My husband and I have made a lot of mistakes in our parenting career, but we’ve been pretty consistent about one rule: No fighting in front of the kids.

So, I couldn’t be more surprised to read the latest research which turns the traditional wisdom on its head.

Turns out, fighting in front of your kids isn’t bad at all. In fact, it’s a GOOD idea to fight in front of them. BUT (and this is a big one), only if you also resolve your conflict in front of them.untitled (41)

When researchers studied families, they learned that children who witness their parents having conflict and, then, resolve that conflict reported higher general happiness than children who never witness their parents having a conflict. However, children who witnessed their parents fighting but didn’t resolve their conflicts in front of the children reported lower happiness levels. And, (this is important), fighting in front of your children is NOT healthy for them if the conflict is violent, hurtful, or contemptuous.

What does all this mean? If you can model healthy conflict and, more importantly, conflict resolution, in front of your children, you will raise, generally, happier children. Even more so than parents who never fight in front of their children.

Just in case you needed another reason to love conflict resolution—turns out, it makes for happier kids, too!


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