Quarreling in front of your children

Bishop Charles Ighele

There is no one little children look up to more than their parents. In their young eyes, their parents are the strongest, prettiest and most intelligent. To these young minds, their parents are heroes. This mindset makes it very easy for children to copy their parents’ behaviour.

A young man was seen beating his wife and when some neighbours confronted him, he said he did not see anything wrong in beating his wife, because he had seen his mother beaten by his father. His father had told him that beating a woman was a way of making her come to her senses. This is a typical case of a child reproducing what he saw his parents doing.

If we check the words we use in disagreements, we may discover that some of them are borrowed from parents’ vocabulary; some of the harsh words our parents used on us. It is important to note that children copy what they see their parents do. As a matter of fact, children copy more of what they see you do than what you tell them to do. Though you may think they are young, but they are actually observing your ways, actions, reactions, speeches, etc. as they grow up. A child who always sees his or her parents cursing each other whenever they argue, will definitely grow up with that mindset and do same to his or her spouse, whenever they are in any argument.

While I believe no sane parent will sit his or her child down and begin to teach him/her how to quarrel, shout or hurl abuses at a spouse, one thing we must note is that our children pick up these nuances in their subconscious, as they see us do them.

I strongly believe parents of young children should, at all cost, avoid quarrelling in front of their children. If a quarrel erupts while the children are present, I believe parents have the ability to restrain themselves from letting the disagreement degenerate into full-blown quarrel. Proverbs 25:28 says: “He that has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down; and without walls.” You have the ability to control your emotions in the presence of your children.

Spouses should work on any traces of observed “family challenge.” I refer to family challenges as those things found to be common among members of a particular family in terms of character exhibition, temperament, etc. Some families will tell you they are known for anger and when this erupts, only the Lord can help the situation. That is an example of a family challenge. When a spouse is from that kind of home, he or she can do or say anything when angry; and if this is not worked on, the children of such a person will also pick up this trait. And that is how the vicious cycle may continue till someone decides to put a stop to it.

Parents should be very careful with what they are making their children learn from them. Always remember that these children, given to you by the Lord, are your responsibilities in terms of what they become tomorrow. What you allow to be deposited in them is a function of who you really want them to turn to out to be. You should, therefore, watch what you do in their presence always.

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Charles IgheleFamily Crisis
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