Children are innocent souls, who require tender love and attention at all times.
Now, amidst tons of responsibilities, and deadlines, we often tend to forget that every action or reaction in front of children will have some kind of effect on the child.
6 things you and your husband should never do in front of children include:
1. Name calling
Statements like: “I had no clue I was in this ALONE!” “Thank you SO MUCH for forgetting again!” “CAN’T YOU get it yourself?…
While your child may not be able to explain what sarcasm means, the child is smart and is able to pick up things like pitch, tone, and underlying emotions with which you say a thing.
It’s how they will figure out that you did not mean it when you looked at your partner and said, “Oh you’re SUCH a darling!
Rule of thumb: You two should be careful about not addressing anyone with any colourful names in front of the children.
This is why even sarcasm counts and you should watch out for it.
A lot of parents (me inclusive) complain about how kids these days have smart tongues and talk back too often and too much.
What we don’t realise is – it is our own sarcasm that the children are picking on and learning to apply.
They will know when you are calling names, be it your partner, your sister-in-law, the neighbour, the maid, the school teacher… children will know, even if you try to sugar-coat it.
Simply put, fighting is a very juvenile way of working through any kind of situation.
Yes! Anger, hurt, pain, disappointment, and all those negative emotions you feel are real.
However, there are other, more mature, and constructive ways to deal with these emotions than to engage in a fight with your partner – verbal or physical.
If you really think about it, you’ll see that fighting does not resolve anything – it only worsens the mess.
And you’ll be surprised at just how much fighting can affect children.
According to UNICEF, showing signs of aggression or getting into shrewd arguments or domestic violence in front of the child will lead to the child growing up with similar problems in the future.
Showing signs of aggression, being loud or violent in the presence of your child can make your child feel extremely insecure and scared.
It might also lead to him/her developing the same habits on growing up.
In another study by the University of East Anglia, it was reported that children who grew up in a household with mild to moderate family problems, had smaller cerebellum than other kids.
The cerebellum is a part of the brain that is associated with psychiatric illnesses.
So, the next time you feel the urge to retort your partner’s words with an equal and opposite force and your child is around, sit your partner down and have an adult, mature conversation with them.
See yourselves as each other’s partner in crime. Also, resolve to always approach conflicts in this manner.
This will not only remarkably and positively affect your relationship; your child will also learn how to communicate effectively.
3. Ignoring Your Partner
Ignoring your partner or family members in any circumstance will increase your child’s emotional instability and leave him more emotionally withdrawn.
Extending this behaviour— ignoring your partner in front of your child, you show your child that this is acceptable behaviour resulting in them ignoring you in return during an argument.
4. ‘Getting Busy’
This is another no-brainer.
For all obvious reasons, it is a bad idea to have sex when your child is around or to even get too naughty with each other.
One of the reasons why children these days are hitting puberty so quickly is the early exposure they are getting to sexually explicit content – through movies, music, TV, and of course, the internet too.
We might think they are “too young to understand” and so “it’s no big deal”, but there is a reason even child psychologists always advise against this kind of early exposure.
Regardless, undisputed is the fact that children do need to learn how to show love, affection, empathy, and sympathy through healthy physical contact.
So, while it is never advisable to get down and dirty, a light physical display of affection is necessary. This helps your child learn this important social and personal skill.
This means that you can, and should still feel free to hug your partner, kiss them on the cheek, put your arm around them, or cuddle together.
So long as your acts are not overly sexual in nature, physical contact should not be completely eliminated.
5. Get High
Series of studies show that children whose parents drink alcohol/smoke in front of them tend to not consider drinking as ‘harmful’ or ‘bad’, and are more likely to start drinking and smoking earlier than other children.
In fact, such children are also twice as likely as other children to ‘abuse’ alcohol and cigarettes and binge on them.
You’ll be surprised just how much even casual and/or social drinking (and smoking) can affect children.
Also Read: 5 Ways To Strengthen Father-Son Relationship
While you may not be indulging in the bottle or the glass too much, and maybe well within your limits for drinking to actually get drunk, children lack the perspective and maturity to understand this, hence the reason it is best to keep the bottle (and the glass) away when your child is around.
For house parties, ensure you hold off on the drinking till your child is asleep.
For social drinking, try staying away from alcohol altogether. But if that’s not going to be possible, do not take your children along for such parties.
It goes without saying that giving or receiving bribes in front of your child is an ethical thing you and your spouse should never do in front of your child/ren.
Bribing can be a tempting method to change your quickly get out of trouble, save yourself time, or get a little ahead but the effects are real on your child watching and collecting data.
Bribing to a kid or in front of a kid retards their overall mental development and sends him/her a message that cutting corners means can help him survive in the world.
While taking care of your family, and doing your best to survive especially in this part of the world, an action like bribing can have a long-term effect on the health and development of your child.
Best to avoid it.
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