Opinion | Family

Duke It Out for Them: Why Kids Need to See Their Parents Fight

Seeing parents fight—and resolve it—can teach kids how to love despite disagreements.

I stormed into the house, stopping only to shake the snow off my boots before hissing at my husband as he poured his coffee: "I cannot believe you didn't fill up the Yukon yesterday."

"You always take the Corolla when you drive the kids," he shrugged. "That has gas." He turned away to help our 5-year-old son pour his cereal.

Arg—true. But still: I stomped closer, maybe pointed a finger: "You knew we were going to get snow and that I'd take the truck! How many times do I have to remind you that gas-in-the-car is my love language?"

And so it went: Mr. "It's Not Empty Till It's Below The E" trying to avoid the argument, Ms. "It's Empty When It's On the E—Especially in a Gas-Guzzler" trying to press it, all within clear earshot and vision range of our son.

You tell me: Who was the better parent in this case? Who was the one more effectively showing our child how to navigate the rough waters of interpersonal communication in even the most loving relationships?

Me, naturally! (Would I ...

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