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Arguing with Your Children

Contrary to popular opinion, arguing with your kids is not detrimental to their development. Instead, it may encourage them to consider various points of view surrounding an issue. Parents and children can get caught up in a power struggle that is often a battle of the personalities, rather than an argument about anything useful. Arguing with your kids in a constructive way teaches them to consider other opinions, and be critical thinkers.

Parents, here are a few tips to help you constructively control an argument with your child.

  • Don't become overly emotional. If you are angry or extremely emotional, it is best to take a few minutes, breathe, and clear your head before you talk. Controlling your emotions will also control the argument. Your child will respect you and your authority more.

  • Be the grown-up. As many arguments between parents and children are power struggles, it may be tempting to mirror your child's argument tactics. For instance, if they yell at you, you might be tempted to yell back. This confirms that yelling is an acceptable form of communication. Behave in a calm, controlled way and your child may follow suit.

  • Respect your child. A key ingredient to a proper argument is to respect the other person. Respect your child and his or her point of view. Acknowledge his or her opinion. This will teach them that respect is important in all communication.

  • Above all, stress the importance that your argument doesn't mean that you don't care for them or love them anymore. Disagreements don't cancel out the incredible love you have for your children. Knowing that you love them even though you had a disagreement is important to establishing a life-long relationship.
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