During times of conflict, it’s important to have good communication with your children, as well as them. We’ll cover some positive parenting tips to help you get through conflict without causing further pain or distress for your children.
How to Interact With Children in Times of Conflict
When you and your partner are fighting or stressed about external conflict, you can take steps to avoid exposing your children to tension and drama. As parents and as adults, you can make the choice to handle things in a way that will be healthy and safe for the children in your home.
Kids pick up on the environment around them quickly and will be able to tell when things are wrong or when their parents or caregivers are unhappy. It’s important to balance this by using positive ways to talk to your child, mindful parenting skills, and mature ways of handling conflict that do not involve the kids.
This article will detail five positive parenting tips for parents to communicate healthily and effectively around their children during times of conflict.
What may seem obvious sometimes really is the best advice. These positive parenting tips are here to remind you of what is most important and to help you have great parent-child communication during times when it can be the hardest to do.
- Making your children the primary focus when conflict arises.
- Effective and healthy communication with your children during conflicts.
- Having adult conversations without involving the children.
- Self-care and healthy coping strategies for yourself.
- Setting the example with good communication skills.
1. Focus on Your Children
First, when your children are around, focus on your children. This is the number one most important skill for parenting all around, but it is especially essential in times of conflict, stress, worry, or any change in the household.
Your focus on your children will make them feel loved and safe. Spending quality time with your kids will help you see what is truly important in life and provide you with some stress relief as well.
How to Interact With Children in Times of Stress
Children are our teachers and spending time with them is always a lesson. But they are also learning how to manage their own lives by watching how we handle ours.
When the stress levels go up, so do the needs of every person involved. Smooth out the chaos with some personal time with your children. Take the time to play with your younger kids, enjoy games or favorite shows with your older kids, and connect to your teens in ways that make them feel the positive glow of your attention.
2. Keep Communication With Your Children Positive
Second, when you speak with your kids, keep it positive. They do not need to hear the gloom and doom regarding the conflict or its source, or the worries and their never-ending what ifs.
You can say you are working something out with their other parent or that you two are having a problem but are dealing with it together. Keep this honesty balanced with positivity and hope.
Hope is key because it shows your children that you are aware, working on the issues, and going to do all you can do to ensure they are safe and loved.
Make sure your children understand that it is up to the adults to work on the problems and if they have any questions or want to talk, you will be there to help. Remind them they are loved and important to you.
3. Private Time for You and Your Partner to Talk
When you have to have ‘hard talks’ with your partner, do this when the kids are asleep or in school. Find a way to keep these talks calm and focused. Keep the kids out of it in terms of what they can see, hear, and feel in the house regarding any tensions and high emotions.
Have conflict resolution talks when the kids are not around or in an area of the home where the kids cannot hear you, when your kids are sleeping, or outside the home with a trusted counselor; but not in front of the children. The issues are between you and your partner and the children’s environment should be safe, stable, and full of love and support.
4. Take Time for You
Dealing with stress and parenting is, well, stressful. With any circumstances that involve (excess) stress, it is vital to take some time for you.
Engage in self-care activities that will give you a grounding center from which to tackle the day ahead. Model healthy coping skills for your children. It is ok for them to see that you are stressed or hurting, but how you handle it impacts the way your children learn to deal with the stresses of life.
Take those bubble baths, drink your favorite hot tea, meditate, turn on some YouTube yoga, color, read, take walks—whatever makes you feel at peace. When you feel strong, focused, and centered in yourself and in who you are, this helps you communicate with those around you in ways that radiate confidence, calm, and care.
5. Model Communication Skills
And finally, demonstrating positive ways to talk to your child creates an opportunity to model the communication skills you would like them to learn. It may be hard during conflict to model this with your partner, but you can do it with your child too:
- Be positive
- Be affirming
- Be honest
- Use ‘I’ statements
- Reduce anger, blame, frustration, and upset (deescalate)
- Apologize when things are less than ideal
- Encourage your children to come to you when they need help processing their emotions
The way you handle communication in your home, in your relationships, and with your children becomes a model for them throughout their lives when they face their own troubles and problems.
Armed with positive parenting skills and a bit of your own common sense, you can balance a strong and intentional focus on your kids and a process of working with your partner on important issues.
By utilizing these five positive parenting tips, you can work to have healthy and effective communication with and around your kids when times get tumultuous. Above all, your children should always feel loved, safe, and protected to help them with their well-being and to develop well.
Postpartum depression (PPD) is a very real and serious problem faced by new mothers. I had the opportunity to speak on PPD as a guest
Hi, I’m Frank Dixon, author and CEO of Best Parenting Books, where we curate books to help parents and families grow stronger through reading. Our
During times of conflict, it’s important to have good communication with your children, as well as them. We’ll cover some positive parenting tips to help
Meet Frank Dixon
Best Parenting Books is a collection of the most constructive and eye-opening books for parents.
Parenting is stressful and overwhelming, and it can feel isolating trying to figure it all out on your own. Parents can find a real sense of solidarity and guidance in connecting with those who have gone through the process before them. One of the easiest and most useful ways to do this is through parenting books. Best Parenting Books is a collection of works by Frank Dixon, a parenting and child development specialist.
Dixon’s own childhood was difficult and he faced many obstacles at an early age. He prevailed despite his challenging upbringing, and now is on a mission to help other parents raise happy and healthy children. Frank Dixon offers a variety of tips for a huge range of circumstances, and every parent will find something of value in his writing.