Managing Marital Conflict with Kids

The way you choose to manage conflict with your spouse can have a profound impact on your relationship with your kids as well as their development.

It is important to be mindful of what you share with your kids about what is going on between you and your spouse. The way your kids see you manage marital conflict can shape the way they view relationships.

Here are some things to avoid when you and your spouse are dealing with conflict:

  • Be mindful of how to talk about marital conflict with your kids. While you may feel close to your children, it is not wise to share everything that goes on in your marriage with them. It is natural for kids to wonder about what is going on with their parents. It would be helpful for them if you and your spouse have agreed on what you will and won’t be sharing with them. 
  • Do not trash talk your partner in front of your kids. This can make kids feel like they have to pick a side, which can be quite hurtful and take away their sense of security. 
  • Do not threaten divorce in front of your kids. When kids and teens continue to hear their parents threaten divorce, this can create panic, uncertainty and hopelessness for them. If you and your spouse have decided to divorce, you should be intentional about how that news is shared with your kids. 

Dealing with marital conflict when you have kids is a challenge, but it is important to be cognizant of how you talk about it with or in front of you kids. If your kids can see you and your spouse manage conflict in a positive and healthy way, you will be teaching them valuable lessons about relationships.

Written by: Elizabeth Kraich