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Parenting Issues Message Board

Parenting Issues Board Index

It absolutely affects the kids. My ex-husband and I use to argue all the time and some of them were very heated. My daughter was around almost all of them. One of the last memories she has of the 3 of us living together was when he threw her chocolate milk at me. That was right before her 3rd birthday, she will be 6 next month.

There was an incident last summer where my husband (new one, not the ex), my daughter (who was 4), the baby (about 6 weeks old), and myself went to my sister's house to visit. Her and her husband fight a lot and they are yellers. Something happened and my BIL yelled at one of the kids very loudly. My daughter got so upset she was in tears and we had to take her home. On the car ride home she brought up "the chocolate milk" incident and wanted to know if "old daddy" (as she refers to him) still yells like that. We had to get into a whole different discussion of why she can't see her father anymore, but that's totally off topic.

My point is, even if the arguments are not that bad kids do feel the tension. The may not understand the feelings they are having but they know something is going on. It is best to do the arguing without the children around. Either have someone come over to watch them so you can discuss things outside of the house or wait for them to go to bed and talk quietly about it at the other end of the house. My husband and I will have disagreements, but we are very sure now not to do anything in front of the girls. I hate that I caused my daughter's uneasiness by fighting with my ex all the time. Kids need to feel secure and protected and it's impossible to feel that if the people they depend on the most cause a lot of tension.

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