I just finished a fascinating book called “Nurtureshock,” by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, and it really opened my eyes about how children interpret all of these things we parents do/say/model. One of the most interesting chapters had to do with conflict (so you know my eyes perked right up!)
When they talked to teenagers about conflict in the home, an outstanding majority said they actually LIKE having arguments with Mom and Dad and don’t usually have negative feelings about the conflict at all. Instead, they felt like Mom and Dad cared when they argued with them and felt like they were resolving issues that, well, needed to be resolved.
What’s even more interesting, though, is how PARENTS reacted to conflict with their children. An outstanding majority had VERY negative feelings after an argument with their child.
I learned a lot from this research–and feel much better about the arguments I have with my children. It’s the same lesson we at The Olive Branch Blog preach all the time–facing your conflict is better than avoiding it. And, look, now it even applies to our children!