The first relationship that child ever sees is the one their parents have — for better and for worse, that’s it for a very, very long time (at least from a romantic liaison point of view). What we teach them when we interact with our partners is how to interact — kids are more “show” than “tell” — you can tell them how to act but if you aren’t modeling it, forget it! So what does this mean in the scheme of things? First, you don’t have to stop arguing. It’s healthy for kids to see their parents disagreeing and even in a heated way.
Passionate disagreements are great… as long as they stay within the disagreement line. Being insulting, calling your partner stupid, telling him or her that they don’t know anything, or proclaiming your right to be right is out of bounds.
One of the most important things to teach when you are in the midst of a heated conflict is that sometimes the conflict ends without a resolution and that can be o.k. When people don’t agree on things they can still find a solution that fits some of the needs, if not all of them.Fighting to the finish where all that’s left is blood and gore and one or two devastated, worn out people, is not the goal.Fight with passion, don’t fight to win.Your kids will thank you later on in life and be grateful that you taught them (by modeling how it’s done) how to be in a relationship where both people respect the other’s opinion even if it isn’t their own.