WHAT CHILDREN LEARN WHEN PARENTS QUARREL

“My parents fight a lot”- 9 year old child.

”How do you feel when they fight?”- I asked.

“Sad..scared sometimes!!”- said the 9 year old child.

“Did you tell them that?”- I asked

“No, they are too busy at that time” – child

“Tell them when they are free” – I said

“I forget that time, we are too busy being happy that time”- child

“Do they fight more or are they happy more often” – I asked

“Off course, happy, fights are when they have nothing to do!”- child

“So, it’s best to keep them busy then..” – I said

“Ya, I keep them busy. I have many ideas, like forcing them to take me out, buy me something”- child

“Does that work?” – I asked

“Yes, but I can’t keep them busy always, I have to do my own thing also and leave them alone..!” – child

“Hmm..I understand..” – I said

“Don’t worry, it’s all time pass…nothing really happens. They become friends and forget about it. Just like we fight with friends?! Does your family fight??”– child

“oh yes, all the time..” – I

“See, I told you its normal, just keep them busy!”- 9 year old child.

“Hmm, I guess I should try that…thank you!” – I smiled.

“Keep your family busy, so they fight less!”- Lesson of the day, learnt from my 9 year old friend.

Pretending to be that perfect couple doesn’t serve much. It just takes you away from your reality, puts your mindfulness and sanity at risk. Denying conflicts or brushing problems under the mat also doesn’t help anyone. Not even your kids. You just postpone hassles.

Perfect relationships do not exist. Pretentious ones never impress me enough to emphasize upon. Real relationships involve conflicts.

Kids learn lots from conflicts and their resolution.

Conflicts are real life learning experiences for children. So, on the one hand they may be a cause of temporary stress for the quarrelling partners and may be disturbing for children at times (depending on the age of the kids), on the other hand they teach children that,

  •  Disagreements happen;
  •  Arguments are natural in most relationships;
  •  Quarrels need not translate into break ups;
  •  Every problem has a solution;
  • Compromise is a reality and it works;
  • Resolution of conflicts is important to move on;
  •  People have moods and tempers;
  • Relationships evolve;
  • Apologies are worth it and sorry is a useful word;
  • Patience is an acquired skill – practice makes perfect;
  •  Also teaches them what is acceptable behavior and what is not.

Perhaps the greatest learning of brawls is that people are different and they think, feel, react, and respond very differently from one another; and the same people behave differently in different situations; because human beings are victims of their circumstances.

Loud argle-bargles result in anger, arguments, condemning, fierce exchange of opinions and judgments; but learning is what follows.

Real relationships teach children far more than pretentious ones. Conflicts and their resolution are important to witness, to grow up with balanced views.

Seeing two sides of the coin is better than growing up believing that the world is perfect, peaceful and incontrovertible, when, it really is not!

Sugary pretend play by mummy daddy, does not teach kids to deal with their own troubles. Spontaneous and natural interactions are all that matter. It is like understanding life on Mars and Venus, while living on the Earth!

Rohini Sethi                                                                                                                                           Child Development Consultant                                                                                https://in.linkedin.com/in/rohini-sethi-32715247