As Parents, Should You Argue Better?

by Hannah Fox |
Published on

Could you argue better? Research shows how you row as parents has an impact on your child's wellbeing

Whether it's bickering over nappy change turns or a full-on blowout about who's had the least sleep, it's normal to have arguments when you're parents. But it seems that how you argue has the most impact on your child.

Relationship charity OnePlusOne, who led the research, identified destructive conflict as sulking, walking away, slamming doors or making children the focus of an argument. This can have long-term impact on your child including headaches, stomach pains and even affecting the rate at which he or she grows.

Of course arguments are a normal part of family life, and the charity says that in some cases, rows can be healthy and constructive.

'It's not whether you argue but how you argue which matters most to kids,' says Dr Catherine Houston from OnePlusOne and co-author of the study. Children react better when parents can relate to each other more positively during arguments.

'Evidence suggests that working with couples at an early stage in their relationship or during times of change – such as after having a baby – can modify destructive patterns of conflict,' says Dr Houston.

The charity are offering a free online course for couples called 'How to Argue Better' which is designed to help you stop arguments from getting worse and sort out issues.

How do you smooth over conflict in your family? Let us know in the comments box below.

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