Fighting in front of the kids

@dorannmwin (36392)
United States
January 24, 2013 5:06pm CST
So, I took my friend and his son back on Monday for drop off (he is divorced and gets his son every other weekend). We hadn't even had time to get across the street from the drop off location before his ex-wife was calling and chewing him out. I know that D was in the car with his mother and he heard his mother yelling at his father the way that she was. I could hear her and that was only though my friend's phone. Now I've never been divorced and I hope that I never am. However, one thing that I have spent a lot of time thinking about is that if I was to ever get divorced, I would never fight in front of my children. You see, I know that I would have to deal with my ex-husband for the rest of my life and I would want it to be as civil as possible. Even being married, there are times that my husband and I have fought, but that is something that we've never done in front of the children. Do you think that it is healthy for parents (divorced or still married) to fight in front of their children? If you are in a situation where there has been a divorce and children involved, do you try to keep it civil when dealing with your ex-spouse in front of the children?
5 people like this
35 responses
@jillhill (37354)
• United States
24 Jan 13
I am divorced and yes....we kept it civil. Even now when the kids are all grown up with kids of their own.....we still talk just like two ordinary people. When you get a divorce, and there are kids involved you have a lifetime committment for so many things.....confirmations, graduations, wedding etc...its much better to look past your differences.....after all if you are divorced then the problem has been taken care of, unless one of the parents demands to have it all their way.
1 person likes this
@dorannmwin (36392)
• United States
5 Feb 13
That is pretty much what his father was saying to the boy's mother. The issue is that the mother has remarried and the step-father has acted like he is the boy's biological father on more than one occasion and that is something that is driving my friend, the little boy's biological father nuts.
@911Ricki (13588)
• Canada
25 Jan 13
No, I would never, whether we were still together or not. I know my parent although wont admit it, arguing constantly, you see it, and you it will reflect how you view them and you solve issues as an adult. I know my brother does the samething, because he thinks it's normal because my parents did it for years.
@dorannmwin (36392)
• United States
5 Feb 13
I consider myself to be very lucky because I don't remember a single time that my parents fought when I was young. I know that they did have their issues, but they were not the kind of people that would air their dirty laundry in front of their children.
@dorannmwin (36392)
• United States
7 Feb 13
Now that you mention it, I do think that the child who I was talking about has a mother that has very little respect for him. You know not only does she fight with his father in front of him, she was also the same parent that left her seven, five and three year old children at home alone with a mentally challenged uncle while she went out with her boyfriend. That was the night that her oldest child and youngest son ended up getting killed in the house fire while she was not home.
@911Ricki (13588)
• Canada
7 Feb 13
Very true, it does affect the child, and it's clear those who do fight infront of the children do not respect the other parents, or even their kids for that matter.
@julyteen (13252)
• Davao, Philippines
25 Jan 13
If you can hide it from the children fight your partner while they are sleep or maybe inside your room or anywhere that children cannot hear. What would you expect to the kids heard their parents fighting each other. They will think about it and maybe it will register to their mind and bring the result until they become parents
@julyteen (13252)
• Davao, Philippines
9 Feb 13
If the children heard all the things the parents fighting for, it will register to their mind and probably will be copied when they become parents
@dorannmwin (36392)
• United States
12 Feb 13
That is something that is absolutely true. I do tend to think that the reason that my husband and myself don't fight very often is because of the fact that we were not exposed to fighting by our parents when we were growing up.
@dorannmwin (36392)
• United States
5 Feb 13
You are exactly right. I do believe that children feel a degree of guilt when they hear their parents fight, regardless of whether or not the fight had anything at all to do with the child at all.
@jenny1015 (13366)
• Philippines
25 Jan 13
I try not to let the kids see when me and my husband have a fight. I think that it is something that the kids wouldn't handle. And it might cause them trauma. But we did have one incident wherein my husband really couldn't get hold of his temper that he was really shouting on top of his lungs in the middle of the night. All my kids were sleeping in our room that time. I thought that not any one of them was awaken by his loud voice. But then I noticed my third son move. Then I realized he was awake and was sobbing. I know he got hurt hearing us fight although he never said a word about it the following morning.
@dorannmwin (36392)
• United States
7 Feb 13
Mine are a little bit older and I know that they will remember it. My daughter was nine and my son was five at the time. However, I think that after I explained to them that all people fight sometimes that it does make them realize that it had nothing to do with them.
@dorannmwin (36392)
• United States
5 Feb 13
My children were woke up by a fight that I had with my husband once and it was something that I know was very traumatizing to them. I certainly hope that is something that they never have to experience again in their lives.
@jenny1015 (13366)
• Philippines
6 Feb 13
Me, too! I don't want to see the hurt in their eyes, as well. I know that even if my son was so young when he witnessed that, I know that he still remembers that incident. I hope it doesn't give him a very wrong impression about his parents.
@iva75cpb (729)
• Bulgaria
25 Jan 13
Me and my boyfriend made this horrible mistake only once, two years ago. There was some financial issue involved and we started fighting and arguing, without even noticing our three-year old daughter was in the room. By the time we saw her, we have already told each other ugly stuff and mutual accusations. I can only imagine how this reflected on our little girl because she was agitated and nervous for almost a week after that, and we couldn't do anything to calm her. Eversince we haven't even fought, we cleared the matter and promised ourselves that whatever happens in this family, it will never again happen in front of the child. It can easily traumatize her for life and none of us wants this to be a role model for her, shall she have a family of her own one day. We've been trying to show her what a strong and civilized family is, how it lays on mutual respect, understanding, sometimes compromises and love. I hope I will never make this mistake again and we both deeply regret it.
@dorannmwin (36392)
• United States
7 Feb 13
You definitely are right. I feel like this was one of those lessons that we shouldn't ever have to learn. However, after we have learned the lesson, I really do think that it is a mistake that should never be made again.
@dorannmwin (36392)
• United States
5 Feb 13
The one time that our children did accidentally here us fight was something that really did bother me. I do certainly hope that this is something that should never happen again in my life.
@iva75cpb (729)
• Bulgaria
6 Feb 13
Yes, this is the right decision to make. I truly hope people like us, who previously made that mistake, have learned this lesson and never do it again. Our children, when young, are very fragile and every quake may cause serious traumas in the future, that's why we must do our best to spare them the trouble.
• Greece
11 Feb 13
When I broke up with my husband we gave the children, then 11 and 13 only basic reasons for going our separate ways. We did not blame one another and the children did not need to take sides. They accepted that we had made a decision and never questioned us further. When the children grew up I think they realised why living together was something we could not continue to do as husband and wife. I did not need to give them any explanation as they found it themselves. As a result of a peacable divorce my ex and I remained distant friends and met occasionally at family gatherings without any embarrassment. Looking back I can say that if we had remained together it would have been much harder for all of us to have lived happily. In my opinion it is selfish and cruel for parents to quarrel in front of the children or to speak badly of the father or mother that they love.
@dorannmwin (36392)
• United States
12 Feb 13
You have definitely illustrated something that I have said to another person in this discussion. There are times that people make much better friends than lovers. The fact is that if there are children involved, there will never be a time in your life that your ex will not be a part of your life in some way, shape or form.
@dorannmwin (36392)
• United States
13 Feb 13
That is definitely true. In thinking about the problems that you've had within a marriage, you think about the short-term fix and not the long-term consequences.
• Greece
13 Feb 13
In the battleground of a marriage breakup people tend to be short sighted, they just want it over and done with, but as you say an ex is never out of your life completely if children are involved. It is a wise couple who take the long term view that their 'unwanted other' is going to continue to have some effect on their lives and certainly on their children's in the future and to bear this in mind from the moment they decide to divorce.
@chiyosan (30184)
• Philippines
8 Feb 13
I have parents who have separated when i was 12. I guess over the years it took us by surprise because i have never remembered any day that they have fought in front of us. I have probably seen one, and well that was because a conversation went berserk during dinner and that was it. I guess It is important for kids to never see their parents shout at each other. It also forms part of how they would treat the other half of their parents, say the mother kept on shouting at the father and for the kid, he would probably feel he does not need to respect his father because he'd think he is not responsible, or does not deserve to be the father. Parents who separate should consider their kids feelings too, yes it is hard for the parents but its one hell a lot harder for the kids too, as they would be torn between the parents who can't agree and would fight in front of them, this breaks the kids as much as it has broken the parents. Perhaps if ever it would come to this, i would also want to be civil with my partner as much as possible. i would no longer want to strain the relationship more than it already has been.
@dorannmwin (36392)
• United States
12 Feb 13
I do think that there are also some situations where parents do make better friends than they do lovers. I know that there are some relationships where they get along much better after the divorce than they did before the divorce.
@ladynetz (968)
• Canada
25 Jan 13
Judging others and what you see is easy when you are not involved.I was thinking the same until I was so outraged that I did have a fight in front of my kids. We are not divorced, and hope not to be either.
@dorannmwin (36392)
• United States
5 Feb 13
This was the first time that I've heard these people fight. However, I know a lot about them and I know that there has been nothing about their separation that has been civil. All the way down to the fact that the ex-wife accused my friend of kidnapping their son from the hospital after he had been burned in a house fire and his father learned the wound care and the child was discharged in his care by the social worker at the hospital.
@sender621 (14894)
• United States
25 Jan 13
It does not do very much for the unity of the family when you and your spouse or partner fight in front of your children. That is something that is best set aside for time alone. Fighting does not give the children something solid to believe in.
@dorannmwin (36392)
• United States
5 Feb 13
I actually think that it would be much better if there was no fighting at all. However, I don't think that it is reasonable to expect that there will never be a fight.
@ShyBear88 (59308)
• Sterling, Virginia
25 Jan 13
I don't think it's healthy for the child to watch there parents fight at all not even if it's over the phone. Me and my husband try really hard not to fight in front of our kids because we don't want to stress them out or make them feel bad that it's there fault when it's not there fault. If me and my husband very get divorced we have talked about it many times with each other that we would keep it civil for the kids because that is what is best for them and we both love them very much.
@dorannmwin (36392)
• United States
5 Feb 13
I certainly do hope that my husband and I never do get divorced. However, as I've told him before, I don't care what should ever happen between the two of us, I do hope that we will always be able to be friends.
@ShyBear88 (59308)
• Sterling, Virginia
7 Feb 13
Same, if something happens to me and my husband and we get divorced I want us to be friends for our kids.
@shiesse (306)
• Canada
5 Feb 13
I have never been divorced, I'm happily married. I do not think it is healthy to fight in front of children though. I also disagree with bad mouthing another parent when they are not around. One of my family members is not with her daughter's father and is constantly calling him dirty hurtful names infront of her daughter. It is just so wrong. Fighting is normal and sometimes it is hard to contain yourself, but I think an effort should be made.
@dorannmwin (36392)
• United States
7 Feb 13
I will admit that there have been a lot of times that I've heard my friend talk badly about his ex-wife. However, I also have to say that none of those times when he is talking badly about her has their son been around.
@mariaperalta (19073)
• Mexico
25 Jan 13
bad idea... never understood how people did that. I never did.
@dorannmwin (36392)
• United States
5 Feb 13
Though there was one time that our children were woke up by our fighting, I don't believe that either my husband or I would stoop so low as to intentionally fight in front of our children.
@Mavic123456 (21893)
• Thailand
25 Jan 13
[i] Do you think that it is healthy for parents (divorced or still married) to fight in front of their children?[/i] Nope. If you are in a situation where there has been a divorce and children involved, do you try to keep it civil when dealing with your ex-spouse in front of the children? Yes, in every situation, there should be civility to any all occasion, regardless of whom you have disagreement with. Even, any family member. Firstly, they might witness, or hear something traumatic. Secondly, they may also hear something about me that I will also hear for the first time or in other words, "caught unaware". Thirdly they may also adapt what I did. Fourthly,they might become haters and vindictive.
@dorannmwin (36392)
• United States
5 Feb 13
I think that a lot of people don't think about the fact that they will still have to deal with their ex-spouse after the divorce because of the fact that they have a child or children together. Some will say that they will never have to see their ex after their child turns 18, but I don't even think that is the truth either because there will still be weddings and such after the child has turned 18.
@dorannmwin (36392)
• United States
7 Feb 13
You would certainly hope that there was. I know that one of my aunts was divorced and she actually did get along with her ex husband from the time that they were divorced. They had a daughter that was young when they got divorced.
@Mavic123456 (21893)
• Thailand
6 Feb 13
hmmmm.... will there be any passing moment here i mean after several months of separation? there could be a little civility after some time.
• India
15 Mar 13
Hii.. I think we parents should never fight in front of there kids this may adversely effect their mind. They may also stop loving people. There mindset also changes. It is the age when they expect love and care from their parents. Their future depends mostly on parents. They should think of their child first. The feeling of hatred increases in childs mind. This distrubts the childs mind. Child may sometime take a drastic step. We should understand our child first. Fights are not important than child even if they are divorced..
@dorannmwin (36392)
• United States
16 Mar 13
I do think that it is never appropriate to fight in front of our children, even when they are the object that is being fought about. With that said, I don't think that this is something that will breed hatred in their minds, but I do think that it will make children think this kind of behavior is acceptable.
@katsmeow1213 (28717)
• United States
25 Jan 13
I've heard that it's good to discuss a disagreement in front of children because that is how they learn, by watching their parents. Of course the disagreement needs to be kept civil so the children learn the right way to present their point of view and open to the views of others. Getting into a heated argument in front of the children where there is blame and name calling is just selfish.
@dorannmwin (36392)
• United States
5 Feb 13
My husband and I have had disagreements in front of our children, but these are typically just disagreements that we are able to verbally discuss. When it is something that really won't end up being civil, we both try to save it so that the children will not have to experience our disagreements.
@cynthiann (18602)
• Jamaica
25 Jan 13
Fighting does so much harfm to the children. It is awful for them and they are being used as pawns in the games of the parent or parents. Keeping it civil is the way to go. I wish my soon to be ex DIL could have read this post. She is still doing so much damage to her children.
@dorannmwin (36392)
• United States
5 Feb 13
I really do think that you are right about your soon-to-be ex-daughter-in-law and the damage that she is doing to her children. I think there are some times that people are parents that really shouldn't be a parent and I think that your soon-to-be ex-daughter-in-law is one of those people.
@much2say (54302)
• Los Angeles, California
25 Jan 13
Fighting no. But I do think it's healthy to have children see how people can argue opposing views in a civil way . . . talking things out without the name calling, yelling, hitting, etc etc. Hubby and I are not ones to have full blown fights with anyone (it's our nature to try and talk things out, we don't "fight") - so we hope we are setting a good example for the kids. It's inevitable we all come across those who just tend to chew people out - and someday the kids will have to deal with folks like that - so hopefully we can give them the skills to deal with that those kinds of situations.
@dorannmwin (36392)
• United States
5 Feb 13
For the most part, I am not a physical person at all. I think that in the eleven years that my husband and I have been together, there have been about three times that we've actually gotten into a physical fight. When this does happen, it is definitely something that we don't expose our children to.
@Metatronik (6199)
• Pasay, Philippines
25 Jan 13
It is not good idea that couples are fighting in front of their kids because it will be having the psychological effect. Though not at all and depends on case to case basis. There are times that others can tolerate it especially if they have already witnessed who's the fault. But then it might as well influence the kids that fighting is normal.
@dorannmwin (36392)
• United States
5 Feb 13
I don't even think that it is right that children who have witnessed parents fighting and have become immune to it is good at all either. This could very well mean that in the future these children will end up having the same kind of relationship as adults.
@dee777 (1417)
• South Africa
25 Jan 13
This is so wrong! Parents who involve their children into their fights are selfish and self-centered. Is there a way that you could send this woman this message??? If you have some sort of relationship with her, can you tell her that it is harmful for her child to listen to her shouting? She should be ashamed of herself.
@dorannmwin (36392)
• United States
5 Feb 13
No, there really isn't a way that I could send the boy's mother a message because I really don't know her. I mean I've seen her a couple times, but I've never really met her and I've never talked to her. I really don't want to know her either because I don't think very much of her for a number of different reasons.
25 Jan 13
its not healhly to fight in front of kids because they make think that makes it ok to do
@dorannmwin (36392)
• United States
5 Feb 13
That is basically my thinking in this matter as well.