Should marital conflict be handled or discussed in front of your children?

If so what do you see as the advantages?

If not what do you see as the disadvantages?

For those who would like to include biblical references to support your positon please do. I am very interested in hearing all of your opinions.


  1. Monica says

    We do our best never to disagree in front of our children. Why? Because if we are arguing one (or both) of us are usually in sin. Normally it is a pride issue or poor communication. This has nothing to do with the children and we don’t believe that it edifies them in the least to hear us hash out our opinions and issues.

    Yes, we want them to learn how to resolve conflict and realize that mom and dad love each other no matter what- but as they get older I think that they will appreciate it all the more.

    We are by no means perfect but this is our goal:

    The fruit of righteousness will be peace;
    the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.

    My people will live in peaceful dwelling places,
    in secure homes,
    in undisturbed places of rest. -Is. 32:17-18


  2. Jack's Mommy says

    I just noticed what Earthmommy said about noticing that her oldest child would become frightened and insecure when she witnessed a fight. I agree completely as that was how i remember feeling during arguments. My parents never fought physically, but the verbal yelling was too much for a me, as a kid to handle mentally.


  3. Jack's Mommy says

    I am the lone horse in this one. I don’t believe children should have to witness conflict between parents! Other people, yes. Parents, no. I grew up in a home (as an only child) where my parents fought constantly, over anything and everything – and often, i would end up being caught in the middle with one trying to pit me against the other later on. It still happens to this day and I’m 25! I hated living in a pressure cooker, always afraid of the next conflict. I don’t care how small it was (“you didn’t flush the toilet!”, I never could stand to hear my parents argue with each other, especially over stupid, stupid stuff. I’m going to try my darndest not to fight in front of my children either.

    On the flip side, now, I do believe in teaching conflict resolution – but in my mind, disagreeing (or fighting, bickering, etc) with one’s spouse harms the children far more than it “teaches” them. When children are young and impressionable, it’s mentally hard to comprehend your heros (mom & dad) getting into arguments with one another.


  4. Earthmommy says

    Minor daily things are fine, so long as they can be discussed in a constructive manner. But I feel that fighting in front of children is a bad idea.

    I can speak from experience because when my oldest was young my hubby and I were really young and cluless and had yelling matches on a regular basis, which frightened her and made her feel insecure.

    These days we take care to argue in private, and many topics are absolutely not for discussion in front of the kids.


  5. Caroline says

    I think it depends on the matter at hand.

    A minor disagreement should be discussed in a loving way (gentle voices, respecting opinions etc)

    Major discussions should not be discussed in front of the children, especially younger children. We don’t think like children and they may think that their mom and dad may fight and argue all the time and that could lead to divorce which is a pretty scary thought for any child.

    My husband and I will discuss anything major after the children are in bed and we know that they are asleep. In the times that this has not happened and things seemed to get heated with us both losing tempers and yelling. we could tell that it was effecting our boys and stopped. No one in life is perfect and you can’t always time when your disagreements are going to occur, but if your children do hear you argue – reassure them that everyone disagrees from time to time, but you still love each other and after the disagreement is over make sure that your children see your love and kindness for each other on a daily basis.


  6. Anonymous says

    I, too, have to agree with Milehigh. Some conflict is bound to show between any two people who are close….it’s impossible to be agreement all the time. Therefore, kids get the chance to see arguments resolved in a loving, or at least civil, fashion. Bedroom issues: strictly off-limits to kids. Milehigh also mentioned employment issues, addictions, & so forth. I agree with that too. Hard though it may be at times, we mustn’t treat our children as confidantes, & thereby diminish our mates.



  7. Maggie says

    DH and I disagree on quite a bit and we do discuss it in front of the kids, usually in a playful way. Many things I would NOT discuss in front of them like anything that is causing a real conflict, makes us look divided or is inappropriate subject matter.


  8. Katrina says

    I agree with Milehimama. It depends on the subject matter. I think it’s a good and a normal part of life for kids to see conflict between their parents so they could see how they resolve it. That’s the most important thing. For them to see how they handle situations/ disagreements. Not for parents to put up a front and act like everything is perfect all of the time. I saw it with my parents. I can’t recall any details other than the fact that my parents always respected one another, they never called each other out of their names and after it was all said and done they were still loving toward each other. Now that stayed with me and my actions toward my husband. Though there are certain discussions that should happen behind close doors away from the kids. I don’t know any scriptures that relates to this topic. Curious to find out what they are.


  9. Milehimama says

    It really depends on the subject matter and nature of the conflict. A lost temper over a broken dish – yes.
    A disagreement over whether to buy new tires for the car or a new washing machine – yes. It is important for children to see that people can disagree and still love each other, and also for them to see “normal” conflict resolution skills. Especiallly when mainstream America uses Jerry Springer and Dr. Phil to “air their greivances”!

    Some things are not for children. Things that might degrade a parent in their eyes – conflicts over not being able to keep employment, addictions, or serious character flaws. Things that would not build your husband up. Harsh criticisms, however justified you think they are.

    And of course, “bedroom” conflicts remain between husband and wife. I don’t think those should be aired to anyone, friend or family.


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