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What to do When Your Children Witness a Fight

Chances are that you and your spouse have had arguments that your children are aware of. Even at a young age, children are able to comprehend when something is wrong between mom and dad. The tension is obvious, even when parents are not shouting, yelling, or tossing dishes. Violent situations like that can shake a child and remian in his or her memory for life.

In fact, if you choose to divorce your spouse, the fights that your child has witnessed may become a serious determining factor in which parent gets custody. Social workers and court appointed individuals will probably interview your children if they are old enough and ask them questions about you as a parent. If you were violent towards your spouse, then it may strike fear into your children and motivate them to tell the legally appointed workers that they don’t want to spend time with you.

If your children witnessed a fight between you and your spouse, it’s best to address the situation. Explain to your kids that parents fight just like kids do. Remind them of times when they have been angry at a sibling or a friends, and explain that Mommy and Daddy can have the same problems.

If your spouse has threatened to injure him or herself, has threatened to commit suicide or said he will leave you and the family, and your children witnessed this, then these arguments will be harder to address with your kids. You may want to talk to them about what happened but chances are that they will be uncomfortable or fearful around your spouse from now on.

This is part of the punishment that that person will receive for acting erratically. If your fighting escalates into a divorce, then talk to your kids. Tell them that you and your spouse can no longer be together but that you still love them very much. You may want to send your children to family counseling sessions or hire a therapist to help them cope with the difficulties.