Parents Arguing In Front of Children – What Are The Effects?

Have you ever argued in front of children? Are you feeling guilty about it ? Or has it become a habit now that you do not realise when you both start arguing in front of them ! You can always bring changes in your life and reduce the arguments. But before you do this, read below the effects of parents arguing in front of children.


  • According to the experts, children who witness their parents arguing on a regular basis, are at a risk of depression.
  • Children “copy” their parents. If they see their parents argue on a regular basis, they would do the same (not only during their childhood but also carry this habit into their adult life).
  • Children might lose faith in marriage.
  • Children might develop insecurity.
  • Children might develop rage, sulk and shout just like the parents.
  • Parents might not have a healthy, positive relationship with their child especially the father . Unfortunately, children always think that their mother is right and their father is wrong , even if that might not be the case.

Put yourself in your child’s shoes

If you and your parent are constantly arguing (doesn’t matter whose fault it is- I am no one to judge) , try thinking from your child’s perspective. The two people she/he loves the most in this world are constantly bickering, giving a lot of negativity, anger,fear and insecurity to her/him. Children do not have the perspective that adults have. They just accept things as seen, as understood, they do not think what is the reason behind these arguments.

Do you like to witness constant arguing, bickering?

If 2 people constantly argue in front of you would you like it? Even you would feel anger, rage and sadness at having to witness this very single day. If children or adults are sad every day, it ultimately leads to depression .

Do you actually like to bicker?

Every couple fights. But not constantly. There comes a point when you just don’t want to argue anymore. You can’t shout anymore.

How do you stop arguing in front of kids?

Only you can judge whether the reasons for your bickering with your partner are worth it. Is the reason important enough? More likely than not, it is nagging about everyday stuff! If the reason is not important for all the arguments, then you need to take control of your mind and tongue which can easily achieved:

  • LET IT GO- this is the price you have to pay to buy some peace. You need 2 people to argue. If you stop arguing your partner will stop as well. It doesn’t matter who is right and who isn’t!
  • Be the bigger person, think of the children and the impact it will have on them – be conscious of them around you . It doesn’t matter how old they are 6 months or 16 years. They will KNOW that something isn’t right between the parents.
  • While you are alone with your partner, try to talk things out (without raising your voices)- try to arrive at an understanding. Also remind him/her what effect it is having on the kids to witness you both arguing.
  • Try to form a habit of not arguing in front of kids by following the above, it won’t be easy to do in the beginning, but if your partner agrees and co-operates doing all the above , then the chances of this working will be ten- fold.
  • In case you fall off the wagon and argue in front of kids, hug each other and say sorry. Remember when your kids fight, you would be telling them to do the same thing!
  • Meditate- even if its for five minutes every day- This will bring inner peace, reduce your anger and most of all give you clarity of thought.

If you feel that reasons for your arguments are something very serious then, you would need to still talk to your partner in private (preferably when kids are not at home) and try to sort your differences out amicably and with maturity. Remember if you shout and scream you will be ruining your own peace as well.

Despite all the above, if you are not able to stop arguing then you should get help. For the sake of your children, you should do it rather than avoiding the issue or shoving it under the carpet. Longer you leave it, the worse it will get.

In my opinion, it is better to cut off a relationship and be at peace then to bear a burden of a bad relationship. Weigh the pros and cons of everything and the impact it will have on the children. Deal with it wisely and with maturity. Remember you as a parent are responsible for shaping the life of another being. Nobody, not even parents have the right to ruin their child’s life- emotionally or physically .

Parents will be able to walk away from their arguments or from each others’ life. But their children will have to bear the brunt of this for the rest of their lives!









8 Replies to “Parents Arguing In Front of Children – What Are The Effects?”

  1. Fantastic article. My wife and I have 3 daughters and another on the way. We don’t argue very often, but as you stated every couple does have them. We do our best to not argue in front of them. In today’s society I think a lot of couples don’t take their children into consideration and think about the negative impact it has on them. One key thing I loved you stated and my wife and I always do is if we slip up and have a disagreement in front of them we hug each other in front of them and apologize to each other and to our daughters. More parents today need to read this well written article and I thank you as it is a reminder to me not argue in front of children.

    1. Thanks David. Children are very sensitive and their brain is like a sponge- it absorbs everything . Parents are human beings too and sometimes we make the mistake of arguing in front of children so it is best to accept our mistake and assure the children that all is well between Daddy and Mummy!

  2. I recently finished reading a fascinating book called ‘The Naked Ape’ by Desmond Morris. It contained a number of useful insights into human biology and our relationship with the natural world, but his chapter on child rearing left the biggest impression on me. As it relates to your article, he talked about how much children are sponges and how it’s nearly impossible for parents to “fake” emotions around their kids, even in at the earliest stage of infancy. He suggested that children will read that energy and adopt it even if they can’t understand where it’s coming from yet. You mention this “copying” in your article, as well as a number of additional effects. I’m glad you worked meditation into your suggestions. What habits or reminders do you employ in your daily life to stay positive and practice non-attachment when conflict or disagreement does arise?

    1. Thanks for your comment Tucker.  I meditate everyday . Meditation brings inner peace. When you meditate petty issues don’t matter much . You learn to focus on what is important in your life. If there is something with which you disagree with your spouse either talk calmly about it in front of your children or talk when children are not around. If things are going out of control stop the conversation. Talk about it later when both of you are calm. Other option is to let go ! Is it really that important? Leave your ego on the side! I feel these things work for me.

      I know parents are humans and sometimes even we (my husband and I) argue in front of kids. But when I hug him and explain to my kids that Mummy and Daddy also fight sometimes just like you both do , they are fine with it. Reassuring kids that all is ok – is the key! However, if disagreements happen continuously , then it needs to be addressed – for the sake of the kids!

      Disagreements always cause stress to all – not just couples!

  3. This is a tough one, as most of us as parents, are fully aware of how hard it is to keep a relationship going and be a good and responsible parent all the time – kids take so much out of you!

    I’m really surprised to read that arguing in front of your kids can lead to them having depression at some point in their life – quite an eye opener really. But, don’t you think it’s near enough impossible for parents to go through life without arguing in front of their children at some point?

    Life always gets in the way – and so do emotions! 

    1. I totally agree with you Chris . Parents are humans and humans make mistakes. Therefore if you can’t control your emotions in front of kids , just hug your spouse after your argument ! Explain to your kids that even Mummy Daddy fight sometimes just like you both or you all (depends how many kids) fight. But to fight daily and continuously is not healthy for parents or for the children. Arguing creates stress and a negative environment in the house and this might lead to depression for the kids in their adult life. Childhood is the foundation of life. Parents must ensure , their children’s foundation of life is strong, healthy, secure and positive. Parents are always the role models for their children. 

  4. Ever since my granddaughter could talk she has shown concern if my spouse and I even raise our voices a little. She will ask, “Are you fighting?” We don’t argue or fight with each other very much. But when we do, we are reminded by our granddaughter (who we are raising) that we are raising our voices! We try to be very conscientious of this because it does cause her distress. Thank you for your reminder that we have a vital role in the lives of our children and that they live with our bickering for their life!

    1. Thank you Karin for pointing out that even Grandparents shouldn’t bicker in front of kids. Sometimes children don’t say much when they witness a disagreement but what goes on in their mind is not positive!

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