Parents, when you fight with your partner, what do you tell the kids?

Parents do you go and talk to your kids after they hear or see you fight and talk to them about how it was for them to have been in this experience?  Do you help them with identifying their feelings and sharing what needs they had in the moments of the fight?

Do you try to tell them what the fight was about and get them to pick sides or do you tell them truthfully what you are feeling about them experiencing the fight with you?   Such as regret and sadness that you didn’t met their needs for safety?  Once you and the child connect to theirs and your needs about the fighting experience you simply might say that you and partner had needs that were not being met and that the frustration came out in the behavior that was demonstrated.   Do children need to know adults stories or do they simply need to know you care about them and that it is normal to have frustration?  What’s important might be how you model the process of dealing with the frustration and not the frustration itself.  Be truthful about the behavior scaring you if in fact it did and begin teaching them the feelings that go with different behaviors without making the behaviors threatening.  Normalizing the behavior through the process of coming  to understand it begins to defuse the level of fear attached to it and its power, opening the door to future mediation skills in moments they may face anger.

Turn these moments into teachable experiences and explore it and not feed the fear.

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