Words: Kirsty Ketley
“If your arguments tend to be heated and hostile then ask yourself, do you want your children to argue that way with their friends and future partners? In my experience, most unhelpful behaviour during arguments is learned in our early childhood. We often just copy one or both our parents and don’t know how to do it differently as adults.” Points out Sven
“Threats to leave the relationship, swearing, and abuse (verbal or physical) are a no go in front of children. And they should be a no-go in your relationship.” He warns.
“Think about, when and where have you and your partner good and meaningful conversations?” Advises Sven.
“Ask your partner, if they feel the same about that? And then explore, can you avoid those tense and hostile arguments by taking advantage of that. If you can’t think of any situation like that, then consider getting help for your relationship.”
When it comes to discussing money though, is it okay to have discussions with the kids present?
- Don’t talk about it in front of your children unless you were always open about it. My parents revealed to me when I was an adult that there were times when things were extremely tight. While they made adjustments behind the scene I had no idea about that.
- Raise the need to discuss money and find an environment where you can discuss it safely and calmly.
- Stay focussed on each other, not the numbers. Try to understand your partner and learn what they value and what things are important to them and why. You will find it easier to discuss numbers if you feel heard and understood. Forcing change will sow mistrust.
- Put all the numbers on the table to enable an honest and transparent discussion. You are in this together.
- Focus on your needs not your wants.
- If you run out of steam to discuss it calmly, reschedule.
- Consider contacting an agency such as Citizen Advice if you are stuck.