How many times have you heard the saying that “Fighting is a natural part of life,” or “A good fight now and again is good for the relationship and keeps things alive”? But really, is that how you feel? Do you truly believe that fighting with the family, with your spouse, and especially your children, is good for you all?
Having fights within the family is definitely not a fun and pleasant experience. Each fight, regardless how small, will leave you drained of energy and feeling negative afterwards. Not only will you feel bad for the things you said and did during the fight, but your children will walk away feeling rejected, lost, unloved.
And do you wonder who suffers the most when fights occur in the family? Your children. You know that it is the kids that suffer the most when you have had nasty explosive fights. And you also know that a great deal of ugliness comes out that you would rather not have exposed to them on a regular basis.
Although a majority may think that fighting is healthy and natural, it is time for you to stand against this notion. As having the responsibility of being a parent, it is time for you to start making a conscience choice to find another solution to fighting. A family fight is something that you should be looking to totally eliminate from your life and the life of your children.
When I say that you must rid your life of fighting altogether, then you need to know exactly the kind of fighting that I am referring to. Fighting can take many forms. It means to participate in verbal exchanges which involve intense anger, rage, and sometimes physical abuse to your children.
Fighting with your kids also means to have verbal assaults on each other by rehashing the same old drama over and over again until your children are so frustrated that they become emotionally immobilized. Is this the kind of “healthy fighting” that you and your kids are going through? Do you still agree that is is “Ok” to have such negativity in the house?
If you genuinely want to eliminate fighting in your home with the children, then you absolutely must come to a decision yourself. And it does not involve waiting for your children to change. You must officially make fighting a thing of the past. It means that you must take a vow and refuse to raise children in an atmosphere of violence, both physical and mental. It means choosing love over anger, each and every time.
So, what is the answer? While there may not be a quick or easy answer, it all starts with connecting with your kids and really opening up and communicating with them. Remember, while they may be your ‘blood’, your kids may have a totally different personality and may process information completely different from you. You may think you are communicating with them, when in fact you are communicating more with yourself and not getting through to them. The next time things start to flair up, take a deep breath and try to understand what the child is really saying or trying to communicate, look at things from his or her perspective, remember kids are NOT min adults and perceive the world differently from us. A little thing that might not seem important may mean the world to them.
The trick is to put yourself in their shoes and see the world from their perspective. That insight can be very enlightening. Don’t get me wrong, this DOES NOT necessarily mean you agree with your child, or let him or her have their way. It just means you try to understand things from their perspective, and perhaps approach the situation a little differently. This might not be a solution for everyone or every situation, but what is it going to hurt? Perhaps one less argument?
Check out Pam Leo’s book. Her book deals with parenting without cohersion, and instead, parenting through connection.