Child development and parenting experts agree that fighting when your children are in the home can cause them great harm, no matter how young or old they are. Even if you try to not fight in front of them, they can still hear or feel it happening. Research has demonstrated that exposure to conflict in the home can shape children’s neurobiological, cognitive and behavioral responses. For example, children who hear or witness their parents fighting may have trouble regulating their emotions both at home, and in less risky situations such as the classroom. Click here to read about the impacts your fighting can have on your children.
If people in your family are fighting, it can make your children feel sad, scared, ashamed or angry. However they are feeling, they probably just want the fighting to stop. Talk to your children about how the fighting is making them feel, so they will know that you understand how they are feeling. You can explain why there is disagreement, and let them know that you are trying to stop fighting or are learning to fight in a more healthy way. Healthy Fighting
Explain to your child that family fighting can be between parents, between parents and children, or between siblings, and that most often fights happen because people feel differently about things, and they do not know how to argue in a healthy way. Sometimes people start fights just because they are having a bad day!