I know that most of you reading never argue with your significant other…….LIARS!!!
Being married to an Italian has taught me something very important: IT’S NECESSARY TO SHARE YOUR FEELINGS, BUMP FOREHEADS AND GET IT ALL OUT ON THE TABLE….ALL THE TIME! It took me a very long time to get used to this method of communicating, but it’s grown on me and I see it’s healthy benefits.
As venting occurs and feelings are shared, little ears can be lurking nearby, eavesdropping or walking into rooms at just the right time….often oblivious to life’s important matters and the earth-shaking, intense conversations taking place between Mr. and Mrs.
My lovely wife and I have had a few of those blow-out disagreements, resulting in the “Mom and Dad Show.” “Step on up, only $5 a ticket, get your popcorn ready!”
“Mom and dad, why are you yelling at each other?” “Are you guys mad?” “Dad, why are you raising your voice?” These are definitely some common questions asked as they’ve heard some rather “intense” conversations.
I totally understand that for many, the natural decision would be to take an argument into the next room, where gloves can come off and children can be unaffected…..I would agree that there is a time for that, but not always.
At some point, we have to teach our children how to have dialogue, how to argue, how to explain themselves and how to move on.
I’m glad that my boys have not only witnessed our arguing, but most importantly, OUR RECONCILIATION. It comes down to communication, forgiveness and love. All this tying into Jesus’s love for us and providing that model for our kids. Pretty cool.
As parents, we’ve had a bunch of teachable moments, explaining that arguing is a normal thing between married folks. That just because we disagree, doesn’t mean that we love each other less. That being open with one another, even if it’s messy, is always more important than holding things in and becoming bitter and angry.
At the end of the day, I have to ask myself this question: Would I rather burden my kids with the heavy awkwardness of passive-aggression or would I rather surround them with healthy dialogue? I would vote for the healthy dialogue option, hands down.
My hope is that, as our sons witness our communication skills (as imperfect as they are), they might gather confidence for their future relationships. This would be the ultimate “YEAH!” moment.
Once again, I understand that not all conversations are meant for younger ears. Just don’t be afraid to let them see your communication, even if it’s messy. Kids can learn a lot, even from the most imperfect of examples.