-old daughter and four-month-old son. At that moment, the subject of our argument became unimportant and was replaced with the urgency to explain to our little girl why mommy and daddy were “mad.” As soon as we stopped the car at our destination, Matt pulled me in and hugged me tight. Being the opinionated woman that I am, I at first was a rigid board, but Matt squeezed tighter and whispered in my ear “she is watching.” I peeked a glance to see a wide-eyed, inquisitive gaze and quickly wrapped my arms around Matt. We turned to our children and kissed our little girl to let her know that we were alright. With that, she turned with a smile, and we held hands as we skipped off into the sunset. Okay, there wasn’t a sunset, but you get the point.
Studies have shown that there is a direct relation to marital discord and children’s psychological development. Children will often show signs of distress when they witness their parents arguing. Their reactions can range from fear, anger, anxiety to sadness. They have also been shown to have, over time, poor interpersonal skills and problem-solving abilities. On the other hand, arguing in front of your children can be healthier than arguing in private, by using the opportunity to teach them problem-solving and showing them how to “make-up.” After all, arguments are natural, just like understanding and compromise.
No argument is more important than our children seeing mommy and daddy resolve their issues and hug it out. No matter what, we are a family, and we love each other.