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Resolving Marital Issues? How to Keep Your Kids from Getting Involved

>> Feb 16, 2011

Every marriage has its fair share of problems. Even the most perfect unions have their moments of marital strife. Whether your marriage is suffering from the usual small quibbles, or your marriage is in some serious trouble, it's best to keep your kids out of the arguments. After all, mom and dad represent, for young kids especially, authorities and guardians who are "perfect" in the sense that they know best. Although it's certainly not true that parents are perfect, keeping this image intact is an important part of a young child's developmental processes.
Here are a few tips for keeping your kids away from your marital arguments.

1. Never have an argument in front of the kids.Arguments, if you must have them, should occur when kids are away. Remember that parents are the basic model of behavior that young children emulate. If you are having a civil discussion with your spouse about something, then it is, of course, important for you children to see that this is how problems are best resolved. But if you must have a shouting match with your spouse, do it behind closed doors.

2. Don't talk about your partner in a disparaging way behind his or her back.When you are having problems with your spouse, it may be tempting to talk behind your spouse's back in front of, or even to, the kids. This is a terrible thing to do because it teaches your child that gossip and back-biting is an acceptable behavior. It also degrades the status of your spouse as your child's mother or father. Kids need models for both mothers and fathers. Creating a bad image of one will only serve to tear down these effective models.

3. Emphasize to your kids that no matter what happens, both you and your spouse will always love them.It's important for your children to understand that despite struggles within a family, both mom and dad will always love them. Whenever a marriage is suffering, kids tend to internalize the problems, and many falsely belief that these problems are their fault. Don't let your children fall victim to these false impressions; tell your kids you love them often.

4. Never have your kids serve as messengers.There will inevitably be times when you and your spouse will have an argument, and you don't want to talk to each other for a little while. The worst thing you can do, however, is to heighten the tension between you and your spouse by having your children serve as messengers. By saying things like "Go tell Daddy X" or "go ask your mom", you only make the tensions between you more apparent to your kids. If you have something to say to your spouse, tell them yourself; don't put your children in the middle.

Of course, keeping marital problems away from your kids is a lot easier said than done. But before you let your temper run away with you, remember that the relationship between you and your partner is the basis for which your children will learn how to interact with other people.
By-line:
This guest post is contributed by Kitty Holman, who writes on the topics of
nursing colleges. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: kitty.holman20@gmail.com.

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