8 rules to follow when your toddler sees you and husband in arguments

May 31, 2018
  • 1 / 9

    There is a hardly a couple who doesn’t have arguments, especially when they have kids.

    Yet, no child likes to see Mum and Dad fight with each other. Consider the negative impact: First, if you spend too much time squabbling with each other, you’ll have less time for her.

    Second, it creates a tense and strained atmosphere at home; and third, she doesn’t want to see the people she loves in dispute.

    Here are strategies to help you work things out so your little one won’t get upset.

    Related: Kate Pang: Having kids took a toll on my marriage

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  • Keep your fights away from her
    2 / 9 Keep your fights away from her

    Of course, there will be times when arguments erupt spontaneously between you and your spouse in front of your toddler. Where possible, delay the arguments until she is not around.

    Related: Video: Kate Pang on marriage, motherhood and work-life balance

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  • Don’t ask your toddler to take sides
    3 / 9 Don’t ask your toddler to take sides

    She loves both of you, so resist the temptation to draw her into the argument. For example, you may feel like asking her: “Don’t you think I am right?” That question forces her to choose one parent over the other. Leave her out of it.

    Related: 5 ways to turn that fight with your husband into a better marriage

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  • Reassure her she is safe
    4 / 9 Reassure her she is safe

    When your tot sees both of you in an argument, her sense of security diminishes. She may start to fear for her own safety and think to herself: “If Mum and Dad can be horrible to each other, maybe they will be horrible to me, too”. She also fears that you may hurt each other.

    Related: This is what married couples in Singapore argue about the most

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  • Explain that people need to release their feelings
    5 / 9 Explain that people need to release their feelings

    Despite the unpleasantness, the reality is that your two-year-old has to learn to cope with conflict and disagreements in her life. She has to learn that virtually everyone bickers sometimes, and that this is a normal – but usually undesirable – part of relationships.

    Related: 4 Singapore couples share their secrets to keeping marriage strong

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  • Model good behaviour
    6 / 9 Model good behaviour

    If your toddler sees that both of you can have a minor argument and still love each other afterwards, she’ll eventually grasp the concept that love and conflict are not mutually exclusive. She will learn that she can care deeply for someone and be annoyed with them at the same time.

    Related: 5 things to do when your child is affected by parents fighting

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  • Never show physical aggression
    7 / 9 Never show physical aggression

    Your two-year-old should never see physical aggression – or even threats – between you and your spouse. She may become afraid to leave the house in case something dreadful happens. Or she may become afraid that one day, she will be the one who is hit.

    Related: Marriage after kids: 10 ways to make your relationship stronger

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  • Demonstrate compromise
    8 / 9 Demonstrate compromise

    Show your tot that arguments can be resolved by compromise. Teach her that when two people want different things, they can reach a middle-ground through discussion and compromise. And if she learns this from you at home, she’ll be able to use this strategy when disagreeing with her friends.

    Related: She had a baby to save her marriage and here’s what happened

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  • Explain minor importance
    9 / 9 Explain minor importance

    If your toddler walks in on you while you are both in the middle of an argument, reassure her that the fight doesn’t really mean anything. Tell her explicitly that although you are both angry, you are disagreeing over a small matter. Make sure she understands this so she isn’t afraid of the conflict she has observed.

    (Photos: 123RF.com)

    Related: 5 relationship mistakes that sabotage your marriage

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