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Most people think one of the worst things parents can do is fight in front of their kids. But that’s not necessarily true.

Should you fight in front of your kids? It depends on if you fight in constructive ways or in unhealthy ways. Bryan and Tracy spend some time contrasting the difference between productive and unproductive communication.

[Related: Don’t Let Bad Communication Derail Your Marriage]

Video Highlights:

  • It’s unhealthy to fight in front of your kids if you’re only yelling and screaming. Or, if you’re calling each other’s names. It’s also bad to model storming off and refusing to talk about the issues.
  • Your kids will observe how you fight and will end up doing the same things when they get married.
  • It’s important to understand that the goal isn’t to have conflict. The goal is to do it right. If you never fight in your marriage, that may be a sign that you’re not very invested in the relationship.
  • Healthy fighting means you have a conversation. You can state your opinions in a calm fashion. Listen and be respectful. You can disagree and still love each other.
  • Once you have the conversation, you move toward solutions. It s great for your kids to observe that there is growth and change from the conversation.

It’s good for kids to see parents communicate and work to resolve things. It’s good for kids to see parents be teachable and humble. Obviously, you have to be sensitive toward the content of the conversation and if it’s appropriate to talk about that particular subject in front of the kids. But, don’t think you can’t ever disagree in front of the kids.

[Related Series: How to Keep Talking in Marriage]

Talk About It
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. What did your parents model for you about conflict growing up? How has the impacted your view of conflict as an adult?
  3. On a scale from 1-10, how bad is your communication with your spouse right now? What’s working? What’s not?
  4. Describe a time you fought in front of your kids. What do you think they observed about you? How about your spouse?
  5. Do you feel like you ever come to a resolution when you fight? Explain.
  6. Read Ephesians 4:29. How well do you do at following this verse? Why do people resort to insults in times of conflict? What damage can that do to a marriage?
  7. How do you usually feel after you’ve had an argument? Explain.
  8. Read Colossians 3:8-10. What are some of the bad behaviors you need to stop doing? What are some practical things you can do to put on your new nature in Christ that will help you in times of conflict?
  9. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.
Adapted from the FLEXTALK YouTube channel.