Every couple argues but, when you have a toddler, do you have to hold back when she’s in ear shot?
Let’s face it – you and your partner are never going to agree all the time. But, there’s a big difference between a disagreement and things getting really heated, so always keep this in mind when you feel yourself getting angry.
Even if it is the third time he’s dodge a nappy change duty that day.
Keep the argument measured
This can actually be a good chance to show your toddler how to handle disagreements. ‘You can teach your child how to express opinions clearly and calmly, negotiate, compromise and make decisions,’ says parenting coach and author Karen Doherty.
But steer clear of shouting, insults and swearing – they can be upsetting for a child and also suggests that’s the right way to handle disagreements. You could also find your baby mirrors your bad behaviour.
Struggling to staying calm?
Take a deep breath and press your mental pause button – actually imagine a remote control in your hand. It just gives you a sense of space and few seconds to compose yourself.
Physically stepping back can also help give you a bit of distance and perspective.
This can actually be a good chance to show your toddler how to handle disagreements.
Go into another room
If things are getting heated and you really can’t keep a lid on it, move into another room. If you both agree that’s how you’ll handle arguments, at least you’ll know when this is necessary.
When you’ve calmed down, be sure to “make friends” in front of your child so she sees that disagreements need resolution and everything is ok between you both again.
If you have shouted in front of her…
Both sit down with your child, tell her you made a mistake and you’re sorry he got upset. ‘Your toddler will just need reassurance that arguments aren’t catastrophic and everything is ok,’ says Karen. ‘A hug can go a long way as well.’
There’s no need to carry around a big load of guilt – we all make mistakes. It’s just a case of learning from them for next time.