I got a note from our middle child the other day — I found it on the stairs:
My parents almost never fought in front of me—I can’t think of a single event or situation in memory! They decided, for whatever reason, that that’s how our family was going to operate.
My family is very different as we have, historically fought in front of our kids. Our justification in the early-stages was that we thought that by “showing” them that we could have disagreements, even passionate ones, and still end up loving each other completely was a model that could work.
I’m beginning to see that this decision may have not been the absolute best, but, we still want to be able to model conflict and conflict-resolution with our children…
… what to do? All I know is that when I get notes like this… it breaks my heart.
My 8-year old isn’t emotionally mature enough to understand the nuance between an “intense” discussion where we’re intentionally hurting each other with our words versus an “intense” discussion where we’re arguing the points, passionately, but, without ad hominem vectors.
But, my daughter isn’t wrong: My wife and I argue about dumb things all the time and we do need to cut that shit out.