Never Argue In Front of a Child

I wish I could say this didn’t happen, that I’m a smarter person, or a better husband and parent, but I started it, so I have to accept it as my fault.

Today our four year old son behaved in an exceptional way at school. “What exactly did he do?”, you ask. Quite simply, he cried.

Early this morning, as I was preparing to leave for work, I got in a snit and entered into an argument with my wife about the condominium we own back in Columbia, South Carolina. She wants to sell it, NOW, (or yesterday, if possible!), but there is a tenant in it at the moment, and I want to let the tenant remain as long as he pays rent. “List it while the tenant is occupying it”, you say, but the problem is that the condo needs extensive work before we could sell it for a reasonable price, and doing the work while it is occupied is just not feasible. So there was a difference of opinions expressed. LOUDLY expressed. (But still in a sweet, loving way, of course!)

Our son was alarmed at the tensions being expressed between his parents, so he started to yell too. This brought us to our senses. We stopped yelling, and told him that it was okay, that we were not really mad at each other.

So then I went to work, (jerk that I am, still a bit peeved at my wife), our son went to school, and my wife stayed home and cooked and cleaned, between playing Candy Crush Saga. (Stupid level 350!)

In the early afternoon, when she went to pick up our son at school, his teacher motioned for her to come over and talk to her. During a morning exercise our son was not following directions, and when the teacher tried to gently reprimand him, he began sobbing and sobbing. In fact, he cried so hard that he choked himself up, and vomited!

Fearing that she had upset him, the teacher asked him what was wrong, to which our wonderful son responded, “My Mama and Daddy are yelling at each other!”

When my wife heard this, she was mortified! How embarrassing to be told by his teacher that your child is worried about how you and your husband are interacting!

I was told about this incident soon after she and our son arrived back home. It was upsetting to hear, to say the least. Now one of my coworkers has five children, so looking for advice, (and comfort), I told him about our son’s outburst.

My coworker chuckled, and said that children relay the most personal details about their lives when at school. His wife is a teacher of second and third grade children, and she has heard some good ones. For example, one day his wife noticed that one of her pupils was very sleepy. She asked him why, and he said that Mommy and Daddy had been extra loud the night before, banging in the bed and on the wall, and yelling and groaning. How would you like your child’s teacher to have that little bit of personal information!

Duly chastised, my wife and I have a new appreciation for our son’s role as an observer and recorder of our daily lives, and henceforth resolve to behave more appropriately in his presence.


Originally posted by us on FullofKnowledge.