My partner and I don't argue that often, but when we do we can't always avoid the presence of our children. How much they overhear or take in isn't entirely in our hands, but we're the ones responsible for making it right. Lately, our daughter's been eavesdropping rather frequently, making it nearly impossible to shield her from every disagreement. When I reflect on some of the ways I explain fights with my partner to my kid so she's not anxious, I'm sure I can do more.
I still remember hearing my parents argue, and I was younger than my daughter is now. Together, my parents' contradictory personalities were the equivalent to a volcanic eruption. When all was quiet after each and every disagreement, no one sat me down to explain how relationships works, or how conflict and resolution works. As a result, I've struggled in my adult relationships. How am I supposed to know the right way to argue (and make up) with someone I love, if I've only witnessed the wrong ways? Thankfully, my parents divorced, saving me from additional years of what can only be described as bad examples.
When I reflect back on those days, and how terrified the conflict made me feel, I can't help but connect it to what my daughter might feel now. While not the same situation by any means, kids don't need to understand what the argument is about. They just need to feel safe and secure in knowing their parents are OK together and as individuals. I never felt OK hearing my parents fight, but I'll be damn sure my kids do. Here are some ways I've explained arguments with my partner to them, so they don't grow up with similar anxieties.