How to Resolve Conflicts Without Affecting Your Children

Fighting is normal in every relationship. However, knowing how to resolve conflicts without affecting your children is important so that the situation doesn't get worse.
How to Resolve Conflicts Without Affecting Your Children
Natalia Cobos Serrano

Written and verified by the social educator Natalia Cobos Serrano.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

Knowing how to handle conflicts is necessary in any relationship, and it’s essential when forming a family. Not handling issues well can seriously hurt your kids. In this article, you’ll find out how to resolve conflicts without affecting your children.

Every fight is different, and they can have lots of forms. They can range from small disagreements to big argumentsAdditionally, they could be seriously damaging fights.

Conflicts are natural

Doctors Les and Leslie Parrot point out that conflict is natural in intimate relationships. Once you know this, conflicts will stop being a crisis. Then, couples can see them as an opportunity to grow.

Not having conflicts and arguments as a couple doesn’t mean you’ll have a great relationship in the future. In fact, spouses that don’t want to fight actually run the risk of having unresolved arguments and conflicts.

For Les and Leslie Parrot, couples who avoid confrontation and don’t fight often end up with “substitutes for anger” instead of dealing with their emotions. Some of these substitutes include depression, eating more than necessary, or even physical illness.

Gloria Pérez and Victoria Pérez in their book, Learning to live together: conflict as an opportunity for growth, state that conflicts themselves aren’t positive or negative. In fact, it depends on how you deal with them.

How to Resolve Conflicts Without Affecting Your Children

However, conflicts can be very hurtful if you pay attention to unimportant things, act irresponsibly or say mean things. All of that can actually make things worse.

How to resolve conflicts as a couple without affecting your children

  • Deal with conflicts at the right time and place. For example, treat problems when children aren’t at home. Also, make sure you have enough time to discuss the issue when you’re both calm.
  • Keep the conflicts private. Disrespectful and heated conflicts should be private. Make sure that your children aren’t around.
  • Think about postponing dealing with it. If one of you doesn’t want to deal with the problem at the moment, consider waiting a little bit. However, don’t wait more than one day.
  • Ask for a time out. If the discussion is getting heated, remember that you can ask for a pause. That way, you can both calm down before arguing again.

“Trust in time, which often gives sweet exits to many bitter difficulties.”

When children are present during conflicts

Sometimes, kids are inevitably present while you and your partner are fighting. If this happens, it’s important to follow a few steps so that you don’t hurt your children.

  • Explain to them as a couple that they’re not the problem. Sometimes when kids see their parents fighting, they think they’re responsible. Tell them that the fight is just between you two, and it’s not about them. Also, tell them you’re trying to find a solution, without needing to explain what the problem is.
  • Be a model for themYou can turn it around so that your children see arguing as a learning opportunity. Teach them how to solve a conflict in a constructive way. Show them what a calm discussion looks like based on mutual respect. Then, take turns listening to each other and speaking politely to understand each other better.
How to Resolve Conflicts Without Affecting Your Children

Why is it so important to know how to resolve conflicts without affecting children?

Clearly, resolving problems constructively is very beneficial for you and your partner. When you fix the problem and your differences as a couple, and find the solution together, you’ll feel more united and positive. Therefore, you’ll strengthen your relationship.

On the other hand, if your children see you handle conflicts like this, they’ll learn to deal with their own problems in the same way. They’ll learn valuable skills like negotiation and problem solving.

In short, knowing how to resolve conflicts without affecting children is important at home. When parents fight frequently or don’t resolve issues, it affects their children.

This makes kids more prone to personal problems when they reach adulthood. Constructively managing conflicts with your partner will give your kids a good relationship model to follow.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Parrot, L. y Parrot, L. (2011). Asegure el éxito en su matrimonio antes de casarse. Editorial Vida. España.
  • Pérez, G. y Pérez, M.V. (2011). Aprender a convivir: el conflicto como oportunidad de crecimiento. Narcea ediciones. España: Madrid.
  • Moreno Martín, F. (1999). La violencia en la pareja. Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública.
  • Perles, F., San Martín, J., Canto, J., & Moreno, P. (2011). Inteligencia emocional, celos, tendencia al abuso y estrategias de resolución de conflicto en la pareja. Escritos de Psicología / Psychological Writings
  • Morón Gaspar, R. (2006). Terapia integral de pareja. EduPsykhé.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.