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The effect on children of parents arguing

(19 Posts)
tigercub50 Thu 26-May-16 14:44:10

Just had a row with my husband - it was over something really small but escalated as these things do. I hate arguing but after 14 years of marriage, I know how my husband can be & can handle it. What I really can't handle (and shouldn't have to) is how he reacts to our 7 year old daughter when she unfortunately witnesses us shouting at each other. She's off school today so wouldn't normally have been there & to be honest that hasn't helped my husband's mood. When she covered her ears, my husband told her off for being disrespectful! And when she sat under the table, all he could do was tell her off again & say if she didn't like it she could go to her room. He did say sorry but not in a way that made me think he understood or even cared how wrong it was. Obviously we are both in the wrong for shouting in front of her but I would never get angry when she reacts like she does. Any advice?

00100001 Thu 26-May-16 14:47:14

He is being very unreasonable for talking to her like that and expecting a 7 year old to manage that situation. He should apologise to her and have a chat about being angry etc. And in the futureif she's scared what to do.

If he's a decent person he will be contrite and want to help her.

00100001 Thu 26-May-16 14:49:05

You should also both work out how to resolve your conflicts without resorting to shouting. Even if that means you guys need a 'time out' and can walk away with a code word or something.

photographerlady Thu 26-May-16 14:50:35

Coming from someone that grew up with parents that were verbally and physically abusive to one another the whole situation could really be tearing her apart inside.

tigercub50 Thu 26-May-16 16:18:13

Oh & when DD was trying to defend herself, he said "Nasty Daddy's got it wrong again". Honestly, writing it down has made me see even more how bad it was. He went back to work so I have texted him to ask him to have a chat with DD.

tigercub50 Thu 26-May-16 16:20:30

How can I edit the previous post? Didn't want to put any names

Maroonie Thu 26-May-16 16:24:01

I think you need to report your post to get it edited

SeventyNineBottlesOfWine Thu 26-May-16 16:24:45

She shouldn't need to defend her fear over her parents yelling at each other.
It's upsetting and frightening.
It is harmful for children to witness behaviour like this.
Him saying "Nasty Daddy's got it wrong again" just sounds pathetic.
He's a grown man, she's a child. He should grow up and learn to control his temper!

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 26-May-16 16:26:59

I've reported the names.

Parents can argue in front of children as long as they; play the ball not the player; stay respectful; resolve conflict and don't fight for fighting's sake; stop if the child is upset.

This was not that.

CoolforKittyCats Thu 26-May-16 16:34:53

Yes he should apologise and mean it.

You should apologise to her too though.

isthatpoisontoo Thu 26-May-16 16:42:15

There is evidence that arguing in front of children isn't harmful, as long as you also let them see you resolve the conflict. That way they actually learn from it. So don't feel too bad about the argument. He clearly needs to rethink what her reaction should be, though. She's allowed to have feelings in response.

tigercub50 Thu 26-May-16 16:53:02

I apologised & told her that Daddy was cross but shouldn't speak to her like that

00100001 Thu 26-May-16 16:58:39

Well. you need to get Dad to apologise, otherwise you'r kinda undermining him

tigercub50 Thu 26-May-16 17:01:49

Have texted him to ask him to have a chat with her & I said that she behaved like any 7 year old would have done

WaspsandBeesSting Thu 26-May-16 17:02:29

Have you apologise to her for your part in the arguing too?

It was the arguing between you and your DH that initially upset her.

tigercub50 Thu 26-May-16 17:08:52

Yes I have

Hygellig Thu 26-May-16 17:08:52

My parents used to argue a lot and I hated it. I can't even remember what about now. I don't think they would have shouted at me for covering my ears or similar, but OTOH they didn't make much effort not to argue in front or within earshot of us, as far as I remember.

LyndaNotLinda Thu 26-May-16 17:13:36

Urgh - that's horrible behaviour. He's telling her that her feelings are unimportant. It's really not acceptable.

Janecc Thu 26-May-16 18:21:04

Dh is a bit shouty at times with my DD (7). So am I sometimes too. Dh and I talk about his behaviour when it happens and get him to apologise. I used to have to text or email him about this sort of stuff because we fought too much and had a hard time resolving things. These days, we listen to each other better. We are both really strong characters so not I expectantly, DD a force to be reckoned with too. We do fight in front of her, and find it a lot easier to make up. Am I mellowing? I'm definitely maturing.

If you are both struggling to communicate, I would try writing the issue down in an email/text. Simple and non judgmental - talking about being a team and working together. Your dh doesn't sound like he's in an adult place in such situations so you're possibly coming across as a critical parent, hence the sarcasm and childish response. Before dh was not so good at apologising, and if he gave a poor apology, I would say something like. "Thank you daddy for apologising". Then while he was still there say "Daddy did his best to apologise and is finding it really hard, he will get better at it" or some such and this worked over time because there was no judgement in what I said. Saying sorry is a skill best learned in childhood. I had to learn as an adult too. If dh was unwilling to apologise, I would tell DD (again in his earshot that it was ok, daddy wasn't able to apologise this time and I thought he was sorry but just struggling to say so).

The idea of my approach is to let everyone know we're all ok and doing our best and accept each other even if we don't behave "perfectly" all of the time.

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